Thursday, 17 April 2014

Royal christening at Drottningholm on 8 June

The Swedish royal court has announced that the christening of Princess Leonore will, as expected, take place in the chapel at Drottningholm Palace outside Stockholm on 8 June, her parents' first wedding anniversary.
Inspired by Rome's Pantheon, this domed chapel in the baroque style from the early eighteenth century, which is the work of the architects Nicodemus Tessin the Younger and Carl Hårleman, is one of the two circular buildings that form the extremes of the long palace façade. It can only seat a limited number of guests, which is the reason why it has been rarely used for royal occasions, although it was the scene for the wedding of Prince Bertil and Princess Lilian on 7 December 1976.
The splendid Drottningholm Palace, located on an island some ten kilometres west of Stockholm, was built for the Dowager Queen Hedvig Eleonora, the widow of King Carl X Gustaf, who was a great builder, collector and patron of the arts. The current King and Queen made it their home in 1981 and it was there that Princess Madeleine was born the following year and where she grew up. It was also where her and Christopher O'Neill's wedding banquet was held last year. Given Princess Madeleine's attachment to Drottningholm and its association with Queen Hedvig Eleonora and thus the name Leonore it seems a very fitting choice of venue for the christening of the young Princess.
It has not yet been decided if the christening will be televised.


  1. Swedish journalists have commented that a christening in the Drottningholm royal chapel constitutes a departure from tradition. Is this accurate, and if so, where have the children of junior Swedish royals been christened in years past?

  2. I saw the hopeless Johan T. Lindwall of Expressen made a big thing out of the "fact" that all royal children had always been christened in the Palace Church in Stockholm and that no one but the headstrong Princess Madeleine would be able to force through such a departure from tradition, but the problem is that Lindwall's historical horizon extends no further than 1976. Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip, Princess Madeleine and Princess Estelle were indeed christened in the Palace Church in Stockholm and so was King Carl Gustaf in 1946, but his sisters were christened in Solna Church, a very old church near Haga Palace, where they lived at that time. Previously, royal christenings did not always take place in churches or chapels, but were often held in ordinary palace rooms - if I recall Crown Princess Märtha and Queen Astrid were christened in the Hereditary Prince's Mansion, Gustaf VI Adolf in the White Ocean (the ball room) at the Royal Palace, Gustaf V in the Hall of State at Drottningholm and Gustaf IV Adolf in the Hall of State at the Royal Palace, to name a few examples.

  3. Thank you! Clearly, then, Lindwall's "tradition" is no such thing.

  4. Lindwall now asserts that to have six godparents also constitutes a breakage of tradition; is this equally baseless?

    And may I ask whether the archbishops of Uppsala have officiated all Swedish royal christenings thus far?

    1. There is no fixed number of godparents. Princess Estelle had five; Crown Princess Victoria and her siblings had four; King Carl Gustaf had ten; King Gustaf VI Adolf had 22.

      I cannot say for sure that the Archbishop has officiated at all royal christenings since the archbishopric was founded in 1164, but I am under the impression that it is usually the case, although it may not always have been the case with junior members of the royal family. From memory I believe for instance Crown Princess Märtha was christened by a bishop rather than the Archbishop.


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