Sunday, 11 October 2015

Prince Nicolas of Sweden christened

At noon today, Prince Nicolas of Sweden, the son of Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill, was christened in the chapel of Drottningholm Palace outside Stockholm. This intimate chapel was also the venue for the christening of his elder sister, Princess Leonore, in June last year.
The sponsors were his maternal uncle, Prince Carl Philip; his father's maternal half-sister, Countess Natascha Abensperg und Traun; his mother's first cousin Gustaf Magnuson (son of Princess Christina); his paternal uncle by marriage Henry d'Abo (whose mother, Lady Ursula d'Abo, who will be 99 next month, is the daughter of the 9th Duke of Rutland and was a maid of honour at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Britain in 1937); his mother's friend Katarina von Horn; and his father's friend Marco Wajselfisz.
Prince Nicolas wore the christening robe that was made for the baptism of his great-grandfather, Prince Gustaf Adolf, in 1906 and which has been worn by many royal children since then. He was baptised by the Archbishop, Antje Jackelén (who last year became Sweden's first female Archbishop). At the end of the ceremony, he was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Seraphim by his grandfather, King Carl XVI Gustaf. His royal rank was, in keeping with a tradition instituted in 1778, symbolised by a princely crown on a pedestal next to the altar. Until now, one crown has usually been assigned to each prince and princess, but the fact that the royal title now descends through both the male and the female line means that there are not enough crowns to go around, and Prince Nicolas has thus been assigned the same crown as his mother, that of Princess (later Queen) Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotta (the distinction between crowns for princes and princesses had already been broken in 2012, when Oscar II's princely crown was assigned to Princess Estelle).
As the chapel at Drottningholm is rather small, the christening was attended by a rather select gathering of family, friends, officials and courtiers. Apart from Prince Nicolas, his parents and his sisters, the members of the extended royal family present were King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia; Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel; Princess Estelle; Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia; Princess Margaretha; Princess Christina's husband Tord Magnuson, their three sons Oscar, Gustaf and Victor Magnuson, Gustaf's wife Vicky Magnuson, Victor's partner Frida Bergström and their infant son Sigvard, who was born on 25 August; Countess Marianne Bernadotte af Wisborg, who is the widow of the King's late uncle, the former Prince Sigvard; and Dagmar von Arbin, a great-granddaughter of King Oscar II, who will celebrate her 100th birthday in April. The only foreign royal present was Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a first cousin of King Carl Gustaf who is also one of Princess Madeleine's sponsors.
Also present were Chris O'Neill's mother, Eva Maria O'Neill; two of his three paternal half-sisters, Annalisa O'Neill and Karen O'Neill, and his nephew Oliver MacNeely; his maternal half-sister Tatjana d'Abo with her husband Henry and their children Anouska, Celina and Jasper; his maternal half-sister Countess Natascha Abensperg und Traun and her daughters Milana and Chiara; and a man by the name of Wolfgang Seybold, who is apparently in a relationship with Eva Maria O'Neill.
Queen Silvia's brother Walther L. Sommerlath is on the guest list, but was as far as I could tell not present in church. On the other hand two of her nephews were there: Thomas de Toledo Sommerlath and Patrick Sommerlath, the latter with his wife Maline, his son Leopold Lundén Sommerlath and their daughters Anaïs and Chloé Sommerlath.

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