Sweden celebrates royal wedding

Crown Princess Victoria says "yes" to former personal trainer at ceremony in Stockholm.

    Several days of celebrations were held
    ahead of the wedding [AFP]

    Possibly because of the heavy media coverage, anti-royalist sentiments have grown stronger in Sweden in recent years.

    Only half of the population now wants a monarchy and a quarter does not support the royal family, according to a poll released on Friday.

    'Altargate'

    The set-up of the wedding ceremony had stirred controversy in the country which views itself as a front runner in the field of gender equality.

    Swedish couples getting married in church normally walk to the altar together, a tradition which is said to symbolise that the man and the women both enter the marriage of their own free will.

    But Victoria had expressed a wish to be escorted down the aisle by her father, King Carl Gustaf XVI, causing a media storm dubbed 'Altargate'.

    in depth

     

      Royal altar walk stirs controversy

    Anders Wejryd, the Swedish Archbishop, had joined the critics who described the decision as a step backwards for women's liberation and the final ceremony reflected a compromise - the King and Westling each walked half the way to the altar with the Crown Princess.

    Guests attending the celebrations included Jordan's King Abdullah, Japan's heir to the throne, Prince Albert of Monaco and many other European royalties.

    Victoria is the current successor to the throne.

    It was three years after her birth, in 1980, that Sweden became the first country to make its Act of Succession gender-neutral so as to allow the throne to be passed to the first-born child, whether male or female.

    The monarch is the head of state but does not have any political powers. He makes no political statements and does not vote.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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