STOCKHOLM, Sweden—A hot topic for the upcoming royal wedding in Sweden has been who will accompany the Crown Princess Victoria as she walks down the aisle on June 19.
According to centuries-old Swedish tradition, the bride and the groom enter the church together, to show that the woman enters the marriage of her own free will. Rumor now has it that Crown Princess Victoria's father, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, will bring his daughter to the altar.
The tradition of the father delivering the bride, while common in other countries, is not a Swedish tradition. Important figures within the church have objected to this, as it implies some form of trade, but of course no one really thinks that the Swedish King is trading with the future husband of his daughter. Some people think this is a "Hollywood" idea which should not be allowed in a Swedish royal wedding, while others think that it is not that big a deal and should be decided by the people directly involved.
However, as the heir to the Swedish throne, Crown Princess Victoria, 32, cannot just go off and marry anyone she likes. She is in fact the only person of age in Sweden who has to ask her father's and the Swedish government's permission to marry. Unless she is willing to renounce her royal status, she must receive their approval of her proposed husband.
The groom, Daniel Westling, is an ordinary man of the people, the princess's former personal trainer, who will be given the title of duke after the marriage.
A Facebook group was recently formed, jokingly demanding that Daniel Westling should in fact be brought down the aisle and delivered by his mother, both in response to the aforementioned debate and as an acknowledgment of his subservient position in the marriage. Victoria will be queen and head of state, but he will only be the queen's consort.
Stockholm and the rest of Sweden is now busy preparing for the royal wedding, which will be the first since King Carl XVI Gustaf married Queen Silvia on the very same day back in 1976.
Swedish media has been reveling in everything royal for well over a year now. Special focus has been given to the fact that this is a pure marriage of love between a princess and a common man, which of course is unusual, from a historical perspective, but much more common these days.
Swedish Republicans have also taken the opportunity to restate their case against the hereditary monarchy, which they see as outdated. Others complain that the wedding bill is being paid for by Swedish taxpayers. However, with all the tourism and merchandising, the state is likely to earn a healthy net profit in taxes.