The Royal Wedding of the Year?

The message is clear: Everyone does their part. In addition to providing information about the royals, the website Love Stockholm 2010 includes banner ads for Swedish companies like Ericsson, Volvo and Ikea. Musician Benny Andersson of the legendary Swedish pop group Abba, has even written a song that's practically designed for a play on his group's well-known lyrics: "Mamma Mia," isn't it nice to hear them saying "I Do, I Do, I Do" in the church; Let's just hope that they don't experience their "Waterloo" one day. Until now, however, the tragic figure in the Swedish royals' soap opera has been Victoria's younger sister Madeleine, who recently broke off her engagement.

Abba, dressed in court garb, performed their hit song "Dancing Queen" 36 years ago, on the evening before the dream wedding between Carl Gustav and his German Olympic host Silvia. Paul Sahner of the German celebrity gossip magazine Bunte proudly recalls: "Germany was somebody again. The world's most beautiful queen was a German woman."

Several years before Lady Di and the spectacle of the Windsors, Silvia did in fact captivate the world media and liberate the once-powerful Swedish royal family from a dangerous crisis of legitimacy. She so captured the hearts of Swedes that even the Socialists abandoned their sinister plans to abolish the monarchy.

Is a Swedish Royal Family Necessary?

Now there is a new debate over the need for a blue-blooded showpiece family. Critics say that by bringing what the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet called a "village athlete" into its fold, the royal family makes itself more and more ordinary, and that it is time to think about whether the expense is even worth it anymore. Each additional child, they argue, increases the costs and makes budget cuts an even bigger issue.

But Victoria knows that the monarchy "can be a positive, cohesive force in society," and that it will help to "overcome differences."

Reconciliation across class divides -- that will be the slogan when Sweden is turned upside-down for three days this coming weekend, when screens on every street corner celebrate the bliss of the royals and, in Ockelbo, the townspeople barbecue a bear to celebrate the day.

We, on the other hand, have to prepare ourselves, once again, to be tortured by yapping commentators, who will join us as we watch this coat of paint while it dries and tell us: Look, it's drying. If only they kept their remarks to those sorts of minimal statements.

Gossip Instead of Real News

Nobility experts simply cannot be stopped. Royals observer Schönburg has suddenly forgotten the class concerns he once expressed (don't marry beneath your station). In fact, now he even characterizes such sentiments as narrow-minded prejudice, writing: "The people are the real snobs here."

Schönburg's about-face reveals, once again, that ordinary people can never quite please the aristocracy, and that everyone is permitted to gossip whenever a coach is in sight.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...