Updated 19:47 UTC Finally able to access some photos of the royal wedding guests. More to come.
Updated 18:50 UTC Here is the widest view I can find of the balcony at The Queen's Official Birthday observation today. Many more members of the family were also there but in this photo (from left) are Anne The Princess Royal, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Prince of Wales, Prince George of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Queen, Prince Harry of Wales, James Viscount Severn, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York, The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, Princess Eugenie of York, Eloise Taylor, and Estella Taylor.
Updated 17:56 UTC While the Swedes are eating dinner, let's take a look at some British balcony pics from earlier today:
Alright the bride and groom are arriving. Soon, everyone will finally get to sit down--some of them have been standing at their tables for nearly an hour.
Ah sweet. Princess Martha and Ari Behn are still holding hands after all these years. Meanwhile Queen Sonja's dress can brighten the room if the lights go out. Just saw Princess Tatiana--haven't seen her in a long time.
Updated 17:16 Now the royal guest are coming in for dinner. Everyone else has been standing around waiting for them.
Updated 16:55 UTC The guests are finally getting to go in for dinner. I hope they had some snacks earlier.
|Margaret's wedding photo with her myrtle bouquet|
By W. & D. Downey, London via Wikimedia Commons
Oh boy they are gathering absolutely everyone for a huge group photo on the stairs outside the palace. As the Swedes like to say: Fantastic!
Let's not forget today's other royal event. I can finally share photos from Trooping the Colour in the UK.
Nice. Queen Silvia is walking arm-in-arm with her new daughter-in-law.
Princess Estelle is adorable. She loves waving at crowds. That's the first talent a future Queen needs!
Finally, back at the Palace for speech time! The groom and then the King.
This is quite a long carriage ride, but when Carl Philip's oldest sister married, there was a carriage procession and a boat tour. But, she is the future queen.
Can't wait for the balcony scene. The Swedes have the biggest balcony--more like a patio/veranda. The Monagesques have the smallest--more like a window.
Just a few more hours and Madeleine can have that baby.
The guests are making their way to the Palace while the bride and groom on the long way around the city, so that they can wave at all the people. Good crowds!
The more I look at it, the more Sofia's gown looks like she re-worked Kate's, who had re-worked Grace's.
After a quick kiss the bridal couple is heading out for a tour of Stockholm in their horse-drawn carriage while the guests continuing rocking in the church.
This exit music looks more like the latest edition of The Princess Diaries than a real royal wedding. Not normal to see the world's royals clapping and stomping. But hurray for American gospel music! We clearly rock.
Wow. That is a very deep curtsy!! I think Sofia has been practicing.
Now Queen Silvia is looking after Leonore while we hear another interesting arrangement of a pop song. Grannies are great!
Still no official word on the tiara. @orderofsplendor is calling it a honeycomb motif in diamonds topped with emeralds.
The couple is SOOOOO happy. Meanwhile, in the background, a very wiggly Leonore keeps being passed around among the family members. Estelle is sitting quietly but Queen Silvia is keeping an eye on her.
Some of the lyrics are good but others include: Lights will guide you home. And ignite your bones. And I will try to fix you.
The Swedes always make some odd music choices at their weddings, but Fix You by Coldplay? What?
Oh wow. That is a big ole tattoo on Sofia's back. Not going to comment...
Wedding gown is by Ida Sjöstedt.
It looks like it may be a NEW tiara. A diamond bandeau with emerald spikes.
At last, here is Princess Estelle with the other little bridesmaids. The bride is in an elegant v-neck gown reminiscent of Kate's bodice with the sweetheart neckline under lace with lace sleeves. She is in a tiara. Checking which one.
The church is so lovely with pink and orange flowers on the pews and trees along the walls (like the Cambridge wedding.)
Queen Mathilde is chatting with Crown Prince Frederik--probably in French. Oops, I missed Queen Maxima earlier. She is in sparkly purple. Pinks and purples seem to be the colors of the day with a few pale blues and greens. The notable exceptions are the Queens of Denmark (red) and of Norway (eye-bleeding yellow). Uncle Daniel has taken on the duty of entertaining little Leonore.
Leonore is wiggling and causing a small ruckus. The royals are amused, But she may be just a little young for a formal wedding...
Will the bride be wearing a tiara? The bells are ringing!! The groom is beaming. The ladies are using the programs to fan themselves.
Carl Philip is definitely a very handsome groom. Only one more royal bachelor left, ladies. Keep an eye on Prince Harry.
Poor Princess Madeleine has to be uncomfortable at this stage of her pregnancy. Look for Chris to keep a hold on Leonore throughout the ceremony.
The bride and groom should be arriving shortly!!! Get ready!! Adjust your tiaras.
Gosh they have to walk a good distance!
Queen Silvia is in light purple with the Leuchtenberg tiara. Gorgeous mother of the groom!
Princess Leonore is arriving with her VERY pregnant mama Princess Madeleine in light mauve. Crown Princess Victoria is wearing an unusual print. No sign of Princess Estelle, which likely means she is definitely in the wedding party. The Palace would not confirm her role yesterday--three-year-olds can be unpredictable.
You will not miss Queen Sonja is BRIGHT yellow while Queen Margrethe (for her) is rather calm in fire engine red.
Crown Princess Marie is wearing a sleeveless lilac dress with her Swedish order. Queen Mathilde has arrived alone in a light cornflower blue.
The Countess of Wessex is an understated mauve-y lavendar with her aquamarine tiara. Mette Marit is in pink with a floral skirt.
The four royal aunts are all arriving together in various shades of pink and lavendar.
Update 14:11 The royal guests are arriving. Princess Martha of Sweden is not wearing anything odd! However, Prince Joachim of Denmark has a jaunty hat!
Update: 14:03 UTC The VIP guests are arriving at the Cathedral. The Swedes love a white tie, summer wedding! Seems like it would be a bit warm, and you can see the ladies waving fans to cool themselves.
Stockholm is so beautiful, though. Definitely on my list of places to visit.
Update: 13:38 UTC Last night, at the pre-wedding banquet in Stockholm.
Update: 13:23 UTC The live streaming coverage of the royal wedding has started on SVT.se. Fortunately, you can see this feed outside of Sweden: http://bit.ly/1GE8sgz
Update: 12:57 UTC Here are some pics of the royal groom's sisters on their wedding days to help you get ready for today's wedding.
|Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill|
By Bengt Nyman via Wikimedia Commons
|Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling|
By Holger Motzkau via Wikimedia Commons
Update: 12:27 UTC Looks like a good time for us to take a nap, too. 90 minutes until coverage of the Swedish Royal Wedding begins!! To get prepared, you can check out my post about the last century of Swedish royal brides.
Update: 12:18 UTC It looks like they are reopening the roads around the Mall. The Royal Family is off to lunch and probably nap time for little Prince George--perhaps others too! After all, great-grandpa Prince Philip turned 94 earlier this week! Still out there today doing his thing with his wife of 68 years!!
Update: 12:06 UTC: So, I just learned that London is an hour ahead of UTC/GMT. What? The RAF just completed its flypast with red, white and blue trails behind them. Prince George loved every minute!
Update: 12:03 UTC: George made it to the balcony! In his daddy's arms and dressed in a blue outfit. He looks so much like his father at that age.
Update: 11:51 UTC No Prince George during the first balcony appearance. Shall we see him during the RAF flypast at 13:00? Folks are hoping so!
Update: 11:34 UTC The regiment receiving its colours this year was the 1st Battalion of the Welsh Guards. They are celebrating their centenary anniversary--100 years! The Queen's grandfather, King George V, was on the throne at that time and the nation was in the midst of the Great War, better known today as World War I. There is a whole calendar of special events for their anniversary on their web site. Today, their Colonel-in-Chief is Her Majesty and the Colonel of the Regiment is the Prince of Wales. The regiment has served in action many times in both world wars, in the Falklands, and most recently in Afghanistan.
The Royal Family is now gathering on the balcony.
Update: 11:18 UTC One of the most historically memorable Troopings was in 1981, exactly 34 years ago today. The Queen, riding sidesaddle on her horse Burmese, was fired upon from the crowd. An expert horsewoman and never one to be rattled, she calmed Burmese and carried on while others tackled the perpetrator, Marcus Sarjeant. Fortunately, the bullets were blanks. Sarjeant, who said he did to become famous, pled guilty under the Treason Act and served three years in a psychiatric prison. That year also was Lady Diana Spencer's first appearance at the event, as the fiancee of The Prince of Wales.
Update: 11:06 UTC So what is Trooping the Colour? It is a longstanding tradition to officially celebrate the Sovereign's birthday. Although The Queen's birthday is April 21, the official celebration is held in June when it is hoped the weather will be nicer--as it is today. Massed military bands and troops present themselves to Her Majesty for inspection, and a different unit each year is presented with new "colours" for the regiment. It takes place at Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall, and is followed by an artillery salute, and later in the afternoon a flypast of Buckingham Palace by the Royal Air Force.
Update: 10:57 UTC Within the UK, you can watch BBC One's streaming feed online. (Although you can also watch it on television.) They are not streaming it outside of the UK.
You can also follow my Twitter feed @PalacePrincess as I retweet other people's coverage and reactions to the event.
Update: 10:52 UTC More about Princess Alexandra's illness. It was announced two years ago that the princess, who is The Queen's first cousin and was a bridesmaid at her wedding, suffers with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), which is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and/or stiffness in the neck, shoulders, upper arms and hips. This led her to cancel several engagements at the time, and to moderate her usually full calendar. She is 78 years old.
Update: 10:42 UTC Prince George of Cambridge has been photographed watching the event from a window at Buckingham Palace. This definitely increases the odds that we will see him on the balcony later today for the royal flypast.
Update: 10:30 UTC So I don't know why BBC One's coverage says it was starting now if the event actually started 30 minutes ago. Oh well, I will try to get you caught up. The first part of the day includes a parade of troops and the royal family. This year's procession includes the following: Carriage One: The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh Carriage Two: The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry of Wales Carriage Three: The Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York, and Princess Eugenie of York Carriage Four: The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and The Duke of Kent On Horseback: The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, The Princess Royal So,who's missing? The Earl and Countess of Wessex are not there because they are in Sweden preparing to attend this afternoon's royal wedding as the official representatives of The Queen--they have attended most of the European royal weddings in this capacity in recent years. Also missing is The Queen's cousin, Princess Alexandra. I have not seen any reason given for her absence, but her health has been poor lately, so that is probably why she is not there.
Photo Erika Gerdemark
The Royal Court, Sweden
Trooping the Colour will mark The Duchess of Cambridge's first official appearance since the birth of Princess Charlotte as well as the largest public gathering of British royals this year. Meanwhile, an even larger crowd of European royals will be gathered in Stockholm for the wedding.
I will begin blogging at 10:30 a.m. GMT/UTC, which is 6:30 a.m. EDT here on the East Coast of the United States. Coverage will continue through 10:30 p.m. CEST/UTC+2 or 4:30 p.m. EDT.
For you West Coasters, that's 3:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. PDT.
For those in Australia, that's 8:30 p.m. (Saturday) through 6:30 a.m. (Sunday) AEST.