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June 17, 2010 2:47 AM   Subscribe

On Saturday the crown princess Victoria of Sweden will be married, and her father King Gustav of Sweden will walk her down the aisle. This goes against the Swedish church tradition, where the couple walk together. The arch bishop Anders Wejryd has issued a public statement expressing his disapproval , and some are calling it a sexist wedding. If you're going to break with tradition, why not add a new twist to the aisle-walk, or maybe the groom can pull some moves, perhaps bop down the aisle to Love Shack? P.S. don't forget to update your facebook status while you're at it.
posted by dabitch (40 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
King Gustav came to my college once. He didn't speak, because evidently he has a pretty bad speech impediment, so his wife gave the address. The rumor going around campus (as circulated by lutheran swedish folk) was that one reason the king had an okay to marry his wife (who was a commoner, gasp) was that due to the ridiculous amount of inbreeding in the royal families of Europe, the king was actually born with a vestigal tail (which was removed). Marrying someone from outside the royalty was seen as a good way to flush the system, as it were.

/Swedish Lutheran gossip
posted by Ghidorah at 3:04 AM on June 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Reported for not including the obvious link to the The JK Wedding Entrance.
posted by Talez at 3:08 AM on June 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Gender equality is serious business in Sweden, but there is nothing traditional about the crown-princess getting married. I think the Swedish public will give Victoria a pass.

I will be out in the crowds on Saturday with my four year old daughter who cannot wait to see the princess.
posted by three blind mice at 3:16 AM on June 17, 2010


Oh drats! Yep, sorry Talez, I was meaning to include the JK wedding in the "more inside" as it's been linked here before.
posted by dabitch at 3:19 AM on June 17, 2010


You see the Swedes just don't understand that our Anglo Saxon tradition is actually a form of progress. To boot: at least she's being given away and not sold.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:20 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good, uh, for her. Now make with the pictures of Princess Madeleine!
posted by cthuljew at 3:25 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


She's single again cthuljew, maybe you should make your move.
posted by dabitch at 3:26 AM on June 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


*goes in search of his tuxedo and white stallion*
posted by cthuljew at 3:29 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


You see the Swedes just don't understand that our Anglo Saxon tradition is actually a form of progress.

The Swedish tradition is yet further progress over the Anglo-Saxon tradition. A bride has gone from being sold, to being given away, to being a individual, equal person in her own right:

From a link embedded in the "dispproval": As a feminist, I didn't love the notion of being handed over (and my father-in-law-to-be kept making jokes about needing to negotiate my price in head of cattle, which didn't help.) But there was also the fact that Dan and I already had a life together with an apartment, a car, two cats and a shared AmEx bill that we fight over every month; we had already survived high school, college and eating guinea pig on a trip to Peru. I wasn't leaving some earlier version of myself behind to become his wife.

I am not surprised that there is a negative reaction. As I said, gender equality is serious business in this country.
posted by three blind mice at 3:35 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I guess I'll finally have to lay to rest my hope that she would marry the crown prince of the Netherlands. The idea of a Dutch-Swedish double monarchy is nice. And it would create options for a reorganisation of redundancies; less royal palaces, less staff. Alas.
posted by joost de vries at 4:05 AM on June 17, 2010


This isn't only a Swedish tradition. My sister got married in the ancestral village of her husband-to-be, in Hesse, and was planning on having my Dad walk her down the aisle, but was told by the officiating local Catholic priest that Germans didn't do that sort of thing. My Dad was a little wistful, but I was glad my sister "did as the Romans do" in this instance.

(Another fun German tradition: Polterabend.)
posted by longdaysjourney at 4:08 AM on June 17, 2010


How about some pictures of Victoria's brother, Prince Carl Philip?
posted by Lucinda at 5:13 AM on June 17, 2010


Relatively new is the so-called Polter-wedding. In this case, the wedding is combined with the Polterabend, and the smashing occurs in conjunction with the wedding reception.
this!
posted by ennui.bz at 5:51 AM on June 17, 2010


Hopefully the Swedish will one day take equality so seriously that they get rid of an inherited monarchy. They could keep the monarchy for show but maybe every 4 years have a lottery. They could prove their commitment to equality by not limiting the outcome by gender. I'm sure there are plenty of guys who would like to be Queen of Sweden. I know they would have to limit it to citizens but still Vapidave, Queen of Sweden sounds like good times.
posted by vapidave at 6:21 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


A priest and theologian, Annika Borg, thinks that modern Swedish brides are being influenced by the weddings they see in Hollywood films. "I think it's unfortunate that Sweden's future head of state has chosen to follow a practice that is not Swedish tradition. The idea of the couple entering the church together symbolizes that the man and the woman are entering the marriage of their own free will," she said.


I think this much better than what they do in Christian weddings in the US. Maybe Hollywood should adopt this because the whole father giving away the bride is sort of creepy.
posted by anniecat at 6:29 AM on June 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Relatively new is the so-called Polter-wedding. In this case, the wedding is combined with the Polterabend, and the smashing occurs in conjunction with the wedding reception.

just too easy to godwin somethings isn't it?
posted by JPD at 6:32 AM on June 17, 2010


I kind of find it weird that the debate is over sexism and not over having, you know, royalty. It is sort of saying, everyone is equal, at least within their own social caste.
posted by geoff. at 6:49 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


You can watch the actual wedding live on the web at SVT.se, starting at 9:25 EDT (3:25pm local time) on Saturday. I'm not a royalist by any stretch, but I think the wedding will be interesting and likely very beautiful.
posted by gemmy at 6:51 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


the whole father giving away the bride is sort of creepy.

I totally see where this is the case and I agree with it to a certain extent, but my father gave me away and I didn’t think of it as being a piece of property transferred from one man to another, I took it as a loving parent recognizing that his daughter was now an adult and that the people who raised me were no longer the most important people in my life (wow, I am actually tearing up writing this, because although my husband IS the most important person in my life, my father is still really, really important to me and I love him very much). It was a really beautiful ceremony and my father started to cry as he walked me down the aisle (and all of the other fathers teared up watching him) because he loves me and was overcome at the idea that I was really at this point, but he stopped crying as we got closer to the groom because he knew that my husband and I would build a wonderful life together (and, so far, we have). I think of it more as similar to the way he cried when my parents dropped me off at college than anything else, a recognition that this was a huge event and that he was happy because I was doing something exciting and wonderful and sad because it was one step further away from my being his little girl.

I am at work so I need to stop writing this before I actually burst into tears, but I think that the idea of the father giving away the bride can be interpreted in a number of different ways and it’s not necessarily a transfer of property. I should also mention that my cousin is getting married next week and her mother will be walking her down the aisle.

I’m also surprisingly fond of the first dance at the reception, where I started dancing with my father and my husband of recent vintage cut in – I love that it’s like an instant replay of the wedding where I start with my father and end up with my husband, you know, in case you missed it the first time.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:04 AM on June 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Echoing geoff, I think it's a little odd to complain that her wedding practice perpetuates the vile patriarchy when her father is, you know, King.

How'd you become King, then? I didn't vote for you.
posted by The Bellman at 7:06 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


My aunt had both her parents walk her down the aisle.

But my husband and I got married in a dual aisle chapel -- we could each come down one and meet at the front. It's like it was made for us -- I refused have any gender asymmetry to imply I was different from my husband, and he's a huge diva who wanted to have a bunch of attention on him as well.
posted by jb at 8:09 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


As for the monarchy thing -- as a loyal subject of her majesty, the Queen of Canada, I really like having a head of state and focus for the loyalty of the armed forces who is NOT elected and does not cater to any passing political whims and who, in fact, is required to remain quiet as to her own political views.

As for envying them -- maybe when I was a kid, I would have wished to be a royal. But having watched what a fish-bowl and circumscribed existence they are allowed, I have no envy. I could marry whoever I liked -- Charles could not.

As for the priviledge -- they have more than any of the other mega-rich of the world. Most of us don't know their names, but they know each other. It's hypocritical to be fussing about a family who actually has to serve and work for their priviledge, and to be just fine with with the far more insidious economic inequality which pervades even the most republican of nations.
posted by jb at 8:19 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


sorry -- that is "They have NO more priviledge" than any other mega rich.

Damn Apple, and their lack of cursor key for scrolling up through comments.
posted by jb at 8:21 AM on June 17, 2010


I'm sure there are plenty of guys who would like to be Queen of Sweden.

I'd be Queen of Sweden in a hot minute. I have lots of Swedish ancestry on my father's side, so I must have some kind of automatic in.
posted by blucevalo at 8:31 AM on June 17, 2010


Or you could do like we did at a wedding I officiated recently--have both fathers give away both brides. Easy!
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:50 AM on June 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Mrs. Pterodactyl: I think of it more as similar to the way he cried when my parents dropped me off at college than anything else, a recognition that this was a huge event and that he was happy because I was doing something exciting and wonderful and sad because it was one step further away from my being his little girl.

My wife and I heard this justification when we were deciding how to plan our wedding. I liked to ask, "So, did the groom's father walk him down the aisle?" The person usually got a confused look on their face, indicating that that didn't quite compute. I considered the point made.

I understand that many people are quite fond of these traditions, and that they are intimately linked to how we feel about family. But we shouldn't confuse our fondness for family and traditions with the sexist implications of those traditions. When we grow up in a sexist culture, we learn to be fond of sexist things. An authentic emotional connection with a sexist tradition does not make it not sexist.

That said, everyone should choose for themselves how they want their wedding to be conducted. We tried to make our wedding they way we wanted, and ultimately lost (there's not much you can do about a rogue minister inserting Christian dogma into the ceremony...). I don't wish that on anyone else. Let her be given away if that's what she wants.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 9:10 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, King Gustav is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He always was a dunce. I remember how we used to laugh at the very idea that he would have anything to do with the Nobel prize in even the most ceremonial form - it's just such an inherent contradiction with the man's tiny intellect. He is the essence of the argument against hereditary privilege of any kind.

The monarchy is an embarrassment. Unfortunately, not many in Sweden lobby against it - I suppose it's the same as in Britain.
posted by VikingSword at 9:27 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, I always hear that Sweden is this great country with an excellent culture, and if this is the sort of thing that people have the energy to get het up about, I must've been well-informed.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:28 AM on June 17, 2010


I can't wait to see the dress and the tiara. Do Swedish royal brides wear tiaras? I hope so.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:51 AM on June 17, 2010


Vikingsword, there's always Republikanska föreningen who lobby s bit (the membership fee helps them finance this). Geoff nails it.
posted by dabitch at 9:51 AM on June 17, 2010


My husband and I walked together in an otherwise outwardly traditional ceremony in Scotland, where that is not the norm. He met me at the top of the aisle and down we went, on the basis that we wanted to start as we intended to finish.

Anything else would have offended my feminism and his.

Having said that, I appreciate the fact I had a choice in this matter, and I think that if this is really important to Victoria - which given the tide against which she's made this decision, it must be - then it's nice that she gets exactly what she wants on her and her intended's wedding day.

Yes, it is a state affair, but it's still her wedding. And his, of course.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:15 AM on June 17, 2010


Nothing says equality like one person being singled out from birth as the eventual holder of a position where the constitution says that you will be immune to prosecution no matter what you do, among other prerogatives.

So beware all you people who think hold romanticized notions of princesses and the like. One day she will be queen and if you look at her in the wrong way she might just decide to stab you in they eye with something gold encrusted and sharp, and then just leisurely stroll away.
posted by JeNeSaisQuoi at 12:38 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the Jewish weddings, both parents of the bride walk her down the aisle, followed (I think-- groom may go first) by the groom and his parents.

I think it's a rather nice tradition.
posted by charmcityblues at 3:34 PM on June 17, 2010


Nothing says equality like one person being singled out from birth as the eventual holder of a position where the constitution says that you will be immune to prosecution no matter what you do, among other prerogatives.

So beware all you people who think hold romanticized notions of princesses and the like. One day she will be queen and if you look at her in the wrong way she might just decide to stab you in they eye with something gold encrusted and sharp, and then just leisurely stroll away.


I'm pretty sure that with great power comes great responsibility. At least according to Uncle Ben.

But seriously, these powers would be there to make sure the head of state wouldn't be responsible for the fallout from making a difficult decision that could be interpreted as treason or the like. If the crown princess did do something like that I'm pretty sure you'd see a constitutional convention of some description as quick as lightning.
posted by Talez at 4:48 PM on June 17, 2010


Speaking as a country with a monarch distantly attached, such people are a professional family of national monuments. Their job is to wear a silly historical costume and live in some of the old buildings. They have a ton of money- but once upon a time their family -did- own the country more than symbolically, and I think their property claim was no less valid than anyone else, as after all, at some point in history all land was more or less public until someone said "This is mine!".

Their job is also to have people level opinions about their tiny, in family choices, take pictures of them and pass judgement on their looks. Legal protections that give them power also distance them- technically the Queen of England approves the Prime Minister, but her job is a mere formality, at the cost of losing the vote and practically, to have an sort of political choice other than looking formal and approving of the winning side.

Sure you could hold a lottery, but they still own their stuff so you'd have to build new palaces and the like, and you'd probably have to buy new crowns and thrones too, since fairly speaking they were bought by ancestors. Plus there's the training, since royals are typically raised from childhood to know what to expect.
posted by Phalene at 5:08 PM on June 17, 2010


Sure you could hold a lottery, but they still own their stuff so you'd have to build new palaces and the like, and you'd probably have to buy new crowns and thrones too, since fairly speaking they were bought by ancestors.

Oh, there's ways around that.

Yours,

Dr. J. Guillotin.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:17 PM on June 17, 2010


The last time a British monarch broke the law egregiously -- by leveling some illegal taxes -- they had a war, then a trial, and the executed him.

Poor King Charles.

Of course, he ended up being replaced eventually with a military dictatorship, and the Restoration was a relief all around. Yay, King Charles!

(Other than the US, how many antimonarchial revolutions have NOT led to dictatorships? That the US escaped may be just a reflection of Washington's probity.)
posted by jb at 4:41 AM on June 18, 2010


"Other than the US, how many antimonarchial revolutions have NOT led to dictatorships? That the US escaped may be just a reflection of Washington's probity."

Hmmm. With respect to your statement I'd qualify the US revolution as sudden or drastic as opposed to some of the other antimonarchial revolutions which are most of the rest that didn't result in dictatorships. The rest are more gradual.
Still fuck yes Washington and those guys.

Of course here there are classes though more by wealth and less by inheritance (this is becoming less distinguishable) but, well long subject but I'm pretty sure even the departed Mr. Rogers would have mustered a sharp right hook if you were to call him a "commoner".
posted by vapidave at 1:39 AM on June 19, 2010


Those who want to peek at the dinner which is just beginning now you can see it live on SVTPlay (outside the nordic region link). Turns out she was only lead halfway up the aisle by her dad, and then walked with her groom the rest of the way.
posted by dabitch at 10:40 AM on June 19, 2010


I got sucked in and have been watching with half an eye all day. It's been very sweet (not including the Disney credits-song at the end). I have always had a total thang for Queen Margarethe of Denmark, she's just too damned cool, and Mona Sahlin had one of the prettiest dresses I have seen. It's also always fun to watch the King bumbling around doing his best. Thought Victoria was going to get a fit of the giggles during his english speech.

To correct something mentioned above, the King doesn't have a speech impediment, he is however dyslexic and can have trouble with his notes. That said, credit where it's due, he hit the ball out of the park with his speech after the tsunami. Full credit to his speechwriter, but he performed it very very well. "I wish I were a fairy tale king, who could make it all right and say "they lived happily ever after".
posted by Iteki at 1:03 PM on June 19, 2010


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