Sweden parties as royal wedding festivities begin

Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:02pm EDT
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By Simon Johnson and Mia Shanley

STOCKHOLM (Reuters Life!) - Love is in the air in Stockholm as Sweden's capital city puts on its finery for the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria, heir to the Swedish throne, and her former personal trainer Daniel Westling on June 19.

The city is already in party mode for the first royal wedding since King Carl XVI Gustav married German-Brazilian Silvia Sommerlath in 1976, with Victoria's nuptials the finale to Love Stockholm 2010, a two-week festival of music and culture.

"It's a once in a lifetime thing. It's so uplifting -- everyone's talking about the wedding," said Maggie Saliba, 24, who works at a dress shop in Stockholm.

"In a way, it's become hip to get married. It's created a buzz."

Over the next couple of days, VIPs and royalty from around the world will fly into Stockholm's Arlanda airport -- renamed the "Official Love Airport" for the wedding festivities.

The guest list is secret, but media report that King Harald of Norway, Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, from Britain will be among those in Stockholm's cathedral.

Thousands more will line the streets to cheer as the bridal pair are driven by horse-drawn carriage through the city before a royal barge takes them across the picturesque harbor to the palace and an evening banquet with the great and good from Sweden and around the world.

DOWN TO EARTH   Continued...

<p>Postcards commemorating the upcoming marriage of Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and her fiance Daniel Westling are on display in a shop in front of the Stockholm Cathedral is in Gamla Stan, or the Old Town district of Stockholm June 16, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch</p>