Stockholm is a big and beautiful city and there are so many odd things going on in the city - one of them is meeting the Royal Family. I wanted to introduce you them......because drumroll please....I met them.....well not actually met personally but at least seen and I guess that's quite cool also. So why is that odd? Well, in Stockholm you can see or meet or encounter the Swedish Royal Family quite regularly and not only during official festivities.
The Swedish Royals are very down to earth. They like meeting people and they don't feel the need to bring bodyguards everywhere they go. So when I was off to the Royal Palace to participate in the festivities for the Crown Princess Victoria's name day last week I was quite late as I had my Swedish class in the morning and didn't want to skip it. Naturally I was worried that 1. I wouldn't make it in time to see her / 2. that security wouldn't let me in because I was late and/or because the place was already crowded and 3. that I wouldn't be allowed to take my bag.
You see I'm German and if you want to visit the Bundestag (the German parliament) in Berlin you are not allowed to even bring a water bottle. Of course I expected security and regulations of some sort.......To put it short: there were none. No security checks and no restrictions. There simply was a rope to separate the crowd from the Royal Family. One rope. That's it.
The Swedes don't worry that much. For them it's just normal to see the Royals - no big deal! And the Royals themselves don't seem to worry either. On the one hand I find this amazing and impressive but on the other hand I still can't believe it. Nonetheless to put you out of your misery: It's totally normal to see the Royal Family in Stockholm so here are the best shots I managed to take.
Crown Princess Victoria, her husband Prince Daniel and their daugther Princess (Queen to be) Estelle. Of course I was late and of course the first row was already occupied so I had to zoom past several people's heads but I'm glad to have managed to take these three pics. It is really difficult to stand on your tiptoes, holding a camera up in the air and focus properly.
Anyway it was great to see the Royals live. Victoria first listened to the band playing a few songs for her, then she was greeted by the Swedish state minister and later she greeted the crowd. She actually spoke to the people standing in the first line and she spend a lot of time talking to the children who waited for her. I didn't spoke to her and I didn't see her in close-up but nonetheless it was an amazing experience for me.
As Crown Princess Victoria and King Carl Gustav work in the Royal Palace you can see them quite often in its surroundings (at least this is what I got told). You can also see Victoria and Daniel going for walks with their daughter in Hagaparken, the park that surrounds their home Haga castle. And if you live in New York, keep an eye out for Princess Madeleine! But even if you don't see them, a visit to their castles always is worth a visit. At the Royal Palace in the city centre of Stockholm you can watch the changing of the guards every day around noon which gives you a kind of royal feeling too.