For the second time this year, the Swedish Royal Family have gathered to welcome a Prince into the Swedish Church. Prince Alexander, the first child of Prince Carl Phillip and Princess Sofia, was christened at a service in Drottningholm Palace’s Royal Chapel earlier today.
Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil was born on the 19th April 2016, and is currently fifth in line to the throne. The Swedish Royal Court has announced that the Prince will have five godparents; all of whom attended the christening.
Alexander’s aunt, Crown Princess Victoria, was amongst the godparents. The others were Victor Magnuson, Jan-Ake Hansson, Lina Frejd, and Cajsa Larrson. Magnuson is Carl Phillip’s cousin, while Hansson is a friend of the Prince. Frejd is the sister of Princess Sofia and Larsson is a close friend of the Princess.
Prior to the christening, the Swedish Royal Court unveiled the Prince’s coat of arms and monogram. Guests started to arrive at the chapel shortly after 11 o’clock local time. The Swedish national channel, SVT broadcast the service which started at noon. The Swedish Prime Minister, Kjell Stefan Löfven and his wife attended the service.
Archbishop Antje Jackelén officiated the christening which lasted 45 minutes, assisted by Chief Court Chaplain Bishop Dalman, and Pastor of the Royal Court Parish Michael Bjerkhagen.
Prince Alexander wore a historic gown that was first used by Prince Gustaf Adolf in 1906. Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Phillip and Alexander’s cousins, Estelle, Oscar, Leonore and Nicolas also wore the gown at their christenings.
The silver font used was given to the chapel by Queen Ulrika Eleonora in 1728 and the water was taken from the Swedish island of Öland. The island is the home of the Royal Family’s summer residence.
Alexander’s name was announced just a few days after his birth, but the christening welcomes him into the church and confirms his names.
Crown Princess Victoria and Alexander’s father, Prince Carl Phillip both gave readings. Princess Estelle sat next to her father, Prince Daniel, but much like her cousin, Princess Leonore, she enjoyed playing ‘musical chairs’ during the service.
Prince Carl Phillip was then presented with his son’s baptismal candle. At the end of the christening, Alexander was presented with the pale sash representing the Royal Order of the Seraphim by his granddad, King Carl XVI Gustaf. The order was created in 1748 by King Frederick I. Princess Sofia looked a proud mother, after laughing at her son’s reluctance to let go of the King’s hand.
The guard of honour at the ceremony was provided by The Life Guards. The soldiers, whose regiment dates back to 1521 stood alongside palace walls while guests entered and left the chapel.
After the service, the extended Royal Family and the godparents posed for a photo, before attending a reception, held at Drottningholm palace, hosted by Their Majesties, The King and Queen. Outside the Palace, a 21-gun salute was fired from HMS Kullen to honour the newest Swedish Prince.
Upon Alexander’s birth, the King bestowed on him the title of ‘Duke of Södermanland’, creating the title for the eighth time since 1302.