Sweden`s future queen to wed ex-personal trainer

Sweden`s future queen Crown Princess Victoria is set to wed her former personal trainer.

Last Updated: Jun 20, 2010, 00:43 AM IST

Stockholm: Sweden`s future queen Crown
Princess Victoria is set to wed her former personal trainer
today in one of the largest public celebrations ever organised
in Stockholm.

Crown Princess Victoria, 32, will tie the knot with
36-year-old commoner Daniel Westling in an afternoon ceremony
at the Stockholm Cathedral before a majestic procession
through the streets of the capital, decked out in flowers
and blue and yellow flags.

More than 1,200 guests, including royals from around
the world like Beatrix of the Netherlands, Albert of Monaco,
Jordan`s King Abdullah and a slew of Scandinavian majesties
have been invited to witness the exchange of vows.

The ceremony and surrounding events are "much more
important than all of those ever organised" by the royal
palace, its information chief Nina Eldh said.

The Swedish capital, made up of 14 islands and set in
a Baltic Sea archipelago of some 24,000 islands, should prove
a picturesque backdrop for the princess`s big day.

After the ceremony, the couple will ride through the
city centre in a horse-drawn carriage before navigating
Stockholm`s clear waters in the same royal barge Victoria`s
parents, Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf, used on
their wedding day, 34 years ago to the day.

The nearly seven-kilometre route will be the longest
ever taken by a Swedish royal cortege, according to
Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Beck-Friis Haell.

The newlyweds and those hoping to catch a glimpse of
the couple will be entertained by some 20 bands -- 19 of them
military -- placed along the procession route.

No fewer than 6,000 military personnel will be spread
throughout Stockholm, and 18 Gripen fighter jets will fly high
above the newlyweds and their fans.

Some 2,000 police officers, many donning newly-issued
uniforms, will also patrol the streets in the largest-ever
operation by the force in the capital, where traffic has been
disrupted for days and will be completely closed off most of
today.

When planning the massive security measures, Swedish
police said they had drawn on the experience of the
Netherlands, where security around royal events has been
beefed up after seven bystanders were killed in a failed
attack on the royal family in 2009.

Today`s event is expected to attract large crowds,
including families with children, and police said they would
establish no fewer than eight centres throughout the capital
to help reunite lost little ones with their parents.

PTI