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May 17, 2015

Everything you need to know about Sweden's new Princess Sofia


Everything you need to know about Swedens next Princess: Sofia Hellqvist

Next month, on June 13th, Sofia Hellqvist will walk down the isle of Slottskyrkan church in Stockholm to marry her prince, His Royal Highness Prince Carl Philip of Sweden. Her relationship with the prince and her transformation into a Princess has been everything but easy and certainly not without complications.

Sofia‘s background

Sofia Kristina Hellqvist was born on 6 December 1984 to parents Marie and Erik Hellqvist. She is her parents second born, her older sisters name is Lina and her younger sister is Sara. Sofia was born in Täby, Sweden but brought up in Älvdalen, Dalarna a small town in Sweden. She moved to Stockholm when she was eighteen years old to work as a model and a waitress.

In 2005 Sofia moved to New York to study accounting with computer application, specializing in business development at the Institute of English and Business in New York. During her time in New York she also studied to become a certified yoga instructor and taught yoga classes.

In 2010 Sofia founded Project Playground together with Frida Vesterberg. Project Playground is a non-profit organisation which main goal is to help vulnerable children and young people in South Africa. As the name of the organisation suggests, it helps young people and children by creating a safe platform and meeting place with activities and programs that are run by adults who act as leaders and role models.

Sofia worked as President for Project Playground from 2010 until April 2015 when she stepped down in order for her to be able to take on her new role as Princess of Sweden.

Sofia's journey to acceptance

Before Sofia and the Prince started dating, Sofia was semi famous in her home country after her participation in the reality series Paradise Hotel and for being a semi-nude cover model for a Swedish magazine.

The two began dating in early 2010 and in the beginning the press bullied Sofia on account of her past. She has later stated that she does not regret anything from her past, because it has help shape her into the person she is today. The press also reported on an alleged feud between Sofia and Carl Philips sister, Princess Madeleine, stating that the two did not get along and that the royal family in general did not accept her because of her past. Furthermore, there were rumors about the Royal family being on the fence because of Sofia‘s past and that she was not accepted into the family by the royal family members.

Prince Carl Philip has commented on the rumors, stating that they are simply not true and that Sofia has been welcome into his family from the beginning. Of course, there has been no official statement on that but in the annual documentary „The year with the royal family“ which aired a few months ago, (the first one Sofia was a part of) Sofia described how the royal family has made her feel welcome from day one.

When Princess Estelle was christened in 2012 Sofia was one of the guests, along with Chris O‘Neill despite the fact that neither of them were engaged into the royal family at that time. That was thought to be a clear sign that Sofia (and Chris O‘Neill) were in fact already considered family. Sofia has since then, been an active participant in family events such as Princess Lilian's funeral in March 2013, the publishing of the banns of marriage between Princess Madeleine and Chris O‘Neill in May 2013, Princess Madeleine‘s wedding in June 2013 and Princess Leonore's christening in June 2014. An even stronger indicator that the royal family loves Sofia is the fact that she was on the family photo for the publishing of the banns of marriage between Princess Madeleine and Chris O‘Neill in May two years ago and that she was one of the top people on the guest list to Princess Leonore's christening last year. If that isn't evidence enough for you, consider the fact that she has been lent clothes and accessories by her future sister in law, CrownPrincess Victoria and that Princess Madeleine trusted her with her precious daughter, Princess Leonore, during the birthday celebrations for the King in April when she could just as well have turned to Prince Daniel for help who was also standing next to her.

Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip 


Sofia‘s new role as Princess of Sweden

Sofia has transformed in the years she has dated Prince Carl Philip. So have other girls who have been in her shoes in the past, just look at Mette-Marit and Kate Middleton. Or Charlene. Things change when you marry a prince and your style budget goes from Primark to Prada. Sofia has a simple yet good sense of style and she has been lucky enough to be able to borrow clothes and accessories from her soon to be sisters in law. She has even added a Bottega Veneta „The Knot“ in her collection, just like other princesses of Europe have. Whatever the press may say about Sofia, she is a kind and generous young lady who has dedicated many years of her live to help others. She will undoubtedly continue doing so as Princess of Sweden.

The marriage between Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip will take place in Slottskyrkan Church on Saturday 13th June 2015. As of 13th June 2015, Sofia's official title will be Her Royal Highness Princess Sofia of Sweden, Duchess of Värmland. The event will be aired live on Swedish television.

The official hashtags for the wedding are: #kungligtbröllop2015 and #royalwedding2015

Photo: Project Playground

April 23, 2015

Kate Middleton - The Subject of "Thin Bashing"

Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Nikki Minaj and Iggy Azalea undoubtedly represent the new ideal of the curvy, healthy-looking woman, yet have artists and the media gone so far deifying women with this body type, that bashing those who are naturally thin-framed has become a new form of bullying? Meghan Trainor’s All About the Bass was a big hit world-round, not only because of its catchy rhythms and unforgettable melody, but also because it encouraged millions of fuller-figured women to embrace their curves and show them off with pride. Still, within the lyrics is a little dig at slimmer women (“I’m bringing booty back, go ‘head and tell them skinny bitches that.”), surely indicative of a lack of acceptance rather than a tolerance and acceptance of all types of beauty.

Catherine Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge has undoubtedly been subject to much criticism for her lithe frame since her engagement to Prince William was officially announced. In 2012, American TV show host Katie Couric said that although the Duchess was the guest she would most like to visit her show, “I think she needs to eat more because she’s so thin”. Her statement caused an uproar owing to its implication that Kate deliberately refrained from eating healthily (the media began speaking in terms of an eating disorder), yet far from abating following this incident, criticism of Kate’s figure has continued to appear in tabloids and serious publications alike. Just recently, feminist Germaine Greer said that while Kate is “a great deal more intelligent than the rest of the royals,” her freedom has been curtailed: “She has learned what she has to do and say and how to do and say it in the approved way. Spontaneity will get her in trouble.” As if all that wasn’t enough, Greer added, “The girl is too thin.”

 These comments lead us to frame the question: who has the right to decide whether or not the Duchess is actually ‘too thin’? Evidence that Kate actually dieted prior to the wedding is scant, with some reports claiming she strictly followed the Dukan diet and other stating she is a firm follower of the raw food diet and still others citing healthy juices and smoothies as the reason for her slim frame. Ultimately, in the absence of any statement from the Duchess herself, it makes little sense to make statements suggesting that the Duchess is eating irresponsibly in the aim of attaining an ideal of thinness that is expected of actors, celebrities, and females from the royal family.

One new study published by researchers from Kent University shows that some people can consume many calories without gaining weight, while others can consume far less and pack on the pounds. The study compared female rates with a genetic tendency to be slim, with those which tended towards obesity. They found that when resting, the rats in the two groups consumed the same amount of energy but when they exercised, the lean rats burned more calories than the fuller rats. In a previous study, the same team had showed that an animal’s ability to transport oxygen and use it during exercise influences its shape; those with a higher aerobic capacity tended to be thinner. Therefore, it is impossible to ascertain a person’s actual caloric consumption based on their appearance.

The issue goes beyond the scientific, of course. Thin bashing has come to be akin to bullying and social media is ablaze with imagery and memes such as the following (often, interestingly, accompanying photographs of Marilyn Monroe): “Before the glorification of ‘skinny’ there was something called ‘sexy’”, “Real men like curves, only dogs go for bones” or “A woman without curves is like jeans without pockets.” Clearly meant to raise the confidence levels of those who are curvy, the memes are hardly accepting of those with the opposite body type – and no, not everyone with a low BMI is competing with other females or under the throes of an eating disorder, though even if the latter were the case, much can be said for the value of support and acceptance in lieu of criticism. We can take a stance against thin bashing precisely by not looking to royals or celebrities to define our ideals of beauty, and by refusing to take part in the new sport of thin bashing.

This is an article by Helen Wilshire

April 19, 2015

Last weeks details

Mette-Marit was in Copenhagen last week to celebrate Queen Margrethe. She wore her gold chain headband we have seen her use many times before. Its the same headband she wore to Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume's wedding to Stéphanie de Lannoy. The headband is versatile since the ribbons can easily be switched out for other color ribbons or no ribbons at all.


Mette-Marit loves to get a lot of use out of her accessories. A while back she posted a photo on Instagram of an old hat she had recycled and got four headpieces out of.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden made an appearance in Copenhagen last week as well. To the private dinner on Thursday, she wore an Elie Saab dress, the same one her sister wore to the gala dinner the day before her wedding in June 2013. I have reported on the Swedish girls cloth swaps and sharing. Check it out here.

Princess Madeleine shared a photo of Princess Leonore wearing a pink hat from Swedish brand Livly last week.





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