Since I am a Swede I have to comment on the announcement yesterday that the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden has announced her engagement and intent to marry next summer. The government has formally approved (which is their privilege according to the constitution).
What is funny though is the man that she has decided to marry. It a certain Mr (now Duke) Daniel Westling, a fitness trainer and gym owner with no noble or royal blood whatsoever. That would have been a scandal a century ago, but is perfectly normal these days. I guess a to-be queen marrying a personal trainer is also some kind of sign of the times… in the 1800s, I guess the equivalent would have been an explorer to Africa or similar adventurous types. But today, these are the kinds of people that are popular and visible. Even so, this particular specimen does not strike me as particularly impressive. On the other hand, having that kind of job at least keeps him close to home and should make it pretty easy to move into a formal representative role as there is no real busy career taking place.
The lack-luster career of Duke Daniel has caused some fairly funny commentary. In particular, Stern.de had some derogatory things to say about his business performance.
Anyway, but I think the really important part of this is the psychological effect on Sweden.
Is it just coincidence that this marriage is finally announced now, right in the middle of a recession? Having a royal marriage coming up should lift people’s spirits some. And for the next year, the popular press is going to have a nice uplifting gossipy topic that will ensure high circulation and dampen the effect of recession on them.
Good work by the Court!