As Sweden gears up for the Royal Wedding between Crown Princess Victoria and douchey looking Daniel Westling, plenty of scandals surround the wedding.
First up, Daniel had a kidney transplant last year therefore his health is poor now. Supposedly. If he says he’s ready for the wedding, so be it.
Next annoyance is that Swedes are feeling less inclined to pay for the wedding. While the Swedish media exclaimed, “all the hotels in Stockholm are booked!” the reality is different. I searched on Expedia and several top hotels are available during the wedding weekend. No shortage there. Festivities being paid for by the city and taxpayers is more than 10 million kronor (and the king putting in another 10 million).
And, the feminists are angry. And so is the archbishop performing the royal wedding ceremony.
“Giving away the bride is a fairly new phenomenon that occasionally happens in the Swedish Church…I generally advise against it, since our wedding ritual is so clear when it comes to the equality of husband and wife.”
Because feminism in Sweden is strong, this is considered a serious lack of judgment on the Princess’ part. Unlike American feminism where women quickly place a double standard, Swedish feminism sticks to its goals. The Crown Princess wants her father, King Carl XVI Gustaf to walk her down the aisle at the wedding ceremony. While this is common practice in the United States, in Sweden it is customary for the couple to walk down the aisle together.
Annika Borg, a priest and theologian, believes Hollywood’s movie weddings influences Swedish brides to have the American way. She says, “It’s unfortunate that Sweden’s future head of state has chosen to follow a practice that is not Swedish tradition.” That’s because only 1 in 10 Swedish weddings “give the bride away” by the father.
Of course the view by the Royal Court is different.
“This has a bigger dimension. This isn’t a father giving away his daughter to another man. The symbolism is that the king is leading the heir to the nation’s throne to the altar — and to the man who has been accepted.”
I understand the Hollywood sensationalized fairy tale weddings. There’s no movie where bride’s father didn’t walk her down the aisle. And they are beautiful. If I had a western wedding, I want both my parents to walk me down the aisle or no one at all. Because both my parents participated in my upbringing, they both have the right to take part in this important tradition.
While some traditions last, others are subject to change. A dowry was traditional for thousands of years, but no longer common practice. And there’s the obsession with dads and daughters. Forgetting the cute ‘daddy’s daughter’ ideology, the real traditional wedding is about about cutting an expense, the daughter, for a price to the new owners (a dowry). That’s why patriarchal power still exists with the man in such weddings, they “give away” the daughter. I prefer my parents to say “we give our daughter blessing to marry this man” than “we give our daughter to this man.” See the difference in semantics?
Of course, Victoria should do what she wants but I find it strange to not follow Swedish traditions. I want to know why she came to such decision. The Royal Court’s statement justifies a practice that is archaic and American.
Does it make sense for the King to lead the future Queen down the aisle and give her to the common man? Or maybe the issue is not about feminism but about traditions, should this still happen anyway?
I wonder if more Swedish brides will be “given away” after the royal wedding or will stick to Swedish traditions.