One of Europe’s most eligible royal bachelors, Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, will wed his longtime sweetheart Sofia Hellqvist in Stockholm on Saturday. The prince, 36, and his fiancée, 30, have asked well-wishers to donate to a charity set up for the occasion in lieu of wedding gifts.
In an announcement on the Swedish palace website, they say the Prince Couple’s Foundation will “promote and support children and youth in care and educational settings,” and is backed with the “sincere commitment” of the royal couple. The statement also noted that any other gifts may be dropped off at the royal palace by Friday, the day before their wedding.
Meanwhile, Sofia’s sparkler isn’t a family heirloom. Carl Philip got the ring from court jeweler W.A. Bolin in Stockholm. The same luxe jewelry house made the ring for his sister, Crown Princess Victoria. The round center stone is surrounded by a halo of diamonds and sits on a double-diamond band. Carl Philip has said he had a hand in its design, although he admits that he had a bit of help. “The ring has fine proportions and fits in well with the charity work she does in South Africa. Here it is important that the stone isn’t too large,” jewelery expert Johanna Pietsch told Royalista, estimating that the center diamond is less than a carat.
The prince, meanwhile, bid adieu to single life in April, when his closest friends whisked him away for a weekend in Greece. His future wife even secretly packed his bags before he was off for the outing. The celebrations were reportedly planned with the help of his sister, the crown princess.
Sofia’s hen weekend was more low-key than her fiancé’s. With her two sisters, close friends, and future sister in-law Victoria at her side, Sofia spent a weekend away at a lavish mansion on the banks of Lake Mälaren, about an hour west of Stockholm. The converted 17th century manor house has 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms and includes a library, hot tub, dining room, home cinema, games room and an English-style pub.