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Sweden royal wedding: Prince Carl Philip marries ex-reality star

media captionPrince Carl Philip married Princess Sofia at Stockholm's Royal Palace in 2015

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip has married a former reality-TV star and glamour model in a lavish ceremony in the chapel at Stockholm's Royal Palace.

Sofia Hellqvist, 30, also worked as a topless model and a yoga instructor before helping to set up a charity.

Her new husband, 36-year-old Carl Philip, is third in line to the throne.

Thousands of well-wishers lined the streets for the event, despite polls suggesting the Swedish royal family's popularity is waning.

They cheered as Miss Hellqvist, a 30-year-old commoner, became a princess.

image copyrightAFP
image captionThe couple treated cheering fans to a kiss after their wedding ceremony
image copyrightAFP
image captionSweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf (left) delivered a speech after the wedding
image copyrightAFP
image captionThe new bride appears to have adjusted quickly to the pomp and ceremony of royal life

After their marriage, the couple took to a horse-drawn carriage to parade through the cobbled streets of Stockholm's old town, waving to crowds in the hot summer sun, before returning to the palace for a 21-gun salute and wedding banquet.

About 550 guests attended the ceremony, many of them royals, including Princess Takamado of Japan and Britain's Prince Edward.

Prince Carl Philip was initially reported to have had difficulties putting the ring on his bride's finger while the royal couple said their vows.

A band played a version of the Coldplay song Fix You in the royal chapel, and the newly weds were then serenaded by a man singing a Swedish version of the song Umbrella by Rihanna.

The pair reportedly first met at a restaurant in 2010, with news of their relationship being revealed soon after.

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe ceremony took place inside Stockholm's Royal Palace
image copyrightReuters
image captionGuests walked down a red carpet to the chapel ahead of the wedding
image copyrightEPA
image captionCrown Princess Victoria is Carl Philip's elder sister

Sofia Hellqvist: A real Cinderella story

The Swedish media made much of Ms Hellqvist's past, which included posing topless with a boa constrictor for a men's magazine in 2004.

A year later she appeared on the Swedish reality TV show Paradise Hotel, in which scantily dressed singletons compete to stay in a luxury resort.

In response to the media interest, Ms Hellqvist told Swedish television that she had long since moved on.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe couple posed for photos after their wedding

"I don't regret anything. All these experiences have made me the person I am," Ms Hellqvist said. "I wouldn't have made those choices today," she added.

Amid rumours that her past had caused disquiet among the royal family, the palace has emphasised her charity work.

In 2010 she co-founded the Project Playground charity which helps disadvantaged children in South Africa. She has also worked as a volunteer in several African countries.

Ms Hellqvist, who is from the central Swedish town of Alvdalen, also studied accounting in New York in 2005 and worked there as a yoga teacher and a waitress.

On Friday evening, more than 200 wedding guests attended a dinner in honour of the couple on the island of Skeppsholmen.

Carl Philip is third in line to the throne behind his elder sister Crown Princess Victoria and her three-year-old daughter, Princess Estelle.

Related Topics

  • Royalty
  • Sweden

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