Swedish Royal Wedding Look-Back: The Haga Princesses

  June 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm by

The third entry in our ‘Swedish Royal Wedding Look-Back’ series brings you four weddings, the marriages of Princess Madeleine’s aunts: Her Royal Highness Princess Birgitta of Sweden and His Serene Highness Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern; Her Royal Highness Princess Désirée of Sweden and Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld; Her Royal Highness Princess Margaretha of Sweden and Mr John Ambler; and Her Royal Highness Princess Christina of Sweden and Mr Tord Magnuson. Previous entries looked at the weddings of Gustaf Adolf and Margaret, and Gustaf Adolf and Sibylla.

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It was Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla’s second eldest daughter who was first to announce an engagement: Princess Birgitta and Prince Johann Georg, third son of Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern and Princess Margarete Karola of Saxony, were betrothed on December 15th, 1960. The pair had met at a cocktail party in Germany while Birgitta was visiting family.

Birgitta and Johann Georg were married in two ceremonies in 1961. A civil ceremony took place in Stockholm on May 25th, while the religious ceremony took place in Sigmaringen on May 30th. The civil ceremony took place at the Royal Palace, and Birgitta wore a gown created by the Märtaskolan, a Stockholm fashion/sewing school, which featured a high neckline, three-quarter sleeves, a full skirt and a four-metre train in ivory silk duchesse, and the Swedish Cameo Tiara.

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It was then off to Germany for the bridal entourage, so that the religious ceremony could take place at the Sankt Johann Church. Birgitta wore the same dress she did for her civil ceremony, but replaced the Cameo with a tiara from the Hohenzollern family, a diamond bridal crown.

The bride converted to Catholicism prior to her marriage, and retained her status as a Princess of Sweden with the style Royal Highness because of her equal marriage (Birgitta was the only one of the four ‘Haga Princesses’ to do so). She and Johann Georg have three children: Prince Carl Christian, Princess Désirée and Prince Hubertus. The couple have been separated since 1990, although have not divorced.

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Hop forward to 1963, and the engagement between Princess Désirée, Gustaf Adolf and Sibylla’s third daughter, and Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld was announced on December 18th. Désirée and Niclas were married on June 5th, 1964 at the Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral). The bride wore her elder sister Birgitta’s wedding gown and the family’s Cameo Tiara, but paired the tiara with an heirloom lace veil which originated with Queen Sofia and was also worn by the Haga Princesses’s mother, Princess Sibylla.

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The couple went on to have three children: Baron Carl Otto, Baroness Kristina-Louisa and Baroness Hèléne.

Two months after Désirée and Niclas announced their engagement, so did the eldest Haga Princess – Margaretha’s engagement to Englishman John Ambler took place on February 28th, 1964. She had met the businessman at a dinner party in England the previous year.

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Their wedding took place on the island of Öland on June 30th. The ceremony was held at the Gärdslösa Church, with Margaretha wearing a traditional Öland wedding crown in place of a royal tiara to anchor the family lace veil. Her gown, like her sisters before her, was made by the Märtaskolan (Margaretha had studied there). It featured a straight silhouette and full-length sleeves. Amongst the flowers in her bridal bouquet were daisies (the meaning of her name, and that of her paternal grandmother, Margaret of Connaught).  She was given away by her grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf.

Margaretha and John spent their married life in England, having three children – Sibylla, Charles Edward and James Patrick – before separating in 1994. John passed away in 2008.

From the TRF Avatar Gallery

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It was two weeks shy of ten years before the final Haga Princess was to wed – Princess Christina married Mr Tord Magnuson on June 15th, 1974 at the Palace Church in Stockholm (where Princess Madeleine will marry on Saturday). The couple’s engagement was announced by the Palace earlier that year, after having first met in 1961.

Christina also wore a wedding gown from the Märtaskolan, with a v-neckline and wrap top, with typical 1970s bell sleeves. She wore the Connaught Diamond Tiara, brought to the family by her paternal grandmother, and Queen Sofia’s lace veil.

The Magnusons have three sons: Gustaf, Oscar and Victor.

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