Royal christenings in Sweden are seen as state affairs rather than private family events which means the most recent ones have also been shown on national television. The christenings of future reigning monarchs or their children are generally held in the Royal Chapel, The Royal Palace, Stockholm, the official residence of the Swedish monarch, however others are usually held in the chapel at Drottningholm Palace which is a private residence.
The christening robe used by the Swedish royal family dates back to 1906 and it was first worn by Prince Gustaf Adolf, the present king’s father, who was killed in a plane crash in 1947. The gown has become the family’s traditional christening gown and has been worn by the king’s three children, and each of his grandchildren to date. The name of each child and the date of the christening are embroidered on to the gown afterwards. Carl XVI Gustaf has also reinstated the tradition of granting a royal baby the Order of the Seraphim on their christening day and a miniature sash version is draped over the christening gown.
The christening itself isn’t the first ceremony held to welcome a newborn into the church as a service of Thanksgiving known as a Te Deum is held in the Royal Chapel the day after the birth of the child. Guests usually include members of the immediate family, representatives of the Riksdag and the Government, and other official representatives.
The silver baptismal font designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger in 1696, took the French silversmith, François Cousinet, eleven years to finish, however it only seems to be used for the christenings of a monarch’s children or the children of the heir. Recently, the silver font was used for the christenings of both of Crown Princess Victoria’s children, Estelle and Oscar, however the children of her sister, Princess Madeleine, were christened with a golden font. In the picture above, the left image shows Prince Oscar being christened in the Royal Chapel, while the image on the right shows Princess Madeleine’s daughter, Leonore, standing near the golden font used at her brother’s christening.
The Swedish royal family also have two different cradles where the babies are placed during the christening reception at the palace. The older cradle on the left was presented to the future Charles XI in 1655 as a christening gift from his parents and it is now only used for the christenings of the heir to the throne. The cradle was last used for the christening of Princess Estelle who is second in the line of succession behind her mother, Crown Princess Victoria.
The second cradle was made for the birth of Karl XV in 1826 and it was first used as a christening cradle for the baptism of Princess Eugénie in 1830 after which it was referred to as the Princess’s Ceremonial Cradle. The cradle is placed on Georg Haupt’s ceremonial podium. In the image above, Princess Madeleine is seen standing over the cradle which is holding her daughter, Princess Leonore.