On 6 August a nowadays quite rare wedding between two royals took place in Stigtomta, a small village near Nyköping, Södermanland, Sweden. 32-year-old Prince Manuel of Bavaria, son of Prince Leopold “Poldi” of Bavaria and his wife Ursula “Uschi” Möhlenkamp, married 27-year-old Princess Anna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, daughter of Prince Ludwig-Ferdinand zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Countess Yvonne Wachtmeister af Johannishus. The couple fell in love three years ago during a hunting party by Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis and got engaged in March 2004. They live in the USA at the moment. Prince Manuel is working on his promotion as biologist there and Princess Anna is studying ‘Creative Writing’ in New York and wants to become a writer. The couple had chosen to get married in the old and romantic church of Stigtomta because it is close to the Nääs Säteri estate where the Swedish maternal family of the bride lives. At this estate already the evening before the wedding a nice Bavarian ‘Trachten’ party took place, on which Queen Silvia of Sweden even wore a Dirndl from 1972 when she was a hostess at the Olympic Games in Munich.
Prince Manuel and his brother Prince Konstantin; the bride and her father arrive at church (Copyright: Netty Leistra)
More than 300 guests were invited for the celebration of the wedding on August 6 which unfortunately turned out to be a quite rainy day. Most of the guests arrived in busses, all dressed in evening dress and ladies with tiaras. No less than sixteen security people had been hired to keep a close look at the church and environment. The most notable guests were King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden with their children Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. The family is very well befriended with the groom and his family. Also Princess Christina, Mrs Magnuson’s son Oscar showed up with a girlfriend. Among the other guests were Countess Anna Wachtmeister af Johannishus (grandmother of the bride), Duke Franz of Bavaria, Duchess Elizabeth in Bavaria with her daughters Helene and Maria Anna, Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Duke Philipp and Duchess Marie of Württemberg, Prince Adalbert and Princess Sandra of Bavaria, Prince Philipp von Hessen with fiancée Laetitia Bechtolf, Prince Philipp zu Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, Prince Albrecht and Princess Angela zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Spielberg, Hereditary Prince Christian zu Fürstenberg, Prince and Princess von Bismarck, Countess Gunilla von Bismarck with former husband Luis Ortiz and son, It looked as if half of the village had been reading the morning newspaper in which the wedding and the coming of the royal family of Sweden had been pointed out. Despite of the rain tens of onlookers had come to have a look at the bridal couple and their guests. Among the best wishes the couple received even was a fax from Pope Benedict XVI.
The bride arrived at church about 20 minutes too late. It didn’t matter. On the arm of her father and under a nice flowery umbrella she patiently posed for the about thirty photographers who had made the trip to Stigtomta. She wore a beautiful white silk organza wedding dress with lace that had belonged to her maternal great-great-grandmother. The dress was designed by Munich based Christian Breidert. The bride didn’t wear a tiara, but a Swedish inspired wreath of myrtle. The bride was followed into church by her bridesmaids, the two page boys as well as four little flower girls. Flower girl Elisabeth von Wulffen refused to go into church and remained outside during the wedding.
The church was decorated with green and mainly pink flowers and pink ribbons. The church service that finally started around 15.25 was led by the Rev. Johan Dalman from Uppsala together with catholic priest Fredrik Emanuelson, as the bride is protestant and the groom catholic. The service was conducted in Swedish and German. The choir of ViN from the Vrinnevi Hospital in Norrköping sang at the wedding, as well as Tanya Finnell, a friend of the bride from New York.
Bride and groom leave church (Copyright: Netty Leistra)
When the bride and groom left church it rained worse than when they entered. But as Prince Manuel pointed out: “This is one of the best days in my life, the weather doesn’t matter.” The sides of the path from the church to the oldtimer BMW which would take bride and groom to the reception, was crowded with guests who strew pink rose petals on the happy and smiling bride and groom. Despite of the rain the couple found time to kiss each other in front of the cameras and their guests, but then had to go into the car so that the wedding dress wouldn’t be ruined. The car finally drove away preceded by another BMW oldtimer police car that had a big card saying ‘Just Married’ behind the back window. They drove to the Nääs Säteri estate where the dinner and a huge party took place in a tent in the backyard. Countess Gunilla von Bismarck even danced on the tables. The party went on until the late hours.
Service taken by:
Revd. Dr. Johan Dalman
Revd. Father Fredrik Emanuelson OMI
Organist: Mr. Henric de Koster, MA
Soloists: Miss Tanya Finnell and Mr. Andreas Olsson
Trumpet: Mr. Stefan Mattson
Choir: ViN Kören Norrköping
Mr. Martin Bürgener
Mr. Caspar Gernhardt
Miss Canan Gündüz
Baron Hubertus von Maffei
Miss Susanna Palm
Miss Amelie Reuterskiöld
Hymn: Ett bondbröllop by August Söderman
Uti vår Hage: Gotlandic folk song, arr: Hugo Alfvén
Praise to the Lord,
the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, Praise Him,
for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord,
Who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under
His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen
how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth
Praise to the Lord,
Who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and,
when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief
ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.
Ave Maria, by Franz Schubert
Så skimrande var aldrig havet, by Evert Taube
Andante from the concerto for trumpet in E-Flat, by Joseph Haydn
King of Creation,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I'd love Thee,
Truly I'd serve Thee,
Light of my soul, my Joy, my Crown.
Fair are the meadows
Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in flowers of blooming spring;
Jesus is fairer,
Jesus is purer;
He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.
Fair is the sunshine,
Fair is the moonlight,
Bright the sparkling stars on high;
Jesus shines brighter,
Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels in the sky.
Glädjens blomster, Gotlandic folk song, arr: Hugo Alfvén
Voluntary in D, by John Stanley
(name removed on request)
Dr. Tatjana Countess von Hardenberg
Count Leopold Fugger von Babenhausen
H.S.H. Prince Carl-Christian von Wrede
Baroness Stephanie von und zu Guttenberg
Miss Miriam Mahlow
H.R.H. Prince Konstantin of Bavaria
Baron Hubertus von Maffei
Mr. Caspar Palm
H.S.H. Prince Heinrich XX Reuss
H.S.H. Prince Carl-Albrecht zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
H.S.H. Prince August zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
H.R.H. Princess Felipa of Bavaria
Miss Catharina Palm
Miss Vanessa Palm
H.S.H. Princess Theodora zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
Mr. Vincent Woeste
H.R.H. Duke Carl-Theodor von Württemberg
Baroness Anna von und zu Guttenberg
Countess Diana Wachtmeister af Johannishus
Countess Marguerite Wachtmeister af Johannishus
Miss Elisabeth von Wulffen