The event, hosted by the government on the eve of the royal wedding, brought together members of the royal family and elected representatives from the vast majority of Sweden’s municipalities and counties.
“The people of Sweden have watched the Crown Princess from the moment she was born and witnessed her growing up. A lot of people feel involved in the wedding,” Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told news agency TT before the reception began.
“When an event of this magnitude takes place, we view it as a state occasion and we have invited guests here from all over the world. But we also want to unite all of Sweden, which is why we have invited the municipalities and county councils.”
An estimated 400 guests were in attendance, including most government ministers. Many municipalities took the opportunity to hand over their presents to the Crown Princess and the future Prince of Sweden, and a table soon filled up with gifts of varying shapes and sizes.
Malung/Sälen gave the couple a green Dala horse bearing a cloudberry pattern and the words “Victoria and Daniel”. Danderyd, a wealthy community on the outskirts of Stockholm, splashed out on a dark blue toaster emblazoned with their municipal emblem. Ekerö, also outside Stockholm, bore gifts of apple trees. Ockelbo, Daniel Westling’s home turf in eastern Sweden, gave the couple a traditional costume from the area.
After the reception, the couple left City Hall for a dinner hosted by the government at Eric Ericson Hall on the island of Skeppsholmen. Waiting reporters were drenched in a fearsome downpour an hour before the event was scheduled to begin but the sun had reappeared by the time the first members of the royal family arrived.