Sweden gets ready for Prince Oscar’s baptism

European royalty, the arch bishop and spring water from a Swedish island. What more do you need for a royal christening?

Sweden gets ready for Prince Oscar's baptism
A happy Princess Victoria and a not equally happy Prince Oscar. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

It's been a right royal spring for Sweden, with the birth of Prince Oscar followed by Princess Sofia giving birth to Prince Alexander and King Carl XVI Gustaf himself celebrating his 70th birthday.

Some of you may be experiencing a feeling akin to that of the moment after you gorged on an entire Swedish Princess Cake (prinsesstårta) at the thought of reading any more stories about royalty.

The rest of you may keep reading.

On Tuesday Sweden's Royal Court released more information about the upcoming christening of Prince Oscar, who will officially get his name on May 27th, in a ceremony held at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm.

The ceremony will be conducted by Sweden's archbishop Antje Jackelén, assisted by bishop and chief court chaplain Johan Dalman and royal chaplain Mikael Bjerkhagen.

“After the christening ceremony there will be a reception for invited guests, after which a private lunch will take place,” read a statement on the Royal Court's website.

The official guestlist was not disclosed, but it said it included members of the immediate family, European royal families and official representatives from Sweden's government and parliament.

Jackelén christened Prince Oscar's cousin Prince Nicolas last year. The outspoken minister, who has sparked headlines saying there is no contradiction between believing in God and evolution, was sworn in as Sweden's first female archbishop in June 2014.

“The baptism is a seemingly simple act with great power,” she told The Local ahead of Nicolas' christening. “The Church's conviction is that this is the most beautiful gift – and the most important task – a human can receive, even a prince.”

Oscar is set to be christened in the same dress worn by all members of the royal family before him, including his sister Princess Estelle and King Carl XVI Gustaf. Special water will be brought in for the ceremony from a spring on the island of Öland, where the family owns a summer residence.

Oscar – who was born on March 2nd at the Karolinska hospital – will be formally named Prince Oscar Carl Olof. His parents are Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.


Utøya film makes shortlist for Norway’s Oscar entry

U – July 22, this year’s film about Anders Breivik’s 2011 massacre, is one of three contenders to be put forward for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Utøya film makes shortlist for Norway's Oscar entry
A still from the film U – July 22. Photo: U – July 22
The Norwegian Oscar Committee on Wednesday announced a shortlist of three films, ahead of picking its final candidate next Tuesday. 
U – July 22, directed by Erik Poppe, is vying against What Will People Say, by the Norwegian-Pakistani director Iram Haq, and Blind Spot, a film directed by the Swedish-Czech actress Tuva Novotny. 
In its announcement, the committee said that Poppe's film had brought the tragedy to life. 
“A large number of facts from AUF’s summer camp on July 22 2011 have already been published,” it said. “But few of us know a lot about the unimaginable panic and confusion that occurred or the impossible choices the victims were faced with.” 
But the film faces stiff competition from What Will People Say, with Haq’s previous film I Am Yours put forward as Norway’s entry in 2013. 
Her new film follows a Norwegian-Pakistani girl precariously balancing her life as a normal teenager with a traditional Pakistani family existence at home. When her father catches her in bed with her Norwegian boyfriend, he has her kidnapped and sent home to Pakistan, where she discovers her parents’ culture in a new way. 
Finally, Blind Spot is the directoral debut for Novotny, who played Mariana Simionescu, the Wimbledon tennis champion who married Björn Borg, in the film Borg vs McEnroe.  The film is a story about the grey zones in mental illness. 
From October 1, the  Foreign Language Committee at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will begin assessing countries' submissions, reducing them to a shortlist of six. Three other films will then be added by an executive committee. 
Two further committees, one of the US East Coast and one on the US West Coast, will then select the five best to be nominated for the Oscar. 
The nominations will be announced on Tuesday 22 January, and the 2019 winner will be announced on Sunday, February 24.