Swedish prince to marry reality star

A former reality TV star will become a princess when she marries Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip in a lavish ceremony in Stockholm.

Sofia Hellqvist, 30, also worked as a topless model and a yoga instructor before helping to set up a charity.

Her fiance, 36-year-old Carl Philip, is third in line to the Swedish throne.

Thousands of well-wishers are expected to line the streets for the event, despite polls suggesting the Swedish royal family’s popularity is waning.

The pair reportedly first met at a restaurant in 2010, with news of their relationship being revealed soon after.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia. 12 June 2015
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia attended a pre-wedding party on Friday
Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel arrive for the pre-wedding party. 12 June 2015
Crown Princess Victoria is Carl Philip’s elder sister
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist attend the Opening Ceremony of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships at the Lugnet venue in February 2015 in Falun, Sweden
The couple have become increasingly popular in Sweden

The Swedish media made much of Ms Hellqvist’s past, which included posing topless with a boa constrictor for a men’s magazine in 2004.

A year later she appeared on the Swedish reality TV show Paradise Hotel, in which scantily dressed singletons compete to stay in a luxury resort.

In response to the media interest, Ms Hellqvist told Swedish television that she had long since moved on.

“I don’t regret anything. All these experiences have made me the person I am,” Ms Hellqvist said. “I wouldn’t have made those choices today,” she added.

Amid rumours that her past had caused disquiet among the royal family, the palace has emphasised her charity work.

In 2010 she co-founded the Project Playground charity which helps disadvantaged children in South Africa. She has also worked as a volunteer in several African countries.

Ms Hellqvist, who is from the central Swedish town of Alvdalen, also studied accounting in New York in 2005 and worked there as a yoga teacher and a waitress.

On Friday evening, more than 200 wedding guests attended a dinner in honour of the couple on the island of Skeppsholmen.

The wedding will take place at the Royal Chapel, or Slottskyrkan, in Stockholm on Saturday.

Carl Philip is third in line to the throne behind his elder sister Crown Princess Victoria and her three-year-old daughter, Princess Estelle.

Source: BBC