With the marriage of his sister Princess Madeleine of Sweden to New York financier boyfriend Christopher O’ Neill, there are rumors flying about that the relationship between Carl-Philip and Sofia Hellqvist is about to be made official. Sofia has been eased into increasingly serious and exclusive royal functions and has attended the christening of Crown Princess Victoria’s daughter (Princess Estelle) and the funeral of Princess Lillian as a member of the royal party. Before the wedding, during the engagement appearances, she attended the banns ceremony for Princess Madeleine.
Sofia has led a checkered life, filled with an unconventional, unorthodox lifestyle before she met Prince Carl Philip and settled into a life of charity, taking vacations with him, and recently attending royal events on his arm.
At the age of six she moved with her family to Alvdalen (she was born in Taby) and later moved to study in Stockholm, working as a part time waitress and glamour model to pay the bills. She was voted “Miss Slitz” in 2004 after she did a debut photo-shoot for the men’s magazine Slitz and wore only a bikini bottom and a boa contrictor as a covering for her chest. This photoshoot came back to haunt her in 2010 when she was discovered and made a public debut as the official serious girlfriend of Prince Carl-Philip, which was published by the Swedish tabloid Expressen.
Interestingly, this very photo-shoot led to an offer to participate in the reality show, Paradise Hotel on the TV4 television station. She accepted and made it to the final stage, becoming part of a much publicized ongoing feud with fellow contestant Olinda Castielle. Sofia managed to get rid of her rival when she (Sofia) was granted the opportunity to vote a fellow contestant off the show.
After the 2005 stint on Paradise Hotel, she moved to New York City and studied to beocme a yoga instructor. She gained notoriety in the US tabloid headlines when she was published in a tabloid as being seen making out with US porn star Jenna Jameson during a Las Vegas visit. In 2009 she spent the months between August and October traveling to Ghana to participate in charity work, assisting in building a women’s center.
It was a year later, August 2010 when a courtier of the Swedish royal court, Nina Eldh released a formal statement released on behalf the palace/royal family. It confirmed the romantic relationship and put the Swedish monarchy on the defense and triggered a large PR crisis because of Sofia’s past history as a soft core porn model and past stint as a contestant in a reality show. They moved into a private estate of the prince’s in Djurgarden, Sweden in April of 2011 and it has been since then their official residence.
The relationship has gone from strength to strength and has not at all weakened, despite the worries of conservatives at the Swedish Court. This impending public relations crisis is similar to that of when Crown Prince Haakon wanted to marry Mette-Marit, a woman for who Haakon threatened to renounce his rights to the throne.
The current Crown Princess of Norway, Mette-Marit was a former drug addict and single mother working as a waitress and picking berries during harvest season, but much was forgiven since she was seen to have been working hard at bettering herself when she met Haakon and she had worked at honest jobs at the time she met him. However, it isn’t just a few risque photos being circulated, but for a potential princess to have lived that as a chosen lifestyle is something else entirely. Often women who choose to get involved in such shady lifestyles are in fact victims of severe abuse.
For Sofia to become an advocate for victims of abuse and exploitation to improve her image (an expected route) and use as her agenda as princess is undermined by the fact that to all accounts Sofia great up in an intact home environment and was surrounded by plenty of opportunities for a solid job that could have led to a straightforward and perfectly respectable career. Instead she chose to start on a shady ‘career’ as a men’s magazine model (while still underage) and continued to live a lifestyle of cohabiting with a man who had a six year old son, spending time in New York to ostensibly open a yoga studio, but instead spent time making out with legendary adult film star Jenna Jameson. There is the possiblity of a morganatic marriage, with Sofia becoming Duchess of Varmland, but not Princess Sofia of Sweden. If a morganatic marriage doesn’t happen, will end up being her official title in Sweden and around the world as representative of the Swedish nation.
The match would be hugely controversial since it could be easily said that Sofia was a soft core pornography model and to have someone with her past titled and considered a delegate of the people of Sweden, there are huge fears that the rest of the world would get the wrong impression. The Swedes are among the liberal and understanding coalition of Scandinavian countries whose populations are more freethinking towards unconventional lifestyles, but there might be a limit and Prince Carl-Philip might have a huge uphill battle.
Since becoming publicly known as his official girlfriend Sofia has lived with the prince in his summer residence and has founded her own small charitable organization to help create recreational facilities in Africa. Since moving in she has become a pampered princess in training and was supposed to become a bridesmaid for the wedding of Princess Madeleine, but ended up an honored guest when it was decided that small children would precede Madeleine to the altar. She gained a prominent amount of coverage and sat closely near the royal family among the other guests.
Royal watchers believe it’s only a matter of time until there is an announcement of an engagement between the two and she will likely end up a newly minted addition to the royal family.