"It's a true delight for me to be here tonight. To feel your power, your happiness and your sense of community," Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden told the rapt audience gathered at her most recent engagement. The emotion behind her words was fitting for what local press described as her "historic" appearance at her nation's annual Gay Gala earlier this week.
Victoria had left her daughter Estelle in the care of Prince Daniel in order to present the night's top award to author Jonas Gardell. His moving book Never Dry Tears Without Gloves has captured the Swedish imagination and is set to be turned into a TV series which will take his message to an international audience. Thunderous applause filled the auditorium as Victoria, stunning in a classic black column, appeared onstage to the strains of ABBA's Dancing Queen, her minute-long standing ovation almost drowning out her entry music. As she presented Jonas with his award, the royal paid tribute to his work: "Few have touched us and made us as proud as you have. Your message is clear: Straighten your back. Stretch out your hand. We will wipe each other's tears."
Jonas responded by quipping: "Victoria, you're our crown princess, but I think tonight, I'm our queen''.
The pair agreed to disagree on royal titles, but there were no hard feelings as Victoria showed her solidarity by grabbing Jonas' hand and raising it high above her head in a triumphant gesture.In two short weeks, the mum-of-one will have more reason to celebrate when her daughter Estelle celebrates her first birthday on January 23.
As a future queen and a child who is clearly adored by her parents Victoria and Daniel, there will no doubt be celebrations – and perhaps a photo or two – to mark the little girl's first year.