New portraits of betrothed couple Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and his fiancée Sofia Hellqvist have been released by the royal family.The beautiful images show the prince, 35, and raven-haired beauty Sofia, 29, pictured three months after their engagement was announced.Royal fans were quick to draw comparisons between the Swedish couple and Britain's own Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, when they shared their wedding news in 2010.
PHOTOS FOR GALLERY
Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip announced their engagement in June
In the new official snaps, Carl Philip and Sofia beam out at the camera as they pose in a tender embrace. The former model looks particularly radiant, wearing an elegant royal blue wraparound dress – not dissimilar to the famous sapphire silk wrap gown Kate wore at her engagement to William.In another solo portrait, Sofia's dark brunette locks are styled into loose waves that tumble over her shoulders, also reminiscent of Kate's trademark look. The Swedish beauty's circular engagement ring is neatly pictured on her ring finger.When William and Kate posed for photographs in the State Apartments of St James Palace on the day they announced their engagement, the Duchess, 32, drew admiration from fashion watchers.
Kate and Prince William at their 2010 engagement photocall
Not long after the pictures were released, Issa London – the brand behind Kate's dress – experienced the "Kate effect", with shoppers rushing to the store and its website to emulate the royal's elegant style.Within a matter of hours the dress, created by Brazilian Daniella Issa Helayel, had sold out. It was reproduced in the same shade and went on to sell out again.Much like William and Kate, Carl Philip and Sofia's engagement was confirmed in an official statement released by the palace. "The Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce the engagement between Prince Carl Philip and Miss Sofia Hellqvist," it read. "After His Majesty The King of Sweden had given his consent to the marriage between Prince Carl Philip and Miss Sofia Hellqvist, His Majesty requested the approval by the Swedish Government, in accordance with the procedures set out in the Swedish Constitution. "Rumours of a royal engagement had been rife for months, for the couple who met in 2009 in a night club. The couple, who live together in Stockholm's affluent neighbourhood of Djurgården, started dating the following year.