As the world waits for the highly-anticipated wedding of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, his ex-girlfriend Emma Pernald is speaking out about her 10-year relationship with the royal. For Emma, it came as a surprise when Carl Philip, who is set to marry Sofia Hellqvist next weekend, said he had never felt the "magic of love" before meeting his new fiancée.
"It was strange to hear that," said Emma, in an interview in Swedish-language publication Aftonbladet. "I felt love in the 10 years that we shared together."
However, she also wanted to make clear that she felt no bitterness towards her ex-boyfriend. When she heard that Carl Philip had proposed to 30-year-old model Sofia, Emma, who still remains on amicable terms with the royal, congratulated him wholeheartedly.
The pair met when Carl Philip was 19 and throughout their decade-long relationship, Emma became known as the pretty and popular "girl from Gothenburg" in the media.
In 2002, the couple moved in together, which led royal watchers to believe that Emma and Carl Philip would eventually marry. From day one, she was warmly received by the royal family and in 2006 Emma was one of the select invited guests to attend his father King Carl XVI Gustaf's 60th birthday party.
Emma was also very close to Carl Philip's sisters, Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine. When she and the prince decided to split in March 2009 – something that was a mutual decision – Victoria and Madeleine were said to have encouraged their brother to resume the romance.
Emma, who worked in public relations while she dated the Prince, is now a happily-married mother of two who works at global advertising agency.
Emma's comments came after Carl Philip, 36, declared his love for his future wife in a joint interview. "I don't think I knew the magic of love before I met Sofia," the prince told Swedish channel TV 4. "But ever since I met her, I've seen how love can change a person."
"I completely agree," said Sofia. "Carl Philip is definitely the right person for me. He's my best friend."