The Swedish royal family gets up close and personal in new documentary

By Alexandra Hurtado

The Swedish royal family gets up close and personal in a newly released documentary titled The Year with the Royal Family . SVT documented the royals throughout 2015 as they welcomed new members into their ever-growing family and discussed organizations they hold close to their hearts. In the intimate interviews, the royals gets candid surrounding their projects, sharing childhood stories and updates on the little heirs to the Swedish throne.

Photo: Facebook/Princess Madeleine of Sweden

Perhaps one of the biggest highlights for King Carl XVI Gustaf and his family last year, was the royal wedding between Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip. “It was a real fairytale wedding. We are very satisfied,” Sofia admitted in the hour-long show. The documentary shows clips from the couple’s nuptials within the church, including the moment Carl received his beautiful bride down the aisle, as well as their grand exit from the church to the hymn “Joyful, Joyful.”

Viewers were also treated to a glimpse of the couple’s first dance as the prince twirled his new princess around the dance floor. Calling his first year with his wife “fantastic,” Carl said, “We have been treated with so much love and warmth. Absolutely wonderful and a fantastic wedding.”

Photo: Getty Images

Sofia, who is currently expecting the couple’s first child, took the documentary as an opportunity to shine a light on her work in South Africa with the organization Project Playground. The charity, which helps strengthen children’s personal and social development through activities, was co-founded by the 31-year-old royal back in 2010. “People were skeptical that two white girls would enter and open a center for children here,” she revealed. “We showed [them] that we are here to stay.”

Sofia continued, “We were frustrated with the situation and wanted to do something on our own. We think that it’s very important for these children to have a dignified life.”

Photo: SVT

Wanting to help others is something the royal has been passionate about long before she became a princess. She said, “I think I’ve been that way all my life. I thought that I could make a difference. [I] went to Africa when I was 17 years old to save the world, but I realized that it was more complex than that. But I felt I could do anything and have committed myself since.”

Much like her sister-in-law, Princess Madeleine is also zealous about her work when it comes to her initiative to end trafficking. To highlight the subject, the mom-of-two, along with her own mother, Queen Silvia, paid a visit to Pope Francis in Rome. Joining the two women was Madeleine’s 1-year-old daughter, Princess Leonore, who had her own special audience with the Pope.

Photo: Getty Images

“I think [Leonore] felt it was special to meet the Pope,” Madeleine said. “She behaved very well which was nice. First and foremost she wanted to sit with grandmother then she ended up next to the Pope”

While the little princess appears to be comfortable in the spotlight, her mother revealed on Skavlan, a Norwegian-Swedish talk show, that after several years, she herself is not. “One would think and maybe expect that I would be used to it by now,” Madeleine said of being in the public arena. “I’m really not [comfortable]. I think at the end of the day I’m quite shy. I don’t like being in the center of attention. I know this is something I have to deal with. I’m struggling with it. I’m working on it.”

Recalling her childhood, she admitted, “My poor parents, they always got a headache when we were having family photos or something like that because I always ran off, and I was always hiding and they always had to drag me there and I was screaming and I never really wanted to be a part of it.”

Photo: Facebook/Princess Madeleine of Sweden

As the 33-year-old continues to embrace her role as a public figure, her husband Christopher O'Neill meanwhile, continues to perfect his Swedish. The London native said, “When Leonore and Madeleine speak especially about animals, then I get it.” The doting father, who admitted he’s wrapped around his daughter’s finger, revealed one of the first words he learned in Swedish was kanin, meaning rabbit, “Because that’s Leonore’s little thing.”

Madeleine chimed in, “We can't live without the kanin. [Leonore] has a special rabbit and she can’t sleep without it. If we don’t find kanin were not going to go to bed that night.”

The couple’s “wild” toddler, is “more outgoing,” than their newborn son, Prince Nicolas. The royal pair welcomed their baby boy back in June. Christopher said, “Nicolas is a gentle soul.”

Throughout the documentary, viewers will see the royals, including Princess Estelle and Prince Daniel, as they never have before, as they take on public duties both within and outside the palace walls and celebrate monumental family events. As evidenced by the film, 2015 was a great year for the royals. Now with both Princess Sofia and Crown Princess Victoria's pregnancies, it's safe to say 2016 is shaping up to be another glorious year for the growing Swedish family.

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