Even before this much-anticipated spectacle of bell-ringing and protocol, of rustling lace and crimson carpets, it is clear that Swedes are just like the rest of us when it comes to wedding gifts.
After a torturous eight years of waiting, after the objections of her strict father and after overcoming life-threatening illnesses -- in her case bulimia and in his a kidney transplant -- Crown Princess Victoria and her former fitness instructor Daniel Westling are finally about to say "I do" to each other, and what do they get? Practical gifts.
According to Swedish custom, which is also practiced in the royal family, wedding gifts are unpacked and presented before the actual wedding, apparently because the soon-to-be newlyweds can hardly wait to get their hands on their new mixer.
In the case of Sweden's royal wedding pair, those practical gifts consist of several crates of drinking glasses, a cabinet full of bed linens and monogrammed towels, several spa weekends, a year of free electricity for their palace in Haga, a district of Gothenburg, and a green wooden horse.
A green wooden horse? Where was that again in the Ikea catalog? In any event, it's an unusual gift, and it will probably quickly end up in the place where those particularly funny, poetic and bulky wedding gifts always end up and gather dust: The basement. Because Crown Princess Victoria, the daughter of Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and his German wife Silvia née Sommerlath, who is from Heidelberg, is everything but unusual.