Royal wedding bells in Sweden creates feel-good mood
Swedish Crown Princess Victoria's engagement has created a feel-good atmosphere in Sweden and a break from news dominated by gloomy economic forecasts, dpa reported.
Victoria, 31 and her boyfriend Daniel Westling, 35, ended years of speculation with the announcement Tuesday. The couple said they plan to marry in early summer 2010. They have been dating since 2002.
A poll commissioned by commercial broadcaster TV4 and published Wednesday, showed broad support among Swedes for the couple's plans.
Eight in 10 Swedes surveyed by polling institute Novus Opinion said Victoria had made the right choice with her selection of "a man of the people."
Westling operates several fitness centres, become known as Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland on marrying the princess.
Tourist and retail sectors have also welcomed the couple's plans.
The Swedish Retail Institute estimated that sales of wedding- related products could generate some 2.5 billion kronor (286 million dollars).
Mats Hulth, head of the Swedish Hotel and Restaurant Association, said the "Crown Princess Victoria's wedding will generate sizeable extra income for the hotel and restaurant business."
"Swedes will celebrate the royal wedding, and restaurants across the country can serve special wedding dinners, hotels can organize special packages and so forth."
The association said an additional 200 million kronor in revenue from hotel bookings and restaurant visits.
News of the engagement generated massive media coverage. Both TV4 and public broadcaster SVT re-scheduled their programming.
Daily newspapers on Wednesday devoted several pages to matter, with Stockhom dailies Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbadet carrying identical headlines: "It was a yes-yes-yes." Reactions in Ockelbo, the small community some 200 kilometres north of Stockholm where Westling grew up, were also included.
Stockholm tabloid Expressen broke the news and devoted four inside pages on Tuesday. In order to keep its exclusive, Expressen had printed a dummy edition with a crime story as the highlight for its usual overnight exchange with rival newspaper Aftonbladet the previous night.
"That way we ensured that they could not get the news in their paper edition," Expresssen managing editor Viveka Hansson told the Dagens Media website.
"It is a fun tradition that in former times could delay the competitor quite a bit," Hansson added, referring to the era before online media.
Aftonbladet's editor in chief Jan Helin was meanwhile reported to have interrupted his winter holiday and returned to Stockholm.
Both tabloids have in recent years increased their coverage of the royal family, hiring reporters specialized in reporting on the royals.
Gossip magazines like Svensk Damtidning were also hoping to cash in on the engagement, adding extra pages to the coming edition.
Victoria, next-in-line to the Swedish throne, is popular with Swedish people, and has won respect for speaking out on her struggle with dyslexia.