"As soon as I became editor in chief of Vogue Scandinavia, I knew I wanted to celebrate the experience of growing up in a region with kings and queens, princes and princesses"
Given that Vogue Scandinavia covers five extra-ordinary countries, it is singular in many ways. Ours is a region with not one but three royal families. What’s more, the royal families of Sweden, Denmark and Norway can be traced back to common ancestors, creating yet another remarkable link throughout our land. Every Scandinavian person, regardless of their feelings towards the monarchy, have felt the presence of the royal families throughout their lives. To me, the royals have always seemed like a fairytale – a real-life manifestation of the stories we read as children. As soon as I became editor in chief of Vogue Scandinavia, I knew I wanted to celebrate the experience of growing up in a region with kings and queens, princes and princesses.
Our editorial team have discussed at length (often quite spiritedly) how best to cover the royals in a way that feels modern and relevant. What intrigued us most was the next generation – what would it be like to be a young royal in today’s world? The conversation soon turned to the lovely Prince Nikolai of Denmark, our fourth cover star. Not only is Prince Nikolai outrageously, irrefutably handsome, he is also an established model, working for the most prestigious brands in fashion.
In many ways, he is a fairytale come to life – the well-mannered and beautiful prince. In our cover story by senior fashion writer Allyson Shiffman – an endlessly charming must-read – we discover that the young prince is the true embodiment of the modern royal, one who takes the train alone and uses Instagram. In the truest, most down-to-earth Scandinavian nature, we also learn that his mother, Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, cuts his hair before he walks the runways of Paris and Milan.
It is hardly the only charming story in this issue. Speaking of young royals, Swedish musician-turned-actor Omar Rudberg, who plays one of the leading roles in a breakout Netflix series (you know the one), shares his fascinating life story, in which he became one of Sweden’s biggest pop stars at just 14 years old. Young Royals tells the classic tale of the kind, humble girl catching the eye of the handsome young prince, only this time, the girl is a boy and the prince, portrayed by Edvin Ryding, is gay. The very embodiment of a modern fairytale.
At Vogue Scandinavia we also like to question old traditions, updating them in ways that feel fresh as well as beautiful. For the fashion story Queen Bee, we challenged photographer David Abrahams and stylist Bojana Kozarevic to take traditional dress codes – corsets, silk and elegant tailoring – and infuse them with a sense of street style. The result is not only stunning, but truly regal in the most modern way.
At Vogue Scandinavia we also like to question old traditions, updating them in ways that feel fresh as well as beautiful.
For a designer, a commission from a royal is a game-changer. In the case of goldsmith Arje Griegst, this was especially true. After getting the stamp of approval of the Danish court by way of an amber-embellished tiara for Her Majesty Queen Margrethe, he became known as one of the most exquisite jewellers in Copenhagen. Much like young generations of royals carry on the traditions of the court, his son, Noam, carries on his legacy, bringing the House of Griegst into its next era.
Also in the issue, we find former Swedish supermodel Frida Gustavsson. With a forthcoming series, Vikings: Valhalla and a supporting role in the celebrated film Tigers (the Swedish submission to the Oscars), she’s poised to conquer the film world just as she conquered fashion. But her secret wish? To play the Swedish Queen Kristina. Finally, we have Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who’s new film Against the Ice – which he also wrote and produced – tells the true story of Denmark’s expedition to disprove America’s claim to Greenland.
Still, he is best known for playing the knight Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones, perhaps the world’s most famous fictional tale of royal courts. The role of royals have changed. Still, somehow, the dream of being royalty – in a less traditional sense – lives on. Today, it is about empowerment and self-fulfilment.
We can all be kings and queens. Just add a little bit of magic.