Photographing Victoria

Over the last year, Luleå´s southern harbour has been worked on quite a bit, the idea being to create a nice square suitable for markets, tivolis, out-door concerts, and such things. Now they say they are done (there are differences of opinion on whether the result is satisfactory or not) and on August 22 there was a grand inauguration ceremony involving the East Indiaman Götheborg and our very popular Crown Princess Victoria, who laid down some kind of plaquette with her name on it together with our mayor, Karl Petersen.

Mum-in-law and I set out an hour before the ship was about to reach the quay, and there was already quite a crowd assembled. The only spot left was just behind the big scoop thingy attached to the old museum harbour crane. We figured we would at least get a good view of the ship once it got to its designated mooring spot, to the left of us, where a red carpet had been laid out for the royal guest of honour.

I left mum-in-law sitting for a few minutes on her walker while I took my camera for a walk round. There were plenty of photographers (all men, that I could see) with fine equipment, having claimed their spots, some setting up tripods. There were also plenty of boats in the water, even a couple of helicopters, at least one of which carried a photographer, as is evident in this gallery, published by the local newspaper.

By the time I got back to mum-in-law, more people had pressed on, and she had started a party with three or four other talkative ladies who just happened to stand there. She had also managed to aquire a flag to wave at the princess, I never found out from where.

It seemed like a long wait. There were salutes, and of course the ship was positioned right in front of us, or, on the other side of the scoop. I did manage to take a few photos under it, though, and mum-in-law advised one of the ladies on where to stand to get a better shot. Isn´t she supposed to be half-blind?

Then, bit by bit Götheborg came into view. Slowly though, because of the wind. The crew had quite a bit of work trying to moor it, according to the newspaper´s report.

And this is in all probability the closest I´ll ever be to a member of the royal family. I bet she chose the royal blue colour of the dress to match the ship. It´s good on her, she wore a dress just that colour on her 18th birthday. She is very popular and the reason Sweden will not likely be a republic any day soon.

I didn´t bring home a single remarkable picture, but I think I did all right, considering where we stood. Of course, if I had had a helicopter or a boat... But then, my photos have a very special point of view, and I really like that. We were there. These photos really reflect that, our own experience.

And then we decided to go home. Mum-in-law was tired, I wasn´t really up for any of the awkward speeches and whatever.

I returned with the husband on Saturday. It was possible to go onboard and have a look around, but we figured we had had enough of old boats in Portsmouth. The weather was nice, but there wasn´t much of a crowd - probably there had been more people there earlier in the day. Götheborg left on Sunday, with more salutes, and that was the end of that visit. A bit of a blast from the past.

Photographic exhibition about the past and visions of the future.

A postcard from the southern harbour, a century ago.


  1. i think it would be fun to have royalty. my mother used to have a book on the countries that still had monarchies. it had lots of photos and information on their family trees and where they were connected. i love your photos.

    1. Thank you. I suppose you have the Kennedys, they are at least very glamorous.

    2. well, we _had_ the kennedys. that era is long decades past now.

    3. I´d wave a flag at Michelle Obama!

    4. yes! "gobama" as the pro-obama folks yelled during the elections, while the nay-sayers yelled "nobama". i love politics lol.