Recap: Haga documentary

The documentary aired on SVT on April 21, 2014. The below is my live blogging of some of the comments made along the way. Unfortunately it is not yet available for streaming outside Sweden. Update: It is available here:

It is a nice documentary that brings together the history and the current life at Haga.

“It feels very special for me, to have the family back at Haga. It was built by family, so it feels like the circle is completed.” Crown Princess Victoria

Victoria talks about how she never got to meet her paternal grandparents, so for her, living at Haga is a way to get closer to them.

The King and his sisters grew up at Haga, and the sisters were known as Haga Sessorna (The Haga princesses. There is lots of footage of them, and they were often portrayed on television, in books or in songs.

“From what I understand from my aunts, it was a very happy time.” Victoria.

“It is lovely to see the house you lived in as a child springing to life again,” Princess Christina. “We didn’t know of the world outside, so we were happy.”

“We were here every day, almost. Until my mother… my mother decided to empty the house and say that we don’t live here anymore.” Princess Christina.

The toy house that the Haga princesses played with is still standing, and Victoria says that a lot of the china that her aunts used are still remaining as well, though Estelle has received her own for now, because she’s too young to play with her great aunts’. The timing inside the playhouse sort of stopped in the 1940s, and Victoria want to keep that.

From the beginning of its construction, Haga was the palace for the King and Queen’s children – and the parents lived in the pavilion.

“I can’t answer [to how it felt like it was to be a Haga princess in the Swedish people’s mind] – because we didn’t know it. We lived at Haga. It is only now that we are old ladies that people come up to us and say it.” Princess Christina.

“It is almost like living in the country, sort of. With the lambs.” Victoria.

“Having your own place is special. I grew up in a flat in Ockelbo, and then we moved to a row house. The feeling is the same. You sort of imagine that everything is better if it is only bigger. But I can say that it doesn’t. What matters is family.” Daniel.

“She loves music. We can have a dance session every day when I come home.” – Daniel about Estelle.

“Growing up home in Ockelbo with Mum and Dad and watching Estelle grow up here. It is the same. A home is a home.” Daniel.

The pictures from inside – I get a very cozy feeling from some of the rooms that it is lived in, although there is a lot of white. And there is also open “representation” rooms.

Princess Christina points out that she never ate in the dining room as a child – it was a different time, and the children ate in their rooms on the third floor.

Victoria talks of how nice it is that the park around them is well visited, and they wave at the people outside the fences.

Pictures of them in the snow with Estelle in 2012. “New parents. We’re so worried that she might fall off [her sled.]” Daniel.

“It is a lovely house. I think they will be happy here.” Princess Christina then points to the pictures on the walls of the three past generations. “I don’t know if I would have hung all the generations on the wall. I don’t know if I would have dared, I must say.”

Haga is owned by the Swedish state. The state paid for the renovation before they moved in. The cost of the renovation came up. Daniel points out that there would have been a huge renovation to Haga whether they moved in or not, as there was radon gas and asbestos, and mildew.

“It has been important to make it into a home,” Victoria about the renovations, but she also mentions that it has been important to take into account the history.

The clock that stands in the living room at Haga was owned by Victoria’s grandfather, but it passed to his oldest daughter, Margaretha. When she moved to a smaller home, it went into storage. When she heard that Victoria was moving into Haga again, she gifted it to them.

The majority of Haga is representation areas. The actual practical living areas are much smaller.

It has been a representation residence for guests of the Swedish state, it has been a hospital after WWI, and (if I understood it right,) an orphanage before the current King’s parents moved in after they married.

“When your aunts talk about Haga, there is a romance to all of it, but also a huge sorrow.” Daniel to Victoria.

I wish they would have had someone else of the Haga princesses than Princess Christina to talk – because I get the impression that the other three would have had more to say about the life at Haga before their father died. Princess Christina was too young.

They moved out temporarily during the spring of 1950, when there were some renovations that were considered too extensive to live with. And events ended up that it would be a permanent move.

Christina mentions that it was not at all pleasant at the time to get a little brother. She was used to being the little one. “It is very difficult to understand for a three year old that a little brother should have all the attention. But it worked itself out in the end.”

Pictures of Daniel and Victoria playing ball with Estelle.

Back to a children’s “Olympic games” in 1944, with tie in to Prince Daniel’s sports day for children.

The marshal is showing the dinner table for a representation dinner that Victoria and Daniel are giving. Almost all the cutlery and table cloth are historical, whereas the china and glasses are wedding gifts for Victoria and Daniel. “When I started working here, it was nothing here – almost not a chair to sit on in the kitchen. The transformation from an empty house to a royal palace…”

“It feels nice that it is a family living here again.” Victoria.

“Having children is amazing. You experience things that you would NEVER experience otherwise.”

By Anne

Anne is a librarian by day. By night, she reads. She knits. She watches movies and television shows. She enjoys board games. And posting on royal related forums.

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