Princess Sofia of Sweden, Duchess of Värmland (born Sofia Kristina Hellqvist on 6 December 1984) is a Swedish princess and the wife of Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland. Prior to her 2015 marriage, Sofia was a glamour model and reality television contestant. In her former career as a glamour model, Sofia won the men’s magazine Slitz’s “Miss Slitz” competition in 2004 and was then cast by TV4 and participated in the reality television show Paradise Hotel in 2005. On 19 April 2016, Princess Sofia gave birth to a son, Prince Alexander.
At the age of 20, Hellqvist did a photoshoot for the men’s magazine Slitz in which she posed wearing only a bikini bottom and a live boa constrictor around her upper body. She was later voted Miss Slitz 2004 by readers. When the relationship between Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip was revealed in 2010, Expressen newspaper published the photos again. Following the Miss Slitz 2004 vote, Hellqvist was cast and offered a spot on the reality show Paradise Hotel which was broadcast on TV4. Hellqvist accepted and made it to the final. During her stay at the show, she had a much-publicized feud with fellow contestant Olinda Castielle.In the end, Hellqvist got the opportunity to vote one fellow contestant off the show and decided to cast her vote on Castielle.
In 2005, she moved to New York to study accounting with computer application, specialising in business development, at the Institute of English and Business. She has also studied various courses such as global ethics, child and youth science, children’s communication and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in theory and in Swedish practice at Stockholm University. She is also a certified yoga instructor and worked as such in New York.
Hellqvist returned to Sweden to study in Stockholm, where she also worked part-time as a waitress and glamour model.
Hellqvist made headline news by revealing that she had kissed American adult film star Jenna Jameson during a visit to Las Vegas to film a Swedish version of reality show Paradise Hotel.
In 2010, Hellqvist was one of the co-founders of the “Project Playground”, a charity that assists underprivileged children in South Africa.
In July 2010, Royal Court spokesperson Nina Eldh confirmed the relationship between Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip in a statement released by the palace. The UK Daily Telegraph described the news as putting the Swedish monarchy “on the defensive”, due to Hellqvist’s history as a semi-nude model and reality television contestant. In April 2011, the couple moved in together at a private estate in Djurgården. In June of the same year, the palace confirmed that the couple was living together on that island.
On 27 June 2014, it was announced that Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip were engaged. That December, Hellqvist made her debut at the Nobel Banquet in the Blue Hall along with her future husband and the following May 2015, it was announced she would receive the title of princess. The couple married at Slottskyrkan in Stockholm on 13 June 2015.
On 15 October 2015, it was announced that the couple were expecting their first child due in April 2016. On 19 April 2016 at 18:25 CET, Princess Sofia gave birth to a son, Prince Alexander, Duke of Södermanland.
Since her marriage, Sofia has undertaken various engagements on behalf of the royal family. On 19 August 2015, Sofia attended the graduation ceremony of Project Playground and Easy Street. On 26 August 2015, she and Prince Carl Philip visited Värmland. On Tuesday 8 September Sofia took part in the Global Child Forum’s regional forum for southern Africa in Pretoria, South Africa. The focus was on building partnerships and sustainability in order to protect children’s rights in southern Africa. Sofia gave a speech in English at the forum.
On 15 September 2015, Sofia attended the opening of parliament with the rest of the royal family. On 5 October 2015, she and Carl Philip visited Dalarna where she was originally from. They visited the World Heritage Site of Falun and Falun Copper Mine and signed their names in the mine. In the afternoon, they visited to the Idre Sami community of Lake Grövelsjön. Sofia was moved to tears during the visit in Älvdalen, Dalarna. She gave a speech and thanked the people for coming.
On 23 October 2015, Sofia attended Royal Academy Engineering Science formal gathering with Carl Philip. This was notable for being the first time she wore her Order of the Seraphim.