ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses two contradictory fi elds-the modern monarchy and public representations of love-and analyses how they intersect with each other. The empirical example on which I base my analysis is the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria Bernadotte’s wedding to Daniel Westling in 2010. More specifi cally, I analyze how the love between the royal couple has been portrayed and represented in Swedish printed media. The wedding itself was what Dayan and Katz (1992) would call a “media event.” These are events that have the following characteristics: they disrupt the daily, “normal” media reports, they are monopolistic (i.e. virtually all media report about it at the same time), and they are broadcast live. I would argue that to be able to display the wedding as a media event such as this (using Dayan and Katz terminology, a type of event that falls under the category “coronation”) the media consumers have to be prepped beforehand, to be convinced that the media event is of public concern. I have, in this chapter looked more closely on the printed press before the wedding, dated from 24 February 2009 (when the engagement was being

announced) until the wedding day on 19 June 2010. Since my special interest in this media event is how love has been portrayed and rhetorically used, I have for the purpose of analysis chosen a few key texts where discourses of love are prominent. I am infl uenced by the critical discourse analysis that follows Norman Fairclough’s model in Discourse and Social Change (1992). This approach understands discursive events as “simultaneously a piece of text, an instance of discursive practice and an instance of social practice” (Fairclough 1992: 4). In this case, it means that I consider the media texts that are analyzed here as part of an ongoing social construction of ideals of love, and more specifi cally how love is placed within a heteronormative kinship/power structure such as the royal family, as well as within a national context such as the specifi city of the Swedish monarchy. Media texts are never produced in a vacuum, but should rather be seen as co-productions of several actors: journalists and newspapers, political commentators, the royal family and their public relations staff , politicians, lobby organizations, and readers. I consider the material as existing within a social context of struggles of hegemonic power and a struggle to defi ne what love is, which bodies and events that are associated to love, what love looks like and how we should, feel about it.