Meet the former NYC waitress and Swedish reality show star who just became a princess

Swedish Royal WeddingGetty / Andreas RentzWith her gown by Ida Sjöstedt, the princess wore an emerald- and diamond-encrusted tiara — a gift from her new in-laws.

Sofia Hellqvist doesn’t fit the typical royal mould. She’s a far cry from Kate Middleton.

But Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip doesn’t seem to care much.

He tied the knot with Hellqvist on June 13, amid a lavish ceremony in the chapel of Sweden’s Royal Palace.

Now known as HRH Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland, Hellqvist has a few skeletons (and a boa constrictor) in her closet.

Her modelling, reality TV, and waitressing days

Before meeting her prince, Hellqvist starred in the Swedish version of a reality show called “Paradise Hotel,” which stuffs a group of singles in a luxury hotel resort and films what happens.

She even modelled for a Swedish men’s magazine, Slitz, which has since shuttered. According to The Telegraph, she posed topless for the magazine, save for a boa constrictor draped around her neck. For this, she was voted “Miss Slitz” in 2004.

Swedish WeddingGetty / Andreas RentzHellqvist’s sunburst tattoo was visible underneath her veil.

Later, Hellqvist moved to New York and worked as a waitress and yoga instructor while taking business classes. “She has a calming effect on people, ” Fabio Granato, co-owner of Serafina, the restaurant where Hellqvist worked nearly 10 years ago, told the New York Post.

More recently, she has become involved in charity work, co-founding Project Playground, a nonprofit organisation that supports the youth of Cape Town, South Africa.

Fun fact: HRH Princess Sofia has a tattoo of a sunburst on the back of her neck.

How she met her prince

The two met while vacationing in the seaside resort town of Bastad, Sweden — in the summer of 2009 — and they have been rendezvousing
around Sweden and New York ever since.

The Swedish press has not been exceptionally kind to the new princess, but the couple has been quick to defend their relationship, which Hellqvist called “love at first sight.”

What are her chances of becoming Sweden’s queen? Not very high. Philip is third in line to throne.

Swedish WeddingGetty / Jonas EkströmerThey were married in the Royal Chapel that’s attached to the palace, which is located in Stockholm.
Swedish WeddingAP / tt news agencyThe bride and groom ride away in a carriage after the ceremony.
Swedish Wedding AP / tt news agencyThe newly married couple cuts the cake at the after-party banquet.
Swedish WeddingGetty / Jonas EkströmerAnd here they are dancing the night away at the after-party ball.

NOW WATCH: Kanye West explains how marriage has helped him become a better man

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at