Meet Sweden’s Henry Cavill lookalike royal: Prince Carl Philip is related to Princes William and Harry, and caused controversy when he married former glamour model and reality star Sofia Hellqvist

Henry Cavill? Nope, it’s Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip. Photo: @carl_philip13/Instagram
The British royal family may get most of the spotlight, but blue bloods from all over the globe pique the interest of us common folk.
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram
From Hong Kong-raised Princess Marie-Chantal Miller in Greece to Japan’s Princess Mako, who renounced her title, the intrigue in international royals is undeniable.
Prince Carl Philip with his wife Sofia. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram

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But what about a prince who looks like a movie star? Meet 43-year-old Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, the hunky royal who’s been compared to Superman actor Henry Cavill for his handsome features.

So, who is he exactly?

His royal roots

Prince Carl Philip was born at the Swedish Royal Palace in 1979 to King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram

Prince Carl Philip was born at the Royal Palace in Sweden in 1979 to King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. He’s the middle child between two sisters, Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine.

The Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Prince Daniel, in Italy in October 2021. Photo: EPA-EFE

He’s fourth in line of succession to the Swedish throne, after his sister Princess Victoria and her two children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar.

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Prince Carl’s varied careers

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden waves to well-wishers outside the royal palace in Stockholm on his 18th birthday in 1997. Photo: FLT-PICA/Reuters

After finishing school in Sweden and Connecticut, USA, the prince did his military service as a coxswain at Vaxholm Amphibious Regiment, then did officer training which ultimately to him earning the rank of major in 2014.

Prince Carl Philip achieved the rank of major in the Swedish Amphibious Corps. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram

From 2004 to 2006, Prince Carl Philip studied graphic design at Forsberg School in Stockholm, and landed an internship at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC. He went back to the US to study at Rhode Island School of Design in 2007, then in 2008, abruptly changed career to get a master’s degree in agriculture at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

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His controversial wife, Sofia

Princess Sofia of Sweden. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram

In 2009, the prince found his soulmate, Sofia Hellqvist, at a nightclub in Sweden, after he had broken up from long-term girlfriend Emma Pernald. Hellqvist recalls the moment as “love at first sight”, per Hello!

Prince Carl Philip and wife Sofia. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram

After trying to dodge the press for a year, the couple was confirmed to be dating in 2010 – but they courted controversy owing to Hellqvist’s past career. The brunette beauty was a tattooed reality TV star and glamour model, who was quickly dubbed by media “the world’s most scandalous princess”. Before she met the prince, she appeared topless in a Swedish lad’s magazine and told the title about her experiences kissing a female porn star, as per the New York Post.

The Swedish royal couple in full regalia. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram

But since becoming a royal, Hellqvist has never looked back. “For me, I’ve moved on with my life. But no regrets, experience shapes a person,” she said in a 2013 documentary.

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Happily ever after

Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia greet the crowds after their wedding at Stockholm Palace on June 13, 2015. Photo: AFP

Despite media criticism of their relationship, the prince proposed to his belle in 2014. A year later, they married during a ceremony at the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace of Stockholm, and Sofia Hellqvist became Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland. The bride wore a gorgeous custom-made laced number from Swedish designer Ida Sjöstedt, while the groom wore his military uniform. Apparently, they had tunes from Rihanna, Coldplay, Janet Jackson and Sister Act on the playlist, per The Daily Edge.

Belgium’s Queen Mathilde, the Netherlands’ Queen Maxima, Britain’s Earl and Countess of Wessex, Queen Sonja of Norway and Queen Margrethe of Denmark, were all in attendance, as per Royal Central.

Carl Philip and Sofia with two of their sons. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram

The lovebirds now have three sons together: Prince Alexander, Duke of Södermanland, six; Prince Gabriel, Duke of Dalarna, four; and Prince Julian of Sweden, aged one.

The British royal family connection?

Prince Carl Philip is a distant relation of the British royal family. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram

In April, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia posed with Britain’s Princess Beatrice at the World Dyslexia Assembly.

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According to People, it’s rare that the British and Swedish royal families are seen together, despite being distant “sort of” relatives through Queen Victoria.

If you’re wondering what the link is, brace yourself: Prince Carl Philip’s great-great-grandfather Prince Arthur was the brother of Prince William’s great-great-great grandfather King Edward VII and great-great-grandmother Princess Alice, all three of whom were Queen Victoria’s children with Prince Albert, reports People.

His high-class hobbies

Prince Carl is also a food lover who judges food contests. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram

The adrenaline junkie enjoys many outdoor sports including skiing and motor racing. And to wrap up the full prince package, Carl Philip is also a passionate chef. He’s a patron of the Swedish Bocuse d’Or Academy and is a judge for the Chef of the Year award, too.

Henry Cavill meets … Orlando Bloom?

From left, Orlando Bloom, Prince Carl and Henry Cavill. Photos: Reuters; @prinsparent/Instagram; AP

Prince Carl Philip’s handsome looks have been compared to those of film stars like Henry Cavill, Orlando Bloom and Jamie Dornan. Will we see him in any blockbusters though? Unlikely, but one can always hope, given how he likes to try his hand at all kinds of things.

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Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia prefer a quiet family life. Photo: @prinsparet/Instagram

The Swedish prince and his family currently live in Villa Solbacken, a beautiful estate in Stockholm, yet maintain a relatively private life away from the spotlight. For now?

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  • Prince Carl Philip of Sweden has been compared to Henry Cavill, Orlando Bloom and Jamie Dornan for his good looks and has distant ties to the British royal family
  • The playlist at his wedding to Princess Sofia included Rihanna, Coldplay, Janet Jackson and Sister Act – but was she really a former glamour model who posed topless?