The Swedish – scandal – King? Posted by jennie on Nov 4, 2010 in Uncategorized
Today is the day when our King, Carl XVI Gustaf, ends his annual elk hunt with a press conference about his prey, the days in the woods and similar not particularly exciting stuff. This press conference normally doesn’t attract many journalists – understandably. But today, the King was greeted by over 60 reporters from all over Scandinavia. An extraordinary good hunt? A huge interest for elk hunting this year? No. It’s because of a book released today, a book that tells stories about sex, drugs, crime and wild parties – and the main man in the middle of all this is the King of Sweden.
The book, entitled “Carl XVI Gustaf – Den motvillige monarken” (‘Carl XVI Gustaf – The reluctant monarch’), gives the reader an extremely rare and detailed look into the King’s private life, including details of love affairs, wild parties with Swedish models, and connections to the underworld – most of which took place between 10-20 years ago. It has been written over the last two years by a team of three investigative journalists and the book has sparked a debate in Sweden the past week. But not so much about the King’s secrets and rumoured scandals, more about the limits of the free press and how the Swedish media have covered the Swedish royals in the past. Some people claim that the royal family are being treated with silk gloves and that it’s about time that we read something that hasn’t been edited by “their” people before hand. Others say that this is just a step too far and even the King has a right to a private life.
No one has ever written a biography about our King before – something you might argue is a little bit strange. The publisher behind claims that the intention was never to write a “scandal book” -as its now being labelled. The alleged scandals unveiled during the research and the writers decided to publish it, although the sources are mainly anonymous. People connected to the King are scared to come forward and some claim they were threatened to silence back in the days – but three of the women will do so if this goes to court, says one of the writers, Deanne Rauscher.
So, what did the king say today on his very popular press conference? Well, nothing really, as you could imagine. He hadn’t had the time to read the book, but he had seen some “not so very nice headlines”. He had discussed it with his wife and family and that it was about time that we turned the page. Then he left – apparently to China.
What’s your take on this? Is it okay to write a book like this based on anonymous sources? Do we really need to know everything about our King’s private life? Or – are we wrapping our royals in cotton wool?
Foto: Jonas Ekströmer/Sweden.se
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