• Sweden edition
 
Random woman attends Swedish ministerial meal

Random woman attends Swedish ministerial meal

Published: 25 Apr 2012 10:38 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Apr 2012 10:38 GMT+02:00

“I received an invitation; it had my name and my address on it. I didn’t really think too much about it,” said Margareta Winberg, 67, from the Stockholm suburb of Sundbyberg to The Local.

The invitation was supposed to have gone to ex-agricultural minister, ex-deputy prime minister and former ambassador to Brazil, Margareta Winberg, 64, who was to attend a dinner at the opening of a major environment conference hosted by current environment minister Lena Ek.

Instead, the official invite went to another Winberg altogether.

Rather than having worked for the Swedish government, the Winberg who received the invite used to work as occupational therapy assistant in the Stockholm district of Solna before she retired.

When she received the invitation, Winberg thought that perhaps it had something to do with her previous employment.

“But I didn’t think too much about it nor did I know much about the dinner. Just that I was invited and that it was ‘about the environment’,” said Winberg.

On the set date, Winberg got herself glammed up and duly presented herself at Sweden's official government office complex at Rosenbad.

When she turned up at the door, the organizers and minister Ek quickly understood that there had been a mix-up.

Instead of ex-minister Winberg, it was ex-occupational therapy assistant Winberg who stood before them.

However, they soon regained their composure.

“When Lena realized the mistake she did everything she could so that the lady wouldn’t feel uncomfortable," said Erik Bratthall, press spokesperson for Ek, to daily Aftonbladet.

Despite the discovery of the gaffe, retiree Winberg was escorted to “her” seat and introduced to everyone with an explanation of what had happened.

“I was allowed to take part anyway. The food was nice and there were a lot of people talking and talking,” Winberg said.

Bratthall told Dagens Nyheter (DN) that Ek thought the whole thing was “a great laugh” and that no harm had been done.

Nor were organizers too concerned about the potential security threat that presented by having an unintended guest attend an official government event.

“The Rosenbad guards can handle retired ladies,” Bratthall said.

According to DN, the “real” Margareta Winberg has since received an apology from Lena Ek and is taking the whole incident cheerfully.

“I hope my namesake had a lovely dinner. She has never attended a government dinner, and I have,” she told the paper.

The involuntary dinner-crasher Winberg said she really didn’t feel awkward taking part in the meal despite the obvious mix-up.

“I just took it for what it was; a mistake, as did the others. I had a great time and listened carefully to all the speakers,” she said.

The best part of the experience was the speeches, according to Winberg. Her husband had been disappointed he was not invited, but when she retuned home her "head was tired".

“But it was great altogether,” she told The Local.

Rebecca Martin

Follow Rebecca on Twitter here.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:29 April 25, 2012 by Terri85
Funny...:)
11:37 April 25, 2012 by njkkhatri
Interesting mix-up !
11:43 April 25, 2012 by Dr. Dillner
It was nice of the functionaries to let the old lady stay and eat.
11:44 April 25, 2012 by axiom
best thing i've read on the news in a while

quite funny :D
11:45 April 25, 2012 by Keith #5083
Ttally brill. And that she was allowed to stay. Fantastic. Mind you, I'm the same age and can't even get an invite to a burger bar! Now that comment should wake up Svensksmith!
12:04 April 25, 2012 by gabeltoon
At least an ordinary member of the public was considered worthy of attending a government function as it should be. It is the public who vote the members of government to look after the country so they SHOULD be included. I'm glad the lady had a great time. "GOOD on YA" as they say. : ) : )
12:10 April 25, 2012 by gpafledthis
When the "handlers" get to purgatory they must mention this for"good time"
13:01 April 25, 2012 by Rishonim
hahahaha.. great story.....
15:39 April 25, 2012 by Svensksmith
Keith, you're officially invited to my house for burgers and beer.
20:43 April 25, 2012 by foxpur
Thing is, she *LISTENED* to all the speakers and gave them each thought... That's got to be a first for that kind of event. Probable had better input than the other who went.
21:39 April 25, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Lovely story. I am glad they let her stay and enjoy the evening.
23:14 April 25, 2012 by Skipdallas
Did she get the Tee-Shirt too? :-) Actually I think this is a great story! This gaffe was handled with great aplomb by everyone concerned.
00:43 April 27, 2012 by DAVID T
Why must they have a dinner? The taxpayer pays for this
11:57 April 27, 2012 by OUIJA
Good for the lady, but bad for the organizers and Ek's private secretary and head of her press staff that they cannot check properly who has worked in the past within the government. They must have looked at Eniro or Hitta. Those are the bureaucrats within the Swedish government.

The story is funny and good for the Margareta Winberg's homólogous for enjoying her visit.
15:24 April 27, 2012 by PerKurowski
And what a great environment Lena Ek offered. Well done!
19:25 April 27, 2012 by Benzed
Well played by all concerned, mildy surprised she wasn't manhandled out of the venue by some burly security.
Today's headlines
Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

National
Malmö loses out as rare toads move in
The European green toad. Photo: H. Krisp (WikiCommons)

Malmö loses out as rare toads move in

After a rare species of toad moved into southern Sweden's Malmö, builders have had to tone down massive expansion plans in the area. READ  

Politics
Palestine recognized as state by Sweden
Sweden's Foreign Minister is Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Palestine recognized as state by Sweden

The Swedish government has officially decided to recognize Palestine, with the move announced in a speech by the country's new Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. READ  

Interview
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
For ten days, Globen is transformed into a giant pumpkin. Photo: Shockholm

Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween

American Bill Schacht missed the spooky outfits, family feasts and charity events he associated with Halloween when he moved to Sweden. So he did something about it. The Local meets the founder of the capital's annual Shockholm parade. READ  

Business & Money
Huge losses for energy giant Vattenfall
A Vattenfall plant in Germany. Photo: TT

Huge losses for energy giant Vattenfall

Swedish energy company Vattenfall has reported losses for the third quarter in a row. READ  

International
Malala donates prize winnings to Gaza
Malala receives the Children's Prize from Queen Silvia. Photo: TT

Malala donates prize winnings to Gaza

UPDATED: Girls' rights champion Malala Yousafzai, who was in Sweden to accept the World's Children's Prize on Wednesday, said she would use all her winnings to help rebuild schools in war-ravaged Gaza. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Blog updates

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

1,008
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN