Papers give royal engagement a lukewarm reception

Sweden’s newspapers had mixed reactions to the news of Crown Princess Victoria’s engagement to Daniel Westling.

Papers give royal engagement a lukewarm reception

While some leader pages hailed the fact that Victoria could now officially celebrate her seven-year romance with Westling, other newspapers were decidedly less supportive.

“A step closer to a republic,” proclaimed the independent Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper on Wednesday, the day after news of the engagement wiped coverage of most other news off the front pages and websites of nearly every major Swedish newspaper.

DN’s editorial staff claimed that Victoria is worth admiring on a personal level.

How many other women in her generation would find themselves in a situation where they had to get permission from their father to get married, continues DN, asking, “how many should remain silent and wait like ‘Mr. Daniel Westling’?”

“But as a model for modern Sweden it’s objectionable,” writes DN, adding that the monarchy is neither “democratic” or “humane”.

Writing for the independent daily Svenska Dagbladet, Maria Abrahamsson is jubilant, however.

She describes the occasion as a “historic day” adding that “Victoria and Daniel’s different backgrounds make their marriage ground breakingly egalitarian and modern.”

The Social Democratic Värmlands Folkblad newspaper, however, doesn’t see any reason to celebrate, while the Östra Småland newpaper – which has similar political leanings – warmly congratulates the couple only to then claim that “the monarchy is better suited for a museum than in a modern polity”.

The Centre Party-aligned Skånska Dagbladet newspaper sees the engagement as “yet another step toward democratization” and that the royal family will in time “be ripe for abolishment”.

The independently liberal Vestmanlands läns tidning (VLT) newspaper states that the engagement and forthcoming wedding will lead to a royal frenzy.

“But the royal family’s strong popular support depends on them not being allowed to make any important decisions for the country,” writes the editorial board at VLT.

The independently liberal Upsala Nya Tidning doesn’t think the announcement of the Crown Princess’s engagement to the gym owner has any bearing on the question of the Swedish monarchy, an institution which it claims “ran its course long ago”.

The Sydsvenskan newspaper, also independently liberal, writes “that when other women in Sweden today can’t choose their life or marry freely it’s seen as part of an outdated patriarchal culture. When it involved Victoria, it’s called monarchy.”