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Swedish king rules out retirement

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Swedish king rules out retirement
11:55 CEST+02:00
Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf has stated that he has no plans to retire, despite the occasion of his 65th birthday on Saturday.

“It is tradition that the monarch carries on in his duties as long as he is of a sound mind,“ he told news agency TT in an interview on Tuesday.

The King doesn't think that turning 65 is such an important anniversary, despite it being retirement age in Sweden, and he has no plans to cut down on work hours in the near future.

“I have no intention to start feeding the birds yet, in any case,” he said.

The drawbacks with being the head of state are the same today as before, according to the King, but media coverage has become more intense in recent years.

“Before I had a certain amount of privacy, but now I am a public figure almost around the clock. It wears you down, it is difficult and tiring,“ he said.

During a press meeting in Botswana recently, the King was asked how Queen Silvia was after the Queen had not been able to accompany him on his African journey after falling victim to the flu. The King quickly replied that she was so sick her ears would have to be cut off.

“You have to see the funny side of things every now and then. Sometimes they write so many lies that it really doesn't matter what you answer,” he told TT.

The King found himself in the line of fire following the publication of the scandalous unofficial biography "Carl XVI Gustaf - the reluctant monarch" ("Carl XVI Gustaf - Den motvillige monarken") in November last year.

The book chronicled details of wild parties and affairs he was alleged to have had with young women. It was the first expose of its kind about the royal family in Sweden.

Among the more lurid revelations was an alleged year-long love affair with Swedish singer and model Camilla Henemark - a founding member of the band Army of Lovers.

“It is of course never pleasant to be named and shamed the way I was, and several others with me. Many other names were included - that is perhaps the most tragic part of it all,” the King said.

The King was criticised in the press after choosing not to answer questions about the contents of the book at the press conference in November following the annual elk hunt in western Sweden.

"I have seen a number of the headlines that have not been so nice. I have spoken to my family and the Queen. We will turn the page and go on now because as I understand it, this is about things that happened a long time ago," he explained at the time.

At the time, PR-experts called his lack of reaction ‘unprofessional'. But almost six months on, the King thinks his message was received clearly by the Swedish public.

“I was perfectly aware of what I wanted to say, and if others choose to interpret it any other way, that is not my fault,” he told TT.

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