• Sweden's news in English

Swedish press reacts to royal denials

TT/The Local/pvs · 31 May 2011, 10:52

Published: 31 May 2011 13:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 May 2011 10:52 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In a long interview with the news agency TT on Monday, the King flatly denied all allegations that have been surfaced recently pertaining to visits to strip clubs, and contact with the criminal underworld.

He furthermore denied the possible existence of photographic evidence of visits to sex clubs, the centre of recent revelations disclosing that a close friend tried to buy the material.

The Swedish press reaction to the interview is dominated by the assessment that the monarchy is out of touch and that the King has shown poor judgement in both his late response to the growing scandal and his choice of friends.

Peter Wolodarski, leader page editor of the independently-liberal Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper remained skeptical of the King's denial, asking why, if all the allegations were indeed untrue, the King waited so long to issue such a firm denial.

"And if there aren't any photos from questionable places, how can one make sense of why the King's close friend Anders Lettström tried to hire a major criminal to get a hold of pictures that actually don't exist," he asked.

Wolodarski went on to compare the King's comments to former US president Bill Clinton's famous statement when asked about having sex with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

"'I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,' US president Bill Clinton said amid the controversy in the 1990s. It was that statement that nearly cost Clinton the presidency, when it was later shown he had lied," wrote Wolodarski.

"With Monday's TT interview, the Swedish King has tripled the stakes in his own crisis of confidence. Only the truth will reveal where that leads."

The independent Helsingborgs Dagblad argued that the King actions, despite almost 40 years on the throne, "indicate a lack of competence and isolation".

The Social Democratic Folkbladet i Norrköping wrote that the King's denials are a direct challenge to those claiming to have photographic proof of sex club visits, present their material.

"If such pictures exist then it is time for the King to become ex-King," the newspaper argued.

The right-leaning Göteborgs-Posten followed a similar line of reasoning and wrote that an adult man and Sweden's head of state, "ought to know better than to hang out in environments where there are criminal elements".

The newspaper pointed out that Sweden has a monarchy because a majority of the population supports it, but pointed out that the royal family's position is not in any way "God-given or eternal".

Writing on the editorial page blog of the liberal Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper, political editor PJ Anders Linder, struck a more sympathetic tone, claiming the media is largely responsible for creating the King's current crisis.

"A huge media storm has been whipped up because a person who the King knows has shown a lack of judgment," wrote Linder.

"Now the king has made a clear and unequivocal denial. If you're going to question that denial, more hard evidence and clear proof is needed. It's not enough to keep spinning tales with invisible thread."

The Social Democratic Värmlands Folkblad argued that the fault does not lie with the King it lies with the monarchy, described as a life-long straight-jacket for the Bernadotte family.

"Throw an antiquated form of government out the window. It would be a relief also for a king who does not seem to thrive particularly well in his role."

Sweden's largest newspaper by circulation, Aftonbladet, concluded simply that: "it can't be easy being King".

Public relations consultant Marianne Djudic of the Taste PR agency said the King's statements amounted to too little, too late.

Story continues below…

"This has negatively affected his ability to do his job," she told the TT news agency.

Olof Ruin, a professor of political science and a constitutional expert, said the King should have addressed the allegations more clearly in November when he first spoke with the press following the publication of "Carl XVI Gustaf – den motvillige monarken" ('Carl XVI Gustaf – the reluctant monarch'), urging people to "turn the page".

"That could be interpreted as if something had happened," Ruin told TT.

Peter Althin, chair of the Swedish Republican Association (Republikanska föreningen), also thinks the King waited too long to answer questions.

"It must be clear for everyone that those who have a public office must respond to criticism and, in the case, serious allegations. Now he's finally done that on his way to the gallows and thus the next question is: is this information correct? We'll find out eventually," said Althin.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:39 May 31, 2011 by this_aint_sparta
King visits sex clubs ???? shame on Silvia.

What kinda king is that who cant visit a sex club if he needs to. He is a king he needed royal escort he couldnt find a royal one he went to the club to get an ordinary escort, :-) hell whats wrong with that.
09:43 May 31, 2011 by engagebrain
Kings in the 21st century !

Move them to Skansen with the other bits of history.
10:44 May 31, 2011 by Jes
The Swedish media is acting like a bunch of primary school brats .

Why is it so important what a man did 25 years ago ?

Like one famous philosopher said , an answer is as wise or as silly as the question . It therefore more than stupid for the media to ask the King ´whether there is evidence ( in pictures ! ) of him visting sex clubs or not .

Why the hell don´t they just get hold of the damn pictures , publish them and let all intellident people decide for themselves on what they think of the King ?

True , it is not okay for a King to vist sex clubs or hang out with criminal elements ; but what about those who harras him as if bad judgement is suddenly a crime ?

The whole thing is getting a bit trivial and childish if you asked me .
10:53 May 31, 2011 by rise
Which, sane, man does not admire womens breasts!? It's among the most beautiful and sensual things that ever exists!
11:15 May 31, 2011 by johnny1939
even as a woman I have nothing against strip clubs but I think the King showed bad taste visiting one. This is no reason for him to resign though. The King has no reason to tell the press anything since visiting such places is not illegal. If you want to pick on the royal family and its to be or not to be there are other more important things to concern yourself with like the Madeleine in NYC getting drunk and refusing to come home and do any work. She is not even going to attend the 6th of June celebrations!!!! Now this is really bad and I do hope that we are not paying her ett öre in apanage.
12:24 May 31, 2011 by Jes
@Johnny 1939 , I totally agree with you !

There are more important things for the media to focus on rather than The Kings personal weaknesses many years ago .

It is 2011 for Gods sake ! It is not the Kings fault that the price of food has gone up by 40+% under the last 8 years while the politician do or say nothing about that .

The Kings is not responsible for the horrible policy in försäkringskassan where the sick are denied appropriate compensations .

I agree that if anyone has a grudge to settle with the King or the monarchy , they should stop hiding behind speculative headlines and face their "enemy" head one , with non-trivial issues . If the question is about the place of monachism is Sweden ,it should not be the media to tell the public what to think .
15:12 May 31, 2011 by jackx123
to many unemployed in sweden who focus on little, and unimportant, things like this.
16:30 May 31, 2011 by wenddiver
The Headline should be "Silly peasant's discover King has Penis". Player haters need to get a life.
18:08 May 31, 2011 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
What a bundle of nerves he was ! and not a good liar either ! time to step over and let Vikky take over...either that or we vote on a republic, he really needs to go on a course on how to handle being on camera....why not publish these photos & let the public decide ? otherwise isn`t blackmail a crime (even here in Sweden) ? isn`t this gangster character guilty of at least that or even treason ? Can you imagine this happening in the UK ? what a larf !
18:35 May 31, 2011 by philster61
I don't see any evidence of the press allegations....... If they wish to accuse his majesty of visiting "sex clubs"(most unlikely) then they need to produce some hard evidence, otherwise they should shut up.....
18:59 May 31, 2011 by conboy
According to MSN the compromising pictures will be released on the internet along with the publication of yet another book shortly - --- I blame the parents myself....
20:37 May 31, 2011 by Puffin
Heard James from the Local on Swedish Radio this morning discussing this story from a British perspective
21:05 May 31, 2011 by swedejane
Good to see the swedish taxpayers 50,000,000sek a year is going to good use. Keep it up king...never let the sheeple see ya sweat!
12:22 June 1, 2011 by Jes
This is all about selling books , innit ?
15:18 June 3, 2011 by princeally
this time is swedish king turn..lol
16:35 June 3, 2011 by BigBilly
Alors quoi?
17:13 June 3, 2011 by Ranger
There is nothing wrong with the King! If you are trying to do something good for your country by going on a Witch Hunt you should grab your pitch forks, tar, feathers light your torches and march down to your local corrupt court houses to throw out the liars, crooks, bums and incompetent morons that work there and replace them all with honest people.
14:01 June 4, 2011 by Observant
Just listen to the "Holier Than Thou" Swedes - they make me bloody sick to hear all the crap they have to say about HM the King and the Royal Family.

They all say he is "out of touch" with society but IF he did go to a so-called strip club - SO BLOODY WHAT - he is human and even so-called strip clubs is a way to "keep in touch with society".

Enough is enough now it is time to give the King a bloody rest as I for one am so fed up with all the crap centred against the King.

The Local is a newspaper and not a scandal rag. So concentrate on WORLD News. By continuing this vendetta against the King brings the quality and publication of the Loacl to the depths of "Gutter-street Journalism" along with all those working at the Local.
15:32 June 4, 2011 by conboy
Observant I think you need to work on your anger management personally I think the King can shag who ever he wants - It's none of my business as for Noppe, Floppe and Stroppe are they not involved in the remake of the Seven Dwarfs?
20:15 June 6, 2011 by wenddiver
The King probably finds it relaxing to be in a room where he is not the center of attention, like a strip club. He has to pace himself and relax so he doesn't burn out.
03:16 June 7, 2011 by Veronika Larsson
The King went to a club where there are "criminal elements"? Well, maybe I have, too, without knowing it. Should I be kicked out of Sweden?

The King made these visits as a private citizen and not as the ruler of Sweden. Kings and Queens need a private life. I wonder how many of the journalists who are crying "abdicate" have cheated on their partners or visited a strip club? The King s a man, and men do stupid things. But what is the harm to the nation in what the King did? None of his critics can demonstrate the harm. The best they can summon by way of damage is that this scandal proves the King is a bit stupid and overprivileged.

Well, show me a monarch who isn't a bit stupid and overprivileged. That's practically their job description.

I am not a monarchist, but if we are going to get rid of our King, it should be because the existence of a King offends our democratic principles, not because of this "scandal".
14:00 June 9, 2011 by Decedo
This is awesome!! And who said Swedes are like 'bland white bread'? The king could pass himself off as a Kennedy!
11:14 June 10, 2011 by What?
This is not even worth to waste the money and time on to call it news.

Call this off and give the old man a pat on the back and thank him for being a great King!
08:44 June 12, 2011 by rufus.t.firefly
I first visited Sweden in 1981, with the Swedish woman I have now been with since then. My memory suggests that back then, the reaction of most Swedes to this story would have been a shrug or "so what"? Something has noticeably changed in what people find important here.
09:21 June 16, 2011 by HYBRED
It is the press's job to report the news. Their reaction is irrevelant. People are smart enough to form there own opinion without the press trying to tell them what to think or how to react. This article is very shamful and degrading to people that read news.
03:30 June 17, 2011 by TheOneWhoTravels
Why would anybody want to try to tear down the King so much? Just relax already, the dude is not Satan incarnate. Shees.
Today's headlines
Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available