• Sweden's news in English

King Carl XVI Gustaf: the complete interview

TT/The Local · 1 Jun 2011, 10:21

Published: 01 Jun 2011 10:21 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Kungen intervjuas av TT med anledning av senaste tidens medieintresse from Kungahuset on Vimeo.

Q: Reports have surfaced that pictures exist that might be compromising to Your Majesty. What do You have to say about that?

A: Surfaced? Yes... I have seen parts of it on TV4. And...what does one answer to that? No one has seen the pictures. I havent seen them, obviously, and that makes it hard to answer questions. But the way this was reported, about this dialogue, or whatever you should call it, between the reporter from TV4 and the person in question that held the pictures, to me it felt like I had nothing at all to do with that. I didn't recognise anything that was said in that conversation. If you can call it a conversation.

Q: When you look back, is it possible that compromising pictures of you exist?

A: (Sighs) No. I cannot say that it does. Eh, not of that... Sorry, I don´t mean to be disrespectful, but I have a private life as well. I´m thinking of when we are on the island of Öland and go down to the beach to swim and so on. There might be pictures, I don´t know.

Q: But there is nothing in the pictures that were mentioned recently?

A: No. Theres not a chance.

Q: If that is the case, why do you think Anders Lettström has contacted criminals to find out what kind of material they have?

A: I cannot answer that question. He has to answer himself. He has commented on it. In the statement he published he stated that he was solely responsible for his actions and I have to say that, regrettably, it was very unfortunate. It has hurt me. It has hurt my family. I would even say it has hurt the Swedish monarchy, which I think is very serious. And I think it has damaged confidence in Sweden in several ways. It´s not good at all, and I take this very, very seriously.

Q: How do you view Anders Lettström now? You used to see him as a friend, do you still do that?

A: He is an old friend, yes. But regrettably his judgement let him down this time. I can only ascertain that I have lost my trust in him.

Q: Does that mean he is no longer Your friend?

A: I haven´t had any contacts with him at all.

Q: Since when?

A: Since this became known, about two weeks ago in the radio, when this appeared, that an audio tape existed. Just that is rather spectacular. When that became known.

Q: The King didn´t know that he (Anders Lettström) was about to contact criminals?

A: I had no idea. No.

Q: In the book (Den motvillige monarken/The reluctant monarch), is there anything in it that is true about visits to porn clubs, strip clubs or whatever you should call it.

A: Right, whatever you would call it. I have seen parts of the book and there is lots of speculation and other things and I can´t comment on all of these claims. I don´t feel for it at all.

Q: Has Your Majesty ever visited a club of that kind?

A: What kind of club?

Q: A striptease club or sex club.

A: No. No... I don´t think so. No. If I´m being really honest, maybe some of us who were fortunate to be in Paris back in the day, and there we have Les Folies Bergeres and the ladies there are quite scantily dressed. And that establishment I guess I have to confess to have visited, many, many years ago.

Q: And the reports that there have been private parties with scantily clad women, that is also untrue?

A: No... Not that I can recall.

Q: Bearing in mind that you are the Swedish Head of State and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Council (in the parliament) do you have any understanding that there were worries that you might have put yourself in a possible position to be blackmailed?

A: No. I have thought a lot about this and of course I take this very seriously. But after thinking this through I cannot say that there is a chance of that happening. There is no chance.

Q: If we stick to the subjects that were brought up here, is there something in your social life with these friends that you yourself think was inappropriate?

A. Phew. We have known each other for 40 years or more so it´s hard to answer that question. Regarding this, I cannot say that there is anything worth mentioning. No. I would definately say no.

Q: How have you lived through all the commotion after the book came out?

A: Well, it´s never pleasant to read headlines and discussions about yourself in the way it has been done. And that is something that I of course will continue to work on. To work for Sweden, to work for the people of Sweden and together with my family continue to work in the coming years for the monarchy in Sweden.

Story continues below…

Q: How has the Royal Family lived through this commotion?

A: I´m sure they have found it very unpleasant. And I´m of course sad for that. But we are strong and we will work for the monarchy in the future and I feel strengthened by that, more than before.

Q: You do think that all this has affected people's trust in the monarchy?

A: I am not blind and I listen and I read newspapers and I take in what has been written and speculated upon, because a lot of it has been speculation, regrettably. As I said earlier, I have been King for 38 years, for which I am very proud, and during those many years I have felt a strong support from the Swedish people.

That has been heartwarming and therefore it has been fun and exciting to work for Sweden, in Sweden and abroad for Sweden. One of many important tasks that I take part in. That has strengthened me tremendously, that support I have felt for so many years and I feel that I want to carry on working and that I will.

Q: These reports, have they in any way changed your mind about the time when the Crown Princess should take over the throne?

A: No. But let me turn the question round and say that I´m very happy that she is so popular and that is something one should be very grateful for. She has a good platform to start from, but I will contiune as long as I am of sound mind and as long as I have a clear head I will carry on and keep fighting and go into a higher gear in the coming years.

Q: What will you do to boost people's confidence in the monarchy?

A: I will, as we have done before but perhaps now even more intensely, travel across the country which we have discussed, but there have been so many different activities -- not only because of this situation -- that have restricted my ability to move around. I feel a bit stuck at the castle, because we have many activites here as well. And, as I said, look forward. We have spoken about these issues and it will be interesting to see how we will continue working.

Q: Is there something you want to add to all the readers, viewers or listeners?

A: No. Just repeat that I have absolutely no connection of any sort to any criminal elements in our society that some people might have thought and so on. That is something that completely different persons have to take responsibility for. I have never had anything to do with this.

English translation courtesy of the TT news agency

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:59 June 1, 2011 by JLondon
this is soooo boring.
21:00 June 1, 2011 by trigby@multiweb.nl
it`s a disgrace that the king has been dragged through the mud again when is this going to stop? it`s so unfair on the rest of the royal family. we all do things what we are not proud of but is it really necesary to rub the kings face into it every time leave that man alone. i havew a lot of time for the swedish royal family and they do not deserve this.
22:30 June 1, 2011 by Wertyx
I think it's a disgrace that in the 21 first century there are still monarchies. Birth privileges are an insult to a modern society. But I agree that all this trashing (whether true or not) is not the proper way to abolish the monarchy (and I'm not promoting the traditional decapitation either :).
07:24 June 2, 2011 by jomamas

This is sensationalism.

What a bunch of greedy communists looking to make a buck of a few clicks.

Get a life.

If there is evidence against the King, then provide it.
08:05 June 2, 2011 by Lina
Leave this story, it is becoming so boring!!

And it is not nice to talk about this several times, he is a human being & i wonder why, polite people are so much targeted!

There is much other things in this world, that need much attention!
12:18 June 2, 2011 by conboy
Sack the King Long live his royal sacks!
20:23 June 2, 2011 by Clarabow
As a human being one can have a sort of sympathy for the King, and wish it was just a private matter between himself, his wife and family. Alas, being human if you are a King in a democracy such as Sweden means taking responsibility and being a good example and not bringing the 'firm' into disrepute. I see some want to blame the press, feminists, communists etc, but really the King is master or not of his own misfortune. Otherwise what are we saying - he is a victimn? He had no choice? He was forced? And like any firm, the shareholders, in this case the Swedish taxpayers, have a right to ask if they are getting value for money? I am trying to think how people would feel if the shoe was on a different foot, i.e. because he is a man - somehow it is ok, men can't help it, but how many views would change if for example his daughter was not the sensible and responsible person she seems to be? One can only wonder? My sympathy is mostly for his wife and children, not because he is King, but because he is a husband and on this level he seems to have let his family down, unless of course all these stories are fabrications, and there is smoke without fire.
09:54 June 3, 2011 by What?
What else can we waste tax money on? More boring made up stories?
17:02 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 and 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 with honest people.
01:34 June 6, 2011 by philster61
I would be proud to have him as my king. Ignore the soothsayers your majesty. No matter whatever they say, it is of little or no consequence....

Long live the king...
10:29 June 19, 2011 by Mr UK
I'm an alien

I'm a legal alien

I'm an englishman in stockholm
08:59 June 27, 2011 by rufus.t.firefly
While the king is not an impressive figure, it doesn't seem that any allegations against him are supported by real evidence. Even if they were, none of them seem especially serious, except his alleged association with criminals, which can be assumed, anyway, since he is the King.
13:57 October 16, 2012 by Helge Krupski
Open Information for prosecutors and police in Sweden about King of Sweden (read in "My Notes") - http://www.facebook.com/Helge.Kroupski

Open letter to The Royal Court of Sweden about King of Sweden (read in "My Notes") - http://www.facebook.com/Helge.Kroupski
Today's headlines
Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
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
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
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
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
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