Sweden’s royal family has been rocked by scandals and a steep drop in popularity this past year.
For the first time, the silence on the matter has now been broken, as Crown Princess Victoria and Queen Silvia discuss how they feel about the negative coverage of the turbulent events, in an open-hearted interview to be broadcast on Sveriges Television (SVT) on Thursday night.
“It’s been a very rough year,” Victoria tells SVT.
Since the publication of “Carl XVI Gustaf – den motvillige monarken” (‘Carl XVI Gustaf – the reluctant monarch’) in November 2010, a string of scandals have followed, as Sweden’s major tabloids Aftonbladet and Expressen have taken turns in publishing the latest unsavoury details.
Meanwhile, Queen Silvia has been forced to confront alleged ties that her father, Walther Sommerlath, had to the Nazi Party.
The book about the King detailed alleged porn club visits, affairs, and connections to the criminal underworld.
Following its publication, close friend of the king Anders Lettström contacted reputed gangster Milan Sevo to stop allegedly incriminating pictures of the king seeing publication.
Although the King has categorically denied involvement with Sevo, Aftonbladet recently published a recording of Lettström’s conversation with the well-known criminal, which indicates that King Carl Gustaf was aware of the connection.
When one of these pictures, depicting a younger King watching a porn show, was published recently by Expressen, discussion broke out over its authenticity.
It is now fairly well-established that the published picture was manipulated.
“It hurts very much to see your parents written about in the harsh way that has actually been occurring,” says Victoria.
Queen Silvia has also been hard hit by the events of the past year, and allegations made against her husband.
“It’s been a media storm, if I can be honest,” the Queen tells SVT.
“I don’t actually want to talk about it, it’s incredibly hurtful. It’s a situation where you’re completely powerless. Someone else always has the last word.”
In the interview, Silvia explains why the royal family has not refuted the claims made by media.
“You can’t deny everything every day. It’s hard. That wouldn’t make us credible either. Then it depends on what they’re writing, what level it is. Should we stoop to the same level just to be able to comment on it?”
However, according to Victoria, the negative coverage of her family has had some positive side-effects as well.
“When I think back, it’s also something which has strengthened our ties as a family,” she says, according to Aftonbladet.