‘Swedish aristocratic women should be equal’

'Swedish aristocratic women should be equal'
A Swedish count is calling on the Swedish House of Nobility (Riddarhuset) to allow women equal rights as members of the aristocracy.

Carl Lagercrantz, whose family has had a seat in the tradition-soaked institution since 1682, has submitted a petition to give female scions of noble families the chance to join on equal terms to men.

In an interview with the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, Lagercrantz said he had little patience for opponents of his petition, whom he called reactionaries and fogeys (mörkmän and träbockar).

The Swedish nobility enforces male primogeniture for the inheritance of titles. The first-born son inherits the title regardless of how many older sisters he has.

“I have a dream, and that dream is every second seat for the ladies,” said Lagercrantz, referencing the political concept of varannan damernas – the one-man, one-woman tradition respected by political parties in Sweden when drawing up candidate lists.

“The House of Nobility must change with the times. The current system is bananas.”

He believes that allowing women more say will strengthen the old institution.

“There are a lot of women who can contribute with their knowledge and competence when it comes to managing the House’s assets,” he told DN.

“And this discrimination makes us look ridiculous.”

The Swedish House of Nobility was once a part of the Swedish ‘Riksdag of the Estates’, in which the Swedish parliament was made up of four houses representing the estates of the nobility, the clergy, burghers and peasants. The Riksdag of the Estates was abolished in 1866. The House of the Nobility is now a private foundation.

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