• Sweden's news in English

Royal row over use of palaces for refugees

Maddy Savage · 11 Nov 2015, 15:12

Published: 11 Nov 2015 14:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Nov 2015 15:12 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
A Swedish social media campaign calling for the country's royal family to use vacant palaces to house refugees fleeing conflicts in their home nations hasn't got the result that campaigners were hoping for.
"No, it is not happening," Director of Information and Press for Sweden's Royal Court Margareta Thorgren told The Local on Wednesday.
"We have had a lot of questions mostly on social media. It is positive that people are engaged with these questions and thinking creatively how we can help out (...) But Stockholm's palace is one of Sweden's most attractive tourist destinations," she said.
"It is a museum and it is open for the public and then also it is an office for a lot of people including myself (...) It is not an empty castle that can take in refugees."
Her comments came despite a headline in leading Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter which read "Court opens for asylum accommodation".

Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf snapped earlier this year. Photo: Kicki Nilsson/TT
Thorgren told The Local that the newspaper had exaggerated her message, but confirmed that her quotes suggesting that King Carl XVI Gustaf was open to hearing "other creative suggestions" were correct.
"The whole royal family they are of course following the news about the refugees and the situation in Europe and obviously in Sweden (...) they think it is positive that people are engaged with these questions and thinking creatively how we can help out," she told The Local.
Story continues below…
She explained that the Swedish government formally owned most of the buildings used by the royal family and said that the country's national property board (Statens fastighetsverk) would need to play a key role in any future discussions about how they might be used or adapted.
The royal family's involvement in the refugee crisis comes as Sweden is struggling to find enough beds for the record numbers of people arriving in the Scandinavian nation. Ski resorts, holiday parks, theatres and sports halls are among the buildings already being used to house some of those seeking asylum, with tent accommodation scheduled to open later this month.
Sweden, with a population of 9.8 million, expects to receive up to 190,000 asylum applications this year – putting it among the EU states with the highest proportion of refugees per capita.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Swedish PM visits Iraq for talks on Isis
Stefan Löfven (left) and Haider al-Abadi (right). Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Stefan Löfven will discuss the offensive on Mosul with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

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.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
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
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
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
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
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