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King: ‘It’s hard to work when you’re being ridiculed’

The Swedish King has hit out at media coverage of his family, in a new televised interview.

King: 'It's hard to work when you're being ridiculed'
King Carl XVI Gustaf. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

King Carl XVI Gustaf, who is soon to turn 70, made the comments to a journalist working for public broadcaster SVT, in a documentary yet to be shown on Swedish television.

The royal spoke about media coverage during his many decades on the throne, saying he had noticed he was increasingly becoming the butt of jokes in the Swedish press.

“If you are always being a little bit ridiculed in the media it is very hard to work. I have worked as hard as my ability and strength have allowed,” he told well-known Swedish reporter Claes Elfsberg in a small part of the interview which emerged on Tuesday.

It is not the first time a member of the royal family has clashed with the press. The King's youngest daughter, Princess Madeleine, turned on beach paparazzi earlier this year after they disrupted her family's holiday in the Maldives and published snaps of her children.

The incident followed criticism of the princess for not engaging with the media, with one radio editor making headlines last year when he wrote that “waving and smiling is not enough“. She later told a Swedish talkshow that she was saddened by negative reports.

While it was not clear on Tuesday exactly what media coverage the King was speaking about, he told SVT that he was upset about incorrect reports about his family and quotes taken out of context.

“You get both angry, furious and sad. I can feel that just as much on behalf of family members,” he said, but did not offer any examples.

The Swedish royal family has a history of suing in particular the German tabloid press over fabricated stories. They have also on occasion reported Swedish newspapers to the press ombudsman.

The SVT programme, called 'The King at 70 – Lonely Majesty' ('Kungen 70 år – Ensamt Majestät'), is set to air on Thursday April 28th on SVT1.

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Scandal-hit Frenchman ‘groped Sweden’s Crown Princess’

Jean-Claude Arnault, the French photographer at the centre of the crisis at the Swedish Academy, has been accused of sexually harassing no less a figure than Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria.

Scandal-hit Frenchman 'groped Sweden's Crown Princess'
Crown Princess Victoria. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
According to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, three sources, at least one within the Academy, claim to have witnessed Arnault groping the Crown Princess’s bottom at an event put on by the body, which awards the Nobel Prize for Literature. 
 
The Swedish feminist Ebba Witt-Brattström, who was present at the event at Villa Bergsgården in Stockholm, told both Expressen and Swedish broadcaster SVT that one of Victoria's aides had leapt to her rescue.
 
“Her female aide threw herself forward and pushed him away,” she said. “She pushed away his hand.” 
 
After the alleged transgression, the Academy’s then Permanent Secretary Horace Engdahl was reportedly instructed by the court to “undertake measures” to ensure that the Crown Princess, then still in her 20s, would never be left alone in the company of the then 60-year-old Arnault. 
 
The story, if true, is another blow to the claims of longstanding Academy members, Engdahl in particular, that they were unaware of Arnault reputation as a serial sexual harasser.
 
“We can’t comment on that particular information,” Margareta Thorgren, press officer at the Swedish Royal Court told the newspaper, although she said the court supported the #metoo movement against sexual harassment. 
 
“The information surrounding Jean-Claude Arnault which the media has reported since the autumn is terrifying,” she added. 
 
Svenska Dagbladet has translated their scoop into English German, and French
 
In November, the Dagens Nyheter newspaper reported accusations from 18 different women that Arnault had sexually harassed or assaulted them, either at Forum, the cultural centre he helped run, or at apartments owned by the Swedish Academy in Stockholm and Paris. 
 
Arnault is married to Katarina Frostenson, a poet and Academy member, and is reportedly a close friend of Engdahl's. 
 
The photographer has denied all the accusations of harassment and his lawyer on Saturday told Expressen and Swedish broadcaster SVT that the new accusation was “false and erroneous”, and had been “released to slander and damage him”. 
 
“The claimed transgressions never took place,” Arnault said, according to his lawyer. “This is idiotic”. 
 
The accusations have thrown the Academy into turmoil, with no fewer than six Academy members stepping down as a result, four in protest at the way they have been handled.
 
Katarina Frostenson and former Permanent Secretary Sara Danius said they would both leave their seats on April 12, after a tense meeting at which Frostenson reportedly said she would not resign unless Danius did too.  
 
Only ten of the Academy’s 18 members are still active, and the institution is expected to decide next Thursday if it will award the Nobel Prize this year, or postpone it to next year.
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