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Sweden gets ready for Prince Oscar’s baptism

European royalty, the arch bishop and spring water from a Swedish island. What more do you need for a royal christening?

Sweden gets ready for Prince Oscar's baptism
A happy Princess Victoria and a not equally happy Prince Oscar. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

It's been a right royal spring for Sweden, with the birth of Prince Oscar followed by Princess Sofia giving birth to Prince Alexander and King Carl XVI Gustaf himself celebrating his 70th birthday.

Some of you may be experiencing a feeling akin to that of the moment after you gorged on an entire Swedish Princess Cake (prinsesstårta) at the thought of reading any more stories about royalty.

The rest of you may keep reading.

On Tuesday Sweden's Royal Court released more information about the upcoming christening of Prince Oscar, who will officially get his name on May 27th, in a ceremony held at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm.

The ceremony will be conducted by Sweden's archbishop Antje Jackelén, assisted by bishop and chief court chaplain Johan Dalman and royal chaplain Mikael Bjerkhagen.

“After the christening ceremony there will be a reception for invited guests, after which a private lunch will take place,” read a statement on the Royal Court's website.

The official guestlist was not disclosed, but it said it included members of the immediate family, European royal families and official representatives from Sweden's government and parliament.

Jackelén christened Prince Oscar's cousin Prince Nicolas last year. The outspoken minister, who has sparked headlines saying there is no contradiction between believing in God and evolution, was sworn in as Sweden's first female archbishop in June 2014.

“The baptism is a seemingly simple act with great power,” she told The Local ahead of Nicolas' christening. “The Church's conviction is that this is the most beautiful gift – and the most important task – a human can receive, even a prince.”

Oscar is set to be christened in the same dress worn by all members of the royal family before him, including his sister Princess Estelle and King Carl XVI Gustaf. Special water will be brought in for the ceremony from a spring on the island of Öland, where the family owns a summer residence.

Oscar – who was born on March 2nd at the Karolinska hospital – will be formally named Prince Oscar Carl Olof. His parents are Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.

ROYAL

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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