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Royal baptism day for Sweden’s Prince Oscar

UPDATED: It was a big day in Sweden as Prince Oscar was christened in Stockholm, and even rainy conditions over the capital did not dampen the occasion.

Royal baptism day for Sweden's Prince Oscar
Prince Oscar with Archbishop Antje Jackelén. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

IN PICTURES: The best, cutest and funniest snaps from Prince Oscar's baptism

The ceremony at the Royal Chapel (Slottskyrkan) got under way at around lunchtime on Friday.

Three-month-old Oscar's older sister Princess Estelle was at the church together with their cousins Princess Leonore and Prince Nicolas, joined by their parents, grandparents the King and Queen, and a host of other dignitaries.


Estelle with her dad Prince Daniel and mum Crown Princess Victoria. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The service was conducted by archbishop Antje Jackelén, and assisted by bishop Johan Dalman and chaplain Michael Bjerkhagen.

Oscar stayed mostly calm during the ceremony, even falling asleep in the arms of his mother, Crown Princess Victoria. Estelle and Leonore meanwhile played on the floor next to the christening font.


Estelle, Oscar, Victoria and King Carl XVI Gustaf. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Swedish public broadcaster SVT aired it live for domestic viewers, good news for those hoping to catch a glimpse of the traditional 21-shot salute that was set to follow the ceremony. Stockholm was drenched in rain on Friday morning, and the showers were set to continue throughout the day.

Oscar wore the same baptism gown donned by all members of the royal family before him since 1906, including Estelle, Leonore and Nicolas. 


Princess Madeleine's husband Chris O'Neill and Oscar's cousin Nicolas. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

After the ceremony there was a reception and lunch for the invited guests. Along with Swedish royalty, dignitaries and politicians, members of both the Danish and Norwegian royal families are set to attend.

Invited too were obstetrics professor Lennart Nordström and midwife Cecilia Lind, who brought Oscar into the world back in March. 

Absent from the guest list however was the latest addition to the Swedish Royal Family, Prince Alexander. The tiny son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia was only born on April 19th, and appears to have the day off.

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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