Blog: Prince William and Kate in Stockholm

The British royals are in Stockholm for a two-day visit. Follow The Local's coverage.

Blog: Prince William and Kate in Stockholm
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge greet the crowds in Stockholm. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

17:00 Exploring Swedish design

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited Stockholm's Modern Museum and architectural hub ArkDes, where they took part “in an event focusing on cooperation between the United Kingdom and Sweden in the area of architecture, and the best and most exciting current young Swedish design, including ideas for sustainable furniture”. ArkDes director Kieran Long is, of course, British too.

Next on the agenda is a dinner at the residence of British Ambassador David Cairns, attended by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and representatives of the government, parliament and business and culture sectors. That's the end of our live coverage today. Thanks for reading, and have a royally good night!

Prince William and Kate being shown around the museum. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

A royally beautiful Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

15:20 Meet the royals

William and Kate have been greeting members of the public at Stortorget square in Stockholm's Old Town. Stortorget is most famous for being the site of the 1520 Stockholm Bloodbath, which saw around 90 people executed despite a promised amnesty by the Danish King, whose forces were invading Sweden. Party trivia.

Prince William and Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince William. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

From left, the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge, King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Prince Daniel and Crown Princess Victoria. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

14:30 'I contacted the embassy to invite them for tea'

The Local's Europe Editor Catherine Edwards is down at the Stortorget square in the Old Town (Gamla Stan) where the British royal couple and Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel are expected to arrive shortly, after walking there from the Royal Palace (it's not that far).

Catherine has been speaking to members of the public who have gathered in the square in the hope of catching a glimpse of the royals. Nick East owns the Little Britain shop in Gamla Stan and was on his way to the main square: “I think it's brilliant, really brilliant! It's great that they've come here and are doing their bit for the relationship (between Britain and Sweden), especially with Brexit. I contacted the embassy to invite them to the shop for a cup of tea and got a very polite e-mail back saying they had a very packed schedule but were pleased there was someone to supply the expats with tea!”

Åsa Gribbe is originally from Finland but has lived in Stockholm for several years. She said: “I don't really have an opinion about the British royal family being here, it's nice I guess, so I've come here to see them! In Sweden I don't think we have such strong feelings about our royal family as in Britain, so it's nice.”

Åsa Gribbe. Photo: Catherine Edwards/The Local

Anne (from the UK) and Bertil (from Sweden) Sundqvist said they had come to support Britain. “We've only seen the older members of the royal family, we saw the queen in London a few years ago but never the younger ones.” 

Bertil and Anne Sundqvist. Photo: Catherine Edwards/The Local

12:20 British royals' European charm offensive

The last British royal visit to Sweden was in 2012 when Prince Charles and Camilla visited King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, but these visits are relatively rare and Sweden enjoys a much stronger relationship with its fellow Scandinavian royals than with the Brits. So why, then, is Britain turning on the charm?

“The visit is part of a European charm offensive by the British royals, who are seeking to smooth over ruffled feathers after Britain's decision to leave the EU,” says The Local's co-founder and resident royal expert James Savage, who appeared on Swedish television this morning explaining the significance of the visit.

“Last year saw William and Kate visit France, Germany and Poland, William has undertaken a solo visit to Finland and his brother Prince Harry was recently in Denmark. Not only is it hoped that the trip will shed light on more positive aspects of the relationship, but it will also give British diplomats prized access to senior Swedish politicians, including prime minister Stefan Löfven, just as Brexit negotiations are about to reach a crucial stage.”

Want to know more? Register for The Local's weekly Brexit newsletter here for all the latest on Brexit, as well as exclusive interviews with Brits in Europe.

11:45 What's next on the agenda?

The next stop on the British royal couple's tour of Stockholm is the Royal Palace, where they will have lunch with King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia and other members of the Swedish royal family.

At around 2.45pm there will be an opportunity for members of the public to meet the royals at the Stortorget square in the Old Town. The square is quite small, so get there early, we expect it to be packed.

In the meantime, enjoy this picture of Prince William cuddling a dog.

Group photo. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

11:00 How to swing a bandy stick like a royal

Check out more pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge playing bandy (well, cheating at bandy – you're not supposed to use a red carpet, Kate!) in Vasaparken, Stockholm, here.

IN PICTURES: William and Kate playing bandy in Stockholm

Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge playing bandy. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

10:25 Let's get rrready to bandy

Want to learn more about bandy, one of Sweden's most popular winter sports? Read this.

10:15 The royals are here

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived at Vasaparken for a game of bandy on ice. Let's hope they're good at ice-skating. The Local's Europe Editor Catherine Edwards is tweeting from the scene:

8:45 Bandy in Vasaparken

The first stop of the tour will be a game of bandy in Vasaparken. Bandy is one of the biggest winter sports in Sweden, but outside Sweden and Russia it is still largely unknown – a distant second-favourite to ice hockey. It is a kind of field hockey played on ice. “Active elite players and younger players will demonstrate the sport and explain its importance in Sweden,” the press handout says. It's set to start at 10.15am.

READ ALSO: How Sweden's little-known sport bandy is winning fans

The Bandy World Cup in 2018. Photo: Rikard Bäckman/

08:30 Welcome to our live blog

Prince William and Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge are in Stockholm for a rare official visit by the British royals (to be followed by a two-day tour of Norway). Follow our live blog as we follow them around the Swedish capital as much as security staff and Royal Guards will allow us. Yeah okay, never mind.

After drawing sticks in The Local's office, we have sent our Europe Editor Catherine Edwards to traipse around after them. Join her on Twitter on her quest to get the royal gossip on Brexit, to find out if Prince George and Princess Charlotte are playmates with Sweden's London-based Princess Madeleine's children of the same age, and to debate the merits of Catherine versus Kate with her royal namesake.

Manning this blog for you is The Local Sweden's Editor Emma Löfgren. Hej!


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.