The Future of Sweden’s Monarchy

In Sweden on October 6th, a  motion was filed with Parliament calling for the abolishment of the monarchy.   While these motions are certainly not new, the latest is significant in that for the first time in modern history, a joint motion across party lines was filed.

The justification for the motion stated in part that, “We in Sweden have long fought for equality and it has created a society in which success is based on the individual merits rather than on the privileges and kinship… The monarchy is incompatible with democracy, equality and civil rights. We believe that the right to represent Sweden not to be inherited. It can only be given through democratic processes…”

Monarchies in today’s society are like park statues, they are reminders of historical figures, serve no real practical purpose beyond the decorative, some people enjoy them, some people think they’re a waste of money, some don’t even notice them but they tend to get crapped on a lot.

It’s always struck me as odd that Sweden still has a monarchy, as a society Sweden is evolved in ways I greatly admire but still maintains its rich cultural charm.

As Sweden’s official website notes, “Staunchly opposed to privilege, Sweden has always sought to avoid ranking people which is why beauty contests and ‘homecoming queen’ events are rare.”  No homecoming queens, but taxpayers are still expected to fund the privileged existences of actual kings and queens?  The member of the Swedish Royal Family who best represents Sweden’s societal beliefs is British American Chris O’Neill who refused a title.

The king is a ceremonial figure but he does still have influence and the power of course to get millions from Swedish citizens for the weddings of two of his children who aren’t in the direct line of succession, cost he could easily cover from his own personal fortune, estimated to be around the $50 million mark.  As a representative of Sweden, King Carl Gustaf’s views on women are unsettling.  He objected to changing the rules of succession to absolute primogeniture in 1980, stating, “I would prefer that my son Carl Philip be my successor, and I’m sure the majority of the Swedish people would prefer to have a king on the throne.”  And in 2003 when asked if he still thought the succession change was wrong, he responded, “Of course.”    But the reason offered in 2003 had to do with the succession change being retroactive, his son was seven months old when the throne went back to his first born, Victoria.  The statement still raised enough eyebrows that the following day the court had to release a statement that the king thinks Crown Princess Victoria is doing a fine job.  Commenting on the king’s sex scandal, Katrine Kielos noted in an Aftonbladet article, “Women were simply desserts, used as sweets to be served with the coffee.”  When all three of his children married, the bride was given away by her father, a sexist tradition not observed in Sweden because it represents a property exchange.  One of the latest additions to the Swedish Royal Family is the anti-feminism figure Miss Slitz 2004 whose work history promotes a view of women as sex objects elevated to the status Her Royal Highness Princess Sofia.  Members of the Royal Family are official representatives of Sweden and yet nothing about the Swedish monarchy reflects the egalitarian beliefs and progressive views of Sweden.

As noted on the website for  The Swedish Republican Association, the monarch’s powers extend being duties as head of state outlined in the 1974 Instrument of Government. “By making statements in political questions he or she influences the debate through his or her unique position without having to take political responsibility. Due to the massive medial attention they receive, the royal family has a decisive influence on the public opinion.”  Some of Sweden’s citizens are afraid to openly criticize the Royal Family, believing harm will come to them or their families.  In a 2010 Svenskdam article on Carl Philip’s relationship with Sofia Hellqvist, one commenter responded to another’s urging that Svenskdam readers complain to the Court about Sofia’s unsuitability with the comment:

SvenskdamComment

Similar fears have been expressed to me by Swedish citizens, who are also frustrated by the influence the Swedish Royal Family seems to have over the media.

I’m beginning to understand why some people feel paranoid about criticizing members of the Swedish Royal Family.  While working on this post, my apartment was buzzed by a man in a baseball cap standing with his back to the door so I couldn’t see his face and shortly after when I got thrown off my Wi-Fi, this came up under diagnostics where I expected to see my own network:

NetworkDiagnostics

Likely an eery coincidence, but my mind began to wonder if Sofia is aware of my blog and has figured out the identity of the anonymous source to which I’ve eluded in some posts.  Although, really, due to Sofia’s lack of discretion, there’s little I could add about her character that wasn’t summed up in this Svenskdam comment five years ago:

FakeSnakeComment

For clarification, the above point was about understanding paranoia which by definition is an irrational belief caused by anxiety or fear.   When a king causes anxiety or fear by virtue of the shady characters he has consorted with as revealed by his sex scandal, his effectiveness as a country’s representative is compromised.  A formal investigation was never made into the strip club visits and blackmail photos because the monarch is immune from criminal charges.  As Sven Erik Osterberg, a member of Parliament and the constitutional oversight committee noted, “The only person who can look into this is the monarch himself, [he] who wishes it to blow over.”  While considered a ceremonial figure, the monarch has absolute immunity from criminal charges and cannot be prosecuted or held accountable for his or her actions in judicial proceedings.  It’s not difficult to understand why some  Swedish citizens have expressed fear of someone who has had dealings with criminals and cannot be charged with a crime.

Supposedly King Carl Gustaf believes the monarchy is nearing its end.  Were it not for the popularity of Crown Princess Victoria, likely the end would come sooner than later.  I believe Victoria will likely be Queen, but only if she ascends the throne in the next decade and only if reforms are made.

As the motion filed with Parliament indicated, “The current form of government are over 40 years old and was in his time a political steps that deepened democracy by limiting the monarch’s power. The Democratic reforms must continue, and in this direction is the abolition of the pre-democratic system that monarchy is an expression. It is high time to look again the monarchy’s role in modern Swedish society.”

The monarchies of Europe are looking for ways to evolve for the sake of self-preservation.  Prince Charles envisions a streamlined monarchy when he becomes king while newly kinged Felipe promised financial transparency and the opening up of the palace’s accounts following  his father’s  abdication.  While reports in the last few years have listed the Dutch Royal Family as the most expensive to taxpayers, no one really knows how much each monarchy costs to run because of costs that are hidden from the public.  With an estimated additional undisclosed $300 million in security, the British Royal Family likely is the most costly while Spain’s monarchy is probably the least expensive.  But no one really knows which is pretty astounding in modern times that the taxpayers have provided these hereditary institutions with blank checks.  Recently an extra $1 million was granted to King Carl Gustaf for “security”.  Likely the increase was for protection officers for its latest princess, Sofia, although it could be for new security cameras or it could be for a different kind of security for a king whose past scandals have required the purchasing of incriminating photos.

If Sweden’s monarchy is continue, it should follow the streamlining trend of limiting the Royal Family to current king/queen, heir and heir’s children and Spain’s lead with its operating costs.   According to the Swedish Monarchy’s royal finances page which lists 2013’s numbers, included in the budget for the Court Administration was Princess Lilian’s Household.  While Princess Lilian who passed away in March 2013 was obviously a beloved member of the Swedish Royal Family (she was the wife of the king’s uncle), I don’t understand why she continued to have a household staff covered under the appanage since it was announced in 2010 that sadly due to Alzheimer’s, she would no longer be able to make public appearances.  She was no longer undertaking royal duties so shouldn’t any expenses related to her care been covered out of her family’s personal finances?  Additionally, on the Royal Finances page, it lists budget and staff in terms of “approximately”.  When it comes to taxpayer money, shouldn’t there be complete transparency?

redheart

signature copy

 

20 thoughts on “The Future of Sweden’s Monarchy”

  1. Lola, be careful girlfriend, some folks cling to charades,cannot live with out perks, mammon is everything, free speech is soon going to be on the outs! P.S. I am so sorry my grammar is so very terrible!

  2. Someone (more than likely CP or maybe Sofia directly to CG) complained bitterly about being called out if police started getting involved. And while part of me thinks maybe the FBI were surveilling someone or something else in your neighborhood, it is a bit eerie.

    As for free speech, it’s a frightening thought that we could lose that basic right. If the Swedish monarch is so worried about what an American blog says about their new princess’s past they should have thought long and hard about allowing her into the family. It appears a lot of people can read her motives except the main ones involved. Maybe it is love, but it certainly doesn’t look like it from her side of things.

    Hang in their Lola!

    1. The FBI thing is a common joke name people give to their Wifi. Like Pretty Fly For a Wifi, FBI Surveillance Van, etc. 🙂

        1. No big deal, let’s allow everyone to know national security secrets! 😉 I’ve known plenty of people with gag Wifi names like that. FBI, CIA, etc. It’s good for a laugh.

          1. Seriously? I must live in a very dull neighborhood. All of the Wi-Fi’s are people’s first names. There’s one guy who is a total rebel, his Wi-Fi network is his last name. Crazy, right?

  3. Take care, Lola, and ask St. Michael the Archangel to protect you in body and spirit. I’ll ask him, too.
    As I read this blog entry, images of eery Stieg Larsson novels crept into my mind. Then, I began thinking of Sofia as the girl with the (dragon) tattoo . . .

  4. You guys are very sweet, but I don’t think I’m in any danger. I actually considered taking that part out, but I thought that flicker of paranoia I experienced attested to the kind of shady reputation the king and his court has.

    When Sofia was living in NYC, she was not discreet at all, the FBI wouldn’t have the resources necessary to stake out every single person Sofia told she was going steal Carl Philip away from his girlfriend and become a princess.

    Sofia’s motives were glaring obvious, five years ago a Svenskdam commenter noted she was using Carl Philip as a means to an end. The description of Sofia as having an “ugly heart” is one of the most succinct descriptions I’ve heard of Sofia to date. Sofia tries to use sugar coating to mask that she is nothing more than a con artist who uses sex to obtain her objectives. Now Sweden is stuck with funding Carl Philip falling for a mediocre con job. Maybe somewhere along the way Sofia did fall in love with Carl Philip but I doubt it, I think he was just an easy mark.

  5. I had no idea the king wanted Junior as his heir! Not a good move at all. CP Victoria will make a wonderful Queen, imo.

    And yes please do be careful Lola!

    1. Yep. And they should be thanking Daniel for just being an all around awesome dude and going with the program from day one.

      1. Daniel is wonderful, truly a prince. I also think Victoria does an incredible job. Considering the family dynamic she has to deal with, she does a pretty remarkable job holding it all together. Ironically, the child he didn’t want to succeed him is the one who is likely responsible for it lasting up to this point.

  6. Seriously, I don’t really think you’re in any danger from any ‘royal’ since they’ve proven time and time again that they don’t concern themselves with the ‘trivial little people’ and with a few rare exceptions are too busy strutting and preening to bother with ‘us’. However, I do resent the fact that they, because of their birth are immune from prosecution, just as I resent the immunity of diplomats. Monied people are pretty much immune in general, I realize but to blatantly state it infuriates me. Sofia, ah yes, Sofia, the more I read about her the less inclined I am to see her as anything but a gold digger and I’m not even a little sexist. (the men went for the hook). She may find out that she sold out to an immature spoiled little man whose father appears to think that having a wi wi makes a person superior. HA! The only thing that guys can do better than girls is pee out of a window, and with what CP thinks with is making me wonder if he would think to check to see if the window is open. I am happy that the people of Sweden are thinking and wondering about this ‘settle for whomever comes out of the chute’. I really think that Victoria will be happy no matter the outcome, she’s her own person and has a loving husband, daughter and a baby on the way. Sofia, however might not be so ‘in love’ if she’s not a ‘royal’. Again, time will tell.

  7. Just because I don’t think you’re in danger doesn’t mean that I don’t care or take your fear lightly:) 🙂 (( )) (hugs)

    1. No worries. I totally agree, my blog isn’t significant enough to be bothered with. I tend to be paranoid to begin with because I’ve been a victim of stalking and having spoken to people in Sweden in the last year, I got some contact fear. I’ve had Swedish Citizens reach out to me, submit comments with notes Please Don’t Publish saying that they just wanted to thank me for telling the truth about Sofia or saying they wish Sweden’s media would be as candid. There are people so afraid of King Carl Gustaf that they are fearful to have a comment posted under an online handle on an American blogger’s site. That is pretty messed up. The monarch is supposed to be a ceremonial figure and yet people are scared about saying anything negative about the Swedish Royal Family for fear of repercussions.

      1. You know, it’s really almost like the mafia in the ‘royal families’ or the fears in some third world countries!! And it’s genuine on the part of the people and for that matter others. When you have to live in fear or even the least bit of apprehension about speaking out with your perception of the truth it’s time for change. Period. The ‘firms’ around the world are archaic and totally useless in my opinion and the idea of ‘inherited status’ is as well. Look at good old William, he doesn’t want the ‘job’ he was born to do and it’s my personal opinion that breeding for a specific purpose is for dogs, not people. Just for the record there are times when I wonder if my ip address doesn’t open the door to some crazy fanatics out there. You Tube has some really vicious and personal comments and when you go against the tide these loony tunes can really become outright crazed. If you have been a victim of stalking in any form I totally understand why you would be leery but hopefully the fact that you have lots of followers who care about you and Nightwing is a comfort. We’re out here too and on the side of ‘let’s get real here’. Your blog isn’t vitriolic, your followers aren’t vicious, and your talent is awesome and I’m thankful that you are out there. Had you not been, and had I followed the ‘royals’ w/o a balance I would have been taken in. They have no direct impact on my life, granted, but they do have an impact on a whole lot of people in this world and the damned fools owe those people and should be totally transparent and honest, and quite frankly..**know their place** and butt the hell out of anything that their positions preclude. They can’t have it all. Prince Charles seems to be pushing the envelope these days and that’s having his cake and eating it too while people are starving and homeless in Britain. It’s time to do away with the ‘birth’ rights. Too many grab the rights and forget the obligations and sacrifices. Gotta run…but had to drop in and say your talent is awesome and you’re using it to enlighten, entertain, and I’m happy that your fear hasn’t held you back!!!

  8. Vic & Dan are on a state visit in Peru, then Columbia! Princess Victoria is pregnant & not lazy. Can you imagine a pregnant K.M. on a state visit? Halia

  9. It can’t be a coincidence that this motion comes right after the CP and Sofia’s wedding. The parliament came back from a summer break on September 15 and it only took three weeks to write this motion. It includes representatives from the two parties in the government, which is significant. The others are from the government’s supporters on the left and a liberal from the opposition. The first three parties are republican according to their party programmes, but it has been taboo to push the subject. That changed with Sofia’s flesh coloured flower columns.

    I doubt CG XVI has the intellectual resources to do you any harm. 🙂

  10. Dearest Lola,
    I hope you are feeling better today and that the guy in the cap was looking for someone else.
    There wouldn’t be any reason for FBI to involve itself in a witty and harmless blogg like yours, Swedish royal family doesn’t have that kind of power. And US is against monarchy right? It would suit US if Sweden were to abolish monarchy.

    The first comment you commented, that said a person were banned from studying child psychology because the person got a policerecord…that can’t be true. Universities do not check policerecord ( they can’t) wich makes me wonder about the truth in what that person is saying. If the person in that story got a visit from the police and later was sentenced for a crime and got a police record, it must have been because of proven direct threats against
    Carl Philip. The police in our country doesn’t bother with peoples opinions, we live in a democracy. The writers of the book about Carl Gustav are free and walking the streets for example.

    So what I meant to say is that you dearest Lola are safe from the Swedish royal family. You might not be invited for any baptism or wedding though! But who cares about a royal ball in the castle anyway?

    Big hugs from me and my cats to you and
    Nightwings!

Comments are closed.