King should surrender throne to Victoria: poll

As more reports of womanising and shady connections continue to emerge, most Swedes think King Carl XVI Gustaf should relinquish the throne to Crown Princess Victoria in the next decade, a poll showed Saturday.

King should surrender throne to Victoria: poll

A full 59 percent of Swedes want the king to step down within the next 10 years, while only 29 percent think he should reign until his death, according to a Demoskop poll published in the Expressen daily.

The Internet poll conducted Friday of 620 people also showed that while 73 percent of those questioned said they had much or very much confidence in Victoria, only 39 percent said the same thing about her father.

Thirty-two percent of people polled said they had little or very little confidence in the king, compared to just nine percent for the crown princess.

The king reached the official retirement age of 65 last month but has said he has no plans to abdicate in favour of his 33-year-old daughter.

The latest poll confirms opinions seen in other recent surveys and comes just days after commercial broadcaster TV4 claimed it had viewed pictures of the king in a strip club in the same shot as two women having sex.

TV4’s report came as a new book said friends of the king had been willing to pay large sums of money to block the publication of pictures of him in compromising situations.

At least one of his friends reportedly contacted an alleged mafia boss to ask for help to negotiate with the strip club owner and stop him from making the pictures public.

The royal court in Stockholm told AFP Saturday it has demanded that TV4 show the pictures detailed in its report.

“TV4 must show what it is they are talking about. Where’s the substance? For now, as far as I can tell, there is no substance to this,” court information chief Bertil Ternert said, adding that the report had put him in the “impossible situation … of being asked to react to something we have not seen.”

“There needs to be some form of justice here. You cannot just attack the royal court and the king without disclosing what the substance is,” he insisted.

The latest reports come just over six months after a tell-all biography of the king hit the bookstands, causing uproar with its descriptions of his participation in wild parties and affairs with young women.

The claims have also surfaced less than a week after the court announced that Carl XVI Gustaf’s wife, German-born Queen Silvia, had launched an investigation into the nature of controversial ties between her father and the Nazi regime.

That probe comes on the heels of another investigative report by TV4 that Silvia’s father, whom she had previously insisted was not politically active although he was a member of the Nazi party, had taken over a German factory belonging to a Jew in 1939 as part of an “Aryanisation” programme.

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Swedish King snubs Norway bicentenary

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustav has ruffled feathers in neighbouring Norway by declining an invitation to attend the 200th anniversary of Norway's constitution on May 17th.

Swedish King snubs Norway bicentenary
Carl XVI Gustag gives his New Year's Speech last week. Screengrab: SVT
National Day, on May 17th, is arguably the most important day of the year for Norwegians, with marches and flag-waving taking place across the nation to commemorate the signing of country's first constitution. 
But while Denmark's Queen Margrethe has announced that she will be attending the bicentenary event in Eidsvoll, where the constitution was signed, Sweden's King is not attending. 
"Since this is such an important national event and means a good deal to the Norwegians, I think that the Swedish King and Queen ought to be present," Karsten Alnæs, a prominent Norwegian historian, told The Local. "It would make the occasion even more solemn and it would contribute to the good relations between our two countries." 
Sten Hedman, a veteran Swedish court reporter, rued the King's decision, calling it "ahistorical". 
"We are a sister nation so we should also celebrate the fact that Norway got a constitution," he told NRK. "This is the anniversary, and it will be over 100 years until the next time we get this opportunity." 
He speculated that if Norway's King Harald V issued a personal invitation, King Carl Gustav would be more likely to attend.
Norway's constitution was signed in May 1814 after Norway, rather than accept the deal between Britain, Sweden and Denmark  to transfer rule from Denmark to Sweden at the Treaty of Kiel, instead declared independence. 
Sweden's then Crown Prince Carl Johan marched on Norway, but after failing to secure an outright victory, agreed to accept the constitution, in return for which he was crowned King of Norway.