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Sweden cheers birth of baby Prince Alexander

The newest member of Sweden's royal family will be called Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil, his grandfather King Carl XVI Gustaf announced at a press conference on Thursday.

Sweden cheers birth of baby Prince Alexander
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Crown Princess Victoria revealing the name. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

The baby prince, who was born on Tuesday evening, will become Duke of Södermanland, the region south of Stockholm.

“It is great that the stork has been active for the Bernadotte family this spring,” the King told Swedish journalists gathered at the Royal Palace, referring to the birth of Prince Oscar just seven weeks ago.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, who attended the press conference, revealed he had met the little prince earlier that day and said he had held him for 15 minutes, describing the experience as “wonderful”.

“He was asleep, but had apparently kept his parents up during the night,” said Löfven.


Princess Sofia, Prince Carl Philip and Prince Alexander. Photo: Kungahuset/Royal Court

On Wednesday the first picture of Prince Alexander, as he will be referred to, and his parents Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia leaving Danderyd Hospital was released. The happy family is currently staying at Drottningholm castle west of Stockholm.

His grandmother Queen Silvia was in New York during the birth, but the King paid a visit to the hospital on Wednesday morning to say hello to the new prince.

“What's important is that Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip are well. This little child too. Looked very nice and cute,” the King was quoted by the Expressen tabloid as saying while leaving the hospital.

“For my wife and me, this is a great day full of emotion,” Carl Philip told a press conference following the birth of the couple's first child late on Tuesday.

The baby weighed in at 3.6 kilograms (8 pounds) and measured 49 centimetres (19.3 inches), the prince added.

Carl Philip, 36, is the second child and only son of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden. His elder sister Princess Victoria is first in line to the throne.

He married Sofia Hellqvist, 31, a former contestant on TV reality show 'Paradise Hotel', in a ceremony in June last year.

There had been rumours ahead of Thursday's press conference that their son would be named Duke of Dalarna, the region where Sofia grew up.

Alexander already has plenty of royal cousins to play with. Prince Oscar, the second child of Princess Victoria, was born just seven weeks ago. He is the younger brother of four-year-old Princess Estelle. London-based Princess Madeleine also has two children, Princess Leonore and Prince Nicolas. 

A total of 77,817 men and 29 women are called Alexander in Sweden.

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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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