Author of new book about the King fired.
Who wants to know everything about our King’s private life? Dei gratia rex - Kings were made 'by the grace of God' and untouchable no longer seems to be the norm.
One of the most controversial books to hit the stores in Sweden this fall is without doubt “Carl XVI Gustaf – Den motvillige monarken” (Carl XVI Gustaf – the reluctant monarch).
The book, just out now (on shelves Nov. 4), is sure to raise a debate, and it seems to have already begun: One of the authors of the book has been shut off from her job as a radio reporter.
“My boss called me into his office,” says Tove Meyer. “I will get paid until the end of the year, but I may not do any editorial work.”
Sveriges Radio, SR, (Swedish Radio) says the reason is, that the newsworthy material of the shocking book is irreconcilable with Meyer’s work as a researching reporter at the radio.
Says her publisher Kristoffer Lind:
“This is a surprise. SR has known all the time about her writing the book. Obviously they’ve gotten cold feet now.” Needless to say, many have criticized Swedish Radio’s decision to let Meyer go. Chairman of Reportrar utan grãnser (Reporters without borders) Jesper Bengtsson says: “SR must give a believable and valid explanation for this. That Tove Meyer is let go because of double roles (her job as a writer of the book and as a reporter) is not enough of a reason. If this is a way to silence somebody who is looking into the Swedish royal family critically, then that is ill-boding. We must be able to scrutinize the royal family the way we scrutinize any other institution, without risking losing our jobs.”
Björn Löfdahl, program director at SR, explains that it’s a question of credibility: “What it means is, you cannot work at two projects at the same time, where in one situation you present something interesting and exciting, and in the next you keep quiet about it. That’s when your two projects are in conflict with one another. Our reporters are allowed to write books, but what we say is that if they find something of interest they have to tell us first, in the case with Tove Meyer we haven’t been able to decide whether she did or not.”
The most explosive stuff of the book-to-come seems to concern the King’s rumored visits to two nightclubs of bad reputation. These visits allegedly took place in Atlanta, GA during the Olympic Games in 1996, and in Bratislava, Slovakia at the beginning of 2008. Another of the authors writes that these places “are, or can be, compromising for a regent – and thus risky for him and for the country he is head of state of.” The King as well as the court have denied these visits, but the authors (Tove Meyer, Deanne Rauscher and Thomas Sjöberg) don’t buy these denials, but instead present a source who says “it’s his guess” that the King spent a lot of money at the Atlanta club, and that “he thinks he remembers the King wearing a grey suit”. The information concerning the Bratislava club comes from security guards working there who say they are sure the Swedish king visited and seem to remember him and his entourage clearly: “Yes, yes, about one year ago. Very funny guys. Yes we are sure.” None of these people are working at the club anymore. The main author of the book, Thomas Sjöberg, has no comment about the material in the book.
“Carl XVI Gustaf – Den motvillige monarken”
by Thomas Sjöberg, Deanne Rauscher, Tove Meyer
ISBN 10: 9174610163
Published by Lind & Co. (http://www.lindco.se/)
Decision not to sue
The Royal Court has decided not to sue the publisher or the book's authors, according to several sources in Swedish media. The King also held what must be considered an ill prepared press conference after the conclusion of this year's moose hunt on Nov. 4. The King was greeted by an unprecedented over 60 reporters from all of Scandinavia. The meeting with the press was televised and can be watched at Sweden's Tv4: http://tinyurl.com/23uyygw (link made shorter for your convenience. In Swedish only and preceded by a commercial.) The King and Queen left Sweden shortly after the meeting to travel to China and official representations there.
Footnote: The support for the monarchy in Sweden has been declining over the last 30 years. Some surveys indicate the the support for the monarchy has gone from over 80% ten years ago to well under 60%. Is it now at a point where Wilhelm Moberg would be happy? The popular author opposed the monarchy not for its representatives but for the effect it had on people and society overall, creating loyal and thus submissive subjects rather than independently thinking individuals. Wilhelm Moberg, author of the immensely popular emigrant series, was a devoted republican, who published a book on his views on the constitutional monarchy of Sweden, "Därför är jag republikan" [This is why I am a republican]