Royal Greetings from Polynesia. Royal revenues – less than expected. How to make the perfect Midsummer wreath. Veil in the way. IKEA violates UN code of conduct?
Royal Greetings from Polynesia
A postcard arrived to us, stamped somewhere in French Polynesia – well, almost. Swedish newspaper Expressen found the Crown Princess and her new husband first and they are forwarding their greetings. Expressen met the honeymooning couple on an island in the South Pacific where they are cruising around on a luxury yacht. The search for the Crown Princess and the Prince has been tabloid fodder in Sweden for days, now that Expressen found them the search is over. The couple said that they were overwhelmed by the wedding and by the turnout in the streets, and in front of television sets. “It has been tremendous and we've talked a lot about it afterwards ... that we almost cannot believe it's true,” Victoria said to Expressen. The couple said they were worried in advance that they would not be present, and enjoy the days - something they think they nevertheless succeeded with. “And as many said in advance 'make sure you enjoy the moment', we really did that. Wonderful," Daniel said. Another worry was the weather. Victoria told Expressen that given the way it looked the day before the wedding, they were pretty nervous. Victoria and Daniel snuck away in the middle of the wedding party on Saturday for a secret start of their honeymoon. They borrowed a private plane by the Swedish billionaire Bertil Hult that took them to French Polynesia, where they now are sailing around with Hult's luxury yacht. “The opportunity was given us, and we wanted to get away to be alone. It's amazing here," the Crown Princess of Sweden said. But that much peace and quiet has not been given the couple, since the tabloids were right behind them. Thomas Mattson, Expressen's editor in chief, writes on his blog about the dramatic episode of news journalism, "a drama of seconds”. The internet connection at the reporter's hotel ceased to function after the newspaper had found the royal couple. It was only seconds before the nightly deadline that the images from French Polynesia finally arrived. Now, at least this tabloid promises that Victoria and Daniel will be left in peace on their honeymoon. "Now the Crown Princess and the Prince have had the chance to thank the Swedish people for the praise on Saturday, and therefore Expressen will no longer follow them," writes Thomas Mattson.
Royal revenues – less than expected
The Crown Princess wedding gave less than expected contributions to Stockholm's tourism industry, show figures from the Swedish Trade Federation. During two weeks the revenue reached SEK 70-80 million ($9,017,258.33 - $10,308,102.77), compared to the SEK 100 million ($12,885,128.47) that Stockholm's storekeepers had anticipated. How much the products from the official wedding series - chocolate, porcelain and other things – brought in is however not yet clear.
How to make the perfect Midsummer wreath
It’s Midsummer and you really should wear some flowers in your hair. The cheapest – and most fun – way to do one is to pick your own flowers, and not rely on the florist’s. In most Swedish families, that is also the tradition. Flowers that are perfect to use are: cornflower, daisies, and clover – they all have soft stems that are easy to work with. For beginners the best way to create a midsummer wreath is to use birch twigs. First, you gather all the flowers and the birch twigs you need. Measure around your head, the wreath has to be slightly longer than the measurement. Braid the birch twigs, as you would hair. Whenever the twigs are getting too small, you simply add new twigs a bit further up in the braid. When you have braided enough to fit your head, stick in the ends into the beginnings of the braid, forming a wreath. You might have to spend some time fiddling with small twigs sticking out here and there, also prune the braid and get rid of unsightly twigs. Decorate your wreath with your flowers, use a strong thread for this to make sure the flowers don’t fall off when you dance! And also, don’t forget to save some of the flowers to put under your pillow: Midsummer Eve is when you will dream about your future spouse, but only if you sleep on top of seven (or nine) hand picked flowers. It won’t work otherwise.
Veil in the way
Stockholm municipality is sentenced to pay 35,000 SEK ($4,487.18) to a 23- year old woman. The reason is that she was not allowed to finish a job-related education because she wore a veil. According to the Ombudsman for discrimination the course director had said that the woman would not get a job anyway if she continued to wear the veil. This is the third case this year of the same kind that the Ombudsman for discrimination has handled.
IKEA violates UN code of conduct?
Swedish professor of international law, Ove Bring claims that the Swedish international furniture giant IKEA discriminate against Palestinians since they deliver furniture to Israeli settlers on the West Bank but not to Palestinians. IKEA claims this is because of local rules and that local transport companies are doing the deliveries. The Swedish radio (SR) reports that it is very possible to get a Billy bookshelf delivered to the settlements in Nokdim on the West Bank but not to Palestinian Ramallah.
Bring claims that this violates the UN code of conducts, which IKEA writes on their homepage that they follow.
Gabrielle Olsson-Skalin at IKEA said to the Swedish radio this morning that they must follow international law, but also local law in the countries where they do business. Bring claims however that it is not that easy.
- Even though there are local transfer companies that deliver the products, IKEA must examine whether these companies really cannot deliver to all customers who request the products, he said to SR.