Thumbs-up to autumn in Haga Park
The royal family shared a sweet seasonal greeting with Sweden on Nov. 23, expressed in photos of Princess Estelle. Playing in the leaves near the water at Haga Park in Stockholm, the future queen, who will be 4 in February, feeds the ducks and gives the thumbs up — a gesture she must have learned from her mother, Crown Princess Victoria, who is often seen doing the same thing. The crown princess family loves to spend time in Haga Park where they live. Their residence, Haga Palace, was built in 1802-1804. Throughout the 19th century, the palace was home to members of the royal family. It was renovated in 1930 and became the residence of Crown Prince Gustav Adolf and Princess Sibylla, the place where the current King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf and his sisters were born and raised. The King transferred its ownership to the government and from 1966 until 2009 the palace was used to accommodate distinguished guests of the Swedish government. It was then transferred back to the royal court as a wedding gift to Crown Prince Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel, who moved into Haga Palace after their wedding in June 2010.

The King makes a splashy announcement to ban baths
King Carl XVI Gustaf is committed to saving the environment, so his idea to ban bathtubs isn’t altogether surprising. He acknowledged the suggestion was perhaps “lighthearted,” but there is validity to it. “Those small details have an enormous effect,” he said, in an interview ahead of the UN climate summit in Paris at the end of the month. The King was recently reminded of the impact fewer baths could make on the environment when he was forced to take a bath in a hotel room that lacked a shower. “It took a lot of fresh water and energy,” he said. “It struck me so clearly: It’s not wise that I have to do this. I really felt ashamed for (wasting so much water), I really did.”

Swedes, including the King, are eating less red meat
Swedes eat a lot of red meat – an average of 87 kilograms (192 pounds) per person per year, according to the Swedish Board of Agriculture. Last year that number was markedly lower, however, and a Sifo survey shows that one in five Swedes says they now eat less red meat to reduce their impact on the environment. One of the largest demographic groups to do this (33 percent) is women ages 30 to 49 who live in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo. Many of these women influence what others eat since they are the meal planners in their families. Some are preparing more fish or chicken instead, some more vegetables. However, another 33 percent surveyed said they weren’t cutting down on red meat, and 17 percent responded they were "hardly" doing so. Statistics from the Agriculture Department show the overall amount of meat-eating is down in Sweden, including among royal family members, and the organization Svenskt Kött (Swedish Meat) is noticing. "Today we have consumers who are more and more aware," says Marie Forshufvud, CEO of Svenskt Kött. She says when Swedes do eat red meat, they are choosing better, more expensive cuts. "Often it's about choosing the Swedish meat," says Forshufvud, who doesn’t think the decline is a problem for producers in Sweden. It is of course natural that they recommend local rather than imported products, which has shown to be good for many reasons: "Farming in Sweden is more effective. A large part of beef production is based on dairy farming. The cows produce both meat and milk and there is an efficiency in this — makes the Swedish production less of a strain on the environment," says Forshufvud.