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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Swedish Royals and its Controversies

The British royals are not the only members of European royalty that have gotten into troubles and misadventures in life over the past years, their distant cousins elsewhere in the continent have some shares of unglamorous slip-ups too. 

Let's be honest, royals still resonate that bewitching, often strange,  brand of ancient myth and magic that even modernists continue to criticize their gone-with-the-ages existence, some of us can't still help but be mesmerized with their presence.  So much so that any updates about them, good or bad, immaterial or substantial, are considered worthy of turning the news page. Or so I thought lol!

Most members of the world media allotted big spaces of their columns to British royals, thus, most people rarely heard anything about other members of the European royal court, but did you know that other royals are far more interesting than their Brits cousins? Aside from, of course wealth and privilege, they are drop dead gorgeous and glamorous and had married highly cultured, independent and career-oriented women.

And yes, the controversies and intrigues they'd gotten are more spicy and provocative. 

Due to several controversies that gone haywire spurred from his controversial safari hunting adventure and the corruption charges against his son-in-law, the once highly admired King of Spain, Juan Carlos, suffered a terrible blow in what could have been his very successful reign in the last 37 years. The scandals heavily tainted the Spanish royal court that an abdication has been suggested by several critics. But the Spanish royal court maintained the King never considered relinquishing the throne to his only son, Felipe, the Prince of Asturias, at least for the time being.

Somewhere in the Scandinavian peninsula, the royal court of another cousin seems in a hot water too, no, not lately, but some years back, but the intrigues continued to haunt the royal family.

King Carl XVI Gustav, who had just visited the Philippines to support the country's rehabilitation effort for the Yolanda victims in Tacloban City, became the center of uncomfortable and malicious talks when a book related to his life was published in 2010. The book shares juicy intrigues about the King's past including his nightclub antics when he was still a crown prince. The book authors claimed the King, who was then 27 years old and enjoying his bachelorhood, would often attend sex parties in a mafia-run club organized by a Serbian gangster.

The publication of the book created so much controversies that everyone expected for the King to make a denial but to everyone's surprise he made a bizarre statement before the camera crews and journalists, "I have spoken with the Queen and my family and we chose to turn the page and move forward because these are the things that happened in the past"...

Royal analysts could not just believe the King uttered such statement which could be viewed as indirect confession to the allegations. Anyway the Swedish royal court has moved on and the malicious contents of the book, though many believed had tarnished the reputation of the King, did not actually affect the views of most of the Swedes.

The revelations in the book were not the only controversies the Swedish royals faced in recent years. The romances of the King's children became the subjects of so much intrigues too. 

The King's heir-apparent, Princess Victoria, raised many eyebrows when she married her commoner personal gym trainer who was far below her status and station. The King initially disapproved his daughter's relationship with Daniel Westling but later, maybe realizing he could not do anything to stop the romance and his daughter was very much in love, he had given his approval for the marriage and on June 2010, the two tied the knot.

Victoria's younger sister, Princess Madeleine, who, as a child, was touted to be one of Prince William of England's ideal royal matches, broke her engagement to Jonas Bergstrom in 2009 when it was found out the man had kept an affair with another woman. Madeleine went to New York city where she met and fall in love with financier, Christopher O'Neil. They married on June 8, 2013 in Stockholm and expecting their first child this February 2014.

The stories of controversial romances among King Carl's children did not end in his daughters, his only son, Prince Carl Philip, has his share of offhand romantic adventures too.

Children of King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden posed for photographers 
during the 40th anniversary (2013) of the King on the Swedish throne.
Princess Victoria and her husband, Daniel Westling, Prince Carl Philip, 
Princess Madeleine and her husband, Chris O'Neill

The prince was briefly the King's heir-apparent in 1979 before the law on succession was changed from male-preference to absolute making his older sister, Victoria, the crown princess. The King was reportedly disagreed with the changes because he felt his only son was deprived with what is due to him at his birth. The law was finalized on January 1, 1980 stripping Prince Carl Philip his right to directly succeed. But in the British line of succession where the Swedish royals are direct descendants of Queen Victoria, Prince Carl Philip is still ahead of her sister in the listing.

His Royal Highness, Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and his girlfriend, 
former reality star and model Sofia Hellqvist

Anyway, the Prince, who is a keen sportsman and an officer in the Swedish royal navy, looks very happy now and enjoying his freedom. He might even thank the changes in the succession law because he won't be forced to be very formal and reserve in choosing a future wife (but even then, his sister, who would become a Queen regnant in the future, did not also confine herself in the royal tradition of choosing a suitable spouse). As he is no longer in direct line to become a King, Carl Philip perhaps does not really care who he want to be as a wife, and this maybe the reason why, despite some public objection and criticism, he pursued a romance with a woman considered to be slightly unsuitable.

Sofia Hellqvist, whom the Prince began dating in 2010, had caused more royal observers' eyebrows to raise than Daniel Westling  due to her unconventional background before she met Prince Carl Philip. She is a Swedish model and reality star who once posed naked in a magazine pictorial and once admitted she had making out with a U.S porn star while visiting Las Vegas, unheard for a wife of a royal prince. 

Reports circulated lately that the couple, who had been living together since 2011, is planning to get married this year and their engagement would soon be announced, though no confirmation yet from the Swedish royal palace. If that would happen, Prince Carl Philip will be the first royal prince since Prince Haakon of Norway to take a wife with a very unconventional reputation.

But who are we to judge? Everyone is capable of starting a new, uncluttered life and it's always unfair to judge the person by his/her past. And as what King Carl XVI Gustav said in his famous statement "we chose to turn the page and move forward because these are the things that happened in the past"...everything could just be put behind and it looks like his son had seriously absorbed the King's statement.

Sofia seemed successfully redeemed herself.  She is focusing on charitable works and looks like she is well-accepted in the royal family. She has seen on various occasions joining the company of the royal family.

Well, who said that fairytale never come true?

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