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Netflix’s The Crown has had viewers gripped with a dramatisation of some of the most scandalous moments in the history of the Royal Family.
But the blockbuster series will surely have nothing on the drama of the upcoming Swedish version, which has recently started filming.
Monarki, meaning monarchy in Swedish, will follow the life of reining King Carl XVI Gustaf in a six-part series that has already been met with distaste by members of his family, according to Tatler.
Netflix’s The Crown has had viewers gripped with a dramatisation of some of the most scandalous moments in the history of the Royal Family. But the blockbuster series will surely have nothing on the drama of the upcoming Swedish version, which has recently started filming. Pictured, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia (centre) with their family
There is certainly no shortage of drama to be mined for the six-part series, which is scheduled to air later this year.
In 2010 the Swedish monarchy was rocked by the release of a new biography about the King which shined a light on his ‘wild sex parties with strippers and lengthy affair with a singer’.
Meanwhile his daughter-in-law Princess Sofia was a glamour model who posed topless before meeting Prince Carl Philip.
While the exact details of the series are not yet known, FEMAIL delves into some of the scandals that would certainly be enough to keep screenwriters busy….
KING CARL XVI GUSTAF’S ‘WILD SEX PARTIES’
In 2010 the Swedish monarchy was rocked by the release of a new biography about the King (pictured in the ’90s with his wife) which shined a light on his ‘wild sex parties with strippers and lengthy affair with a singer’
He was seen as the perfect 21st-century monarch, insisting Swedish law be changed to allow his eldest daughter to succeed him rather than his only son.
For years, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden’s only acknowledgement of a racier world was the stable of fast cars he enjoyed driving – while his 45-year marriage to Queen Silvia was credited as a wonderful example of partnership.
Yet in 2010 the Swedish monarchy was rocked by the release of a new biography about the King which shined a light on his ‘wild sex parties with strippers and lengthy affair with a singer’.
Titled The Reluctant Monarch (pictured), it accused King Carl – who is a third cousin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth – of attending underground strip clubs with his friends and having an extramarital affair
Titled The Reluctant Monarch, it accused King Carl – who is a third cousin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth – of attending underground strip clubs with his friends and having an extramarital affair.
Following the biography’s release, King Carl offered a ‘vague’ statement, saying he and his family had chosen to ‘turn the page… and move forward because, as I understand, these are things that happened a long time ago.’
The controversial book revealed that the king and his friends had enjoyed the company of ‘coffee girls’ – women who would ‘entertain’ the group, consisting of members of the remains of Swedish aristocracy.
It also alleged that the king visited underground strip clubs. In the biography, the three investigative authors claimed the King had ‘wild sex parties involving strippers’, sometimes hosted by an infamous Mafia boss in a Stockholm club.
It was also alleged that, over many years, he had been protected by the Swedish secret service, Sapo, covering up embarrassing material in his wake and pressuring women to hand over compromising pictures.
According to the late Mafia-linked club owner Mille Markovic, who was quoted in the book, he liked having the King as a customer because it minimised the possibility of police raids.
Following the publication of the book, Markovic claimed that he had compromising photographs of the king with naked women, taken at one of his sex clubs in the 1980s.
In 2021, the author of the controversial biography, Thomas Sjöberg, appeared on a new podcast, Motive, to explore with the documentary series creator, Nils Bergman, the ‘royal scandal’.
In the descriptions of the six-part podcast, available via the Acast+ subscription service, it is said that the King and his friends, the so-called ‘royal gang’, for a few years in the early ‘90s had a standing reservation on Mondays at the underground club owned by Markovic.
‘Young women and strippers have in an almost systematic way been called into these party nights to please this elite group of powerful men,’ read the synopsis of episode two, when translated from Swedish to English.
‘The men have promised the world, modelling jobs and careers in the entertainment industry, in exchange for providing what they want.’
Several women interviewed for the book claimed they had sex with the King. After one big dinner celebrating a successful elk hunt, he is said to have enjoyed sex with two women at the same time.
At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where the King of Sweden was inevitably a VIP guest, he is said to have spent $10,000 (£7,000) in the Gold Club nightclub, including two hours in a room alone with one of the strippers.
In some instances, Sapo agents have been used to search the homes of women in order to confiscate pictures taken at the King’s private parties.
‘If the rolls of film and pictures aren’t turned over, some unpleasant things will happen,’ the book startlingly claimed.
THE GLAMOUR MODEL TURNED PRINCESS
Princess Sofia and Prince Carl-Philip, the son of King Carl XVI Gustaf, raised eyebrows when their romance first became public – due to the then Sofia Hellqvist’s (pictured) history of topless modelling
The mother-of-three, who married her Prince in a lavish Stockholm ceremony in the summer of 2015 (pictured), has previously recalled the ‘huge hate storm’ she faced when her relationship with the royal was revealed
News of Sofia’s relationship with Carl-Philip (pictured together) – then one of Europe’s most eligible bachelors – emerged in 2010
Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip with their children Alexander and Gabriel in 2018
Princess Sofia and Prince Carl-Philip, the son of King Carl XVI Gustaf, raised eyebrows when their romance first became public – due to the then Sofia Hellqvist’s history of topless modelling.
Who are the Swedish royals?
Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife Silvia, the King and Queen of Sweden
At the age of 76 Carl is the longest reigning monarch in Swedish history, having succeeded to the throne in 1973 .
He and his wife Queen Silvia, 78, a German-Brazilian former flight attendant, have three children: Victoria, 45, Carl, 43, and Madeleine, 40, and eight grandchildren, and have increasingly been handing responsibilities down to heir apparent, Crown Princess Victoria.
Crown Princess Victoria, eldest daughter of King Carl XVI Gustaf, and her husband Prince Daniel
Victoria was not expected to succeed to the throne when she was born in 1977 but a change in the law of succession three years later changed that.
In 2010, Victoria married her former personal trainer Daniel Westling, and the couple share two children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar.
Prince Carl Philip, son of King Carl XVI Gustaf, and his wife Princess Sofia
Prince Carl Philip caused a stir when he married former glamour model Sofia Hellqvist in 2014.
The Prince accused the public of ‘bullying’ her at the time, but the duo went on to welcome Prince Alexander, in April 2016 and another little boy, Prince Gabriel, in August the following year. They also share Prince Julian.
Princess Madeleine, youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf, and her husband Christopher O’Neill
Princess Madeleine broke off her engagement to a lawyer to marry a ‘commoner’, financier Christopher O’Neill, in 2013.
He declined a royal title when he married the princess so he was free to pursue his career and the couple live a relatively private life in the US with their children Leonore, Nicolas and Adrienne.
The mother-of-three, who married her Prince in a lavish Stockholm ceremony in the summer of 2015, has previously recalled the ‘huge hate storm’ she faced when her relationship with the royal was revealed.
She was addressing the issue of bullying as a speaker at the Let’s Make Love Great Again festival in 2018 when she described how the media furore ‘knocked her over’.
‘People had opinions about me and my relationship, and more,’ she told TV4 in an interview.
‘It was very tough. People had comments on everything possible, on what I do and how I look,’ said the Princess, who has undertaken charity work to combat hate speech on the web.
News of Sofia’s relationship with Carl-Philip – then one of Europe’s most eligible bachelors – emerged in 2010.
Sofia had some experience of the limelight, having starred on the Swedish version of the US reality TV show Paradise Hotel, and modelled topless for magazines including a men’s title called Slitz.
But it was evidently not enough to prepare her for the scrutiny that news of the royal romance would spark.
‘When my relationship with Carl-Philip became public I was greeted by a huge hate storm,’ the Princess told TV4, according to a report in Royal Central.
‘People had opinions about me and my relationship, and more. It surprised me and knocked me over for a period of time.’
Her own experience of bullying has inspired Sofia’s efforts towards combating the issue since becoming a royal – the Prince Couple’s Foundation, founded on the occasion of Sofia and Carl-Philip’s wedding, works to combat hate speech.
Born in Täby, outside of Stockholm, Sofia was encouraged to excel at school by her Danish father and Swedish mother, and eventually left Sweden to study in New York once she finished school.
She later returned to attend University of Stockholm, and began modelling to help fund her studies. Her glamour shots saw her crowned Miss Slitz in 2004 by readers of the Swedish men’s mag.
She was later cast in the reality show Paradise Hotel, which sees single contestants paired off with a new person who they share a room with for seven days.
Sofia’s risqué past meant that news of her relationship with Carl-Philip – who had ended his relationship with his girlfriend of almost a decade, PR Emma Pernauld – shocked even liberal Sweden.
The two are understood to have met in a nightclub in Stockholm.
KING CARL XVI GUSTAF’S ‘LENGTHY AFFAIR WITH SINGER’
No fewer than 14 pages detailed an alleged lengthy affair he had with Camilla Henemark (pictured), the Swedish singer and model
In 2010, The Reluctant Monarch also accused King Carl of having an extramarital affair with a famous Swedish singer in the 90s.
No fewer than 14 pages detailed an alleged lengthy affair he had with Camilla Henemark, the Swedish singer and model.
Her response to the revelations following the book launch was not to deny them but merely to say her lawyer had advised her ‘not to give any comments’.
In 2010, The Reluctant Monarch also accused King Carl (pictured with his wife in 2020) of having an extramarital affair with a famous Swedish singer in the 90s
The book claimed that Queen Silvia was aware of this affair but was helpless as the King ‘had fallen in love like a teenager and, on one occasion, the King and Henemark were talking about leaving for a distant island, like Marlon Brando in Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, where they planned to live on coconuts’.
‘It’s terrible that this has all come out,’ said a courtier at the time. ‘But the Queen is a trooper. She will show nothing.’
When first faced with questions about the book, after enjoying a gathering with friends and shooting elk, the King said he had not read it ‘yet’, but he understood what it contained.
‘I have spoken with my family and the Queen and we choose to turn the page … and move forward because, as I understand, these are things that happened a long time ago,’ he said.
Recalling the monarch’s statement, the podcast claims ‘the most important thing for the trio of authors is that the king at least does not deny any of their claims.’
However, Thomas, the author of the book, admits he was ‘punished for digging into the King’s private life’, finding it difficult to get new journalist assignments.
Branded a ‘scandal book author’, he began work as a bus driver in Stockholm.
Episode four of the podcast, meanwhile, details the release of The Reluctant Monarch, and how ‘it caused chaos within the Swedish media… drawing headlines all over the world.’
Upon the launch of the scandalous book, the 75-year-old King’s image of ‘almost dull respectability underwent a remarkable transformation,’ suggested journalists at the time.
And in 2017, only one-fifth of the Swedish public polled said he was their favourite royal and some two-fifths said that he should abdicate, according to Newsweek.
Meanwhile, his daughter Victoria, 44, was picked by nearly 50 per cent of those asked about who their favourite royal was.
PRINCESS VICTORIA WEDS HER FORMER FITNESS COACH
On June 21, 2010, Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria wed her former fitness trainer – now known as Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland – after a seven-year romance
On their wedding day, the couple exchanged vows in front of nearly 1,000 royals and dignitaries from across the world while four ministers conducted the service at Stockholm Cathedral
Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel with their children Prince Oscar and Princess Estelle
On June 21, 2010, Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria wed her former fitness trainer – now known as Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland – after a seven-year romance.
Victoria is the heir to the throne, rather than her younger brother Prince Carl Philip, because of a change in the law insisted on by their father, which enables the eldest to inherit, whatever their gender.
On their wedding day, the couple exchanged vows in front of nearly 1,000 royals and dignitaries from across the world while four ministers conducted the service at Stockholm Cathedral.
About 250,000 people lined the streets of Stockholm as the country celebrated its ‘fairytale royal wedding’.
The princess, who wore an ivory silk, off-the-shoulder gown designed for her by Par Engsheden, met her husband eight years before their big day, when she joined his Stockholm gym.
When the couple’s relationship became public, he was mocked as an outsider with a country accent.
While the majority of Swedes support the monarchy, the estimated 20 million kronor (£1.75 million) wedding price tag also triggered scepticism.
Prince Daniel grew up in a middle-class family in the village of Ockelbo in central Sweden.
His mother worked as a clerk at the Swedish post office and his father was a manager at a municipal social services centre.
QUEEN SILVIA’S FATHER WAS A MEMBER OF THE NAZI PARTY
Sweden’s Queen Silvia, right, arrives with her parents Alice, center, and Walther Sommerlath, left, at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm in 1981
Sweden’s future Queen Silvia Sommerlath holds her father’s hand in a childhood photo
Silvia Sommerlath, now Queen Silvia, with her parents Walther and Alice and her brother Joerg at Arlanda airport, two days ahead of her wedding to Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in 1976
The wife of King Carl XVI Gustaf discovered in 2002 that her late father, Walther Sommerlath, became a member of the Nazi party during the 1930s.
In 2018, Queen Silvia admitted that she has since carried out extensive research in a bid to understand more about her father’s involvement with the NSDAP since the scandal was exposed in a Swedish newspaper.
When she married into the Swedish monarchy in 1976, Queen Silvia’s German father denied he had ever been a member of the Nazi party. It later emerged that he had joined the movement in 1934.
In 2010, the revelations about Sommerlath – who was living in Brazil at the time he joined the party and only returned to Germany on the eve of war – plunged the royal family into crisis.
But in 2011, a fresh report claimed that although Sommerlath belonged to the NSDAP Nazi party, he appeared to have been an inactive member and had even helped a Jewish businessman escape the Holocaust.
Sommerlath resettled in Berlin and on 24 May 1939 he took over the company Wechsler & Hennig.
According to Royal Central, Queen Silvia discovered in her research that her father had in fact helped Jewish Ernst Wechsler, a Jewish man, to flee Germany by trading his coffee plantation in Brazil for ownership of the firm.
Queen Silvia added: ‘It’s been 30 years since he died so now I think it is enough. I want to say to the Swedish people that I am at ease with it. I know that my dad is not the person that people have created him to be.’
She also admitted it was ‘a big shock’ to learn of her father’s Nazi links following the late businessman’s death.
Silvia was speaking in one of a series of documentaries to mark her 75th birthday when she made the admission.
According to Royal Central, she told Drottning Silvia 75 år [Queen Silvia at 75] that she didn’t believe the revelations at first but ‘when I got to see the evidence in black and white, I had to accept it’.
She added: ‘I’m not trying to detract from the fact that he had become a member. But you may have to think “Why did he do it?”
‘He and many others did not know what would happen after. Had he known, I don’t believe he would have become a member.’
PRINCESS VICTORIA REVEALS SHE SUFFERED FROM ANOREXIA
In 2017, Princess Victoria (pictured in 2019 with her husband) opened up about her teenage battle with anorexia in a milestone interview ahead of her 40th birthday in July that year
According to Royal Central, a documentary saw the Crown Princess (pictured in 1997) explain that once she began to support her parents’ work when she turned 18 after growing up away from the limelight, she started putting more and more demands on herself
In 2017, Princess Victoria opened up about her teenage battle with anorexia in a milestone interview ahead of her 40th birthday in July that year.
According to Royal Central, a documentary saw the Crown Princess explain that once she began to support her parents’ work when she turned 18 after growing up away from the limelight, she started putting more and more demands on herself.
‘I wanted all the time to do and be so much more than I realistically could do, or could be,’ she said.
She postponed her place at university and sought treatment in the US where she learned ‘to put words to feelings and thus, be able to set limits and to not constantly push myself too much’.
The palace announced she was suffering from an eating disorder in November 1997, when 20-year-old Victoria was due to start at Sweden’s Uppsala University, after she was pictured looking noticeably thinner at public appearances.
She added, according to People: ‘I needed time to sort things out and get my balance back again. I needed to get to know myself, discover where my limits were, not constantly push myself too much.’
However, she admitted that she still hasn’t overcome her drive for perfectionism but now sees it as a positive thing as it spurs her on to do the best for her country.
The frank admission of her past difficulties was a show of rare openness from the Princess, who hadn’t publicly spoken about her eating disorder battle in years.
In an interview to mark her 21st birthday, she revealed she had turned a corner and thanked the media for allowing her privacy as she recovered.
‘It’s not always about external problems. It can also come from within, and it can happen to everyone, not only young girls but also boys,’ she said. ‘It takes time and hurts very much.’
PRINCESS MADELEINE’S FIANCE CHEATS WITH A 21-YEAR-OLD
In 2010, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, then 27, called off her royal wedding to Jonas Bergstrom (pictured together) after a Bournemouth student claimed she had a fling with the royal’s fiancé
Bournemouth student Tora Uppstrom Berg claimed she had a one-night stand with Jonas Bergstrom while he was engaged to Princess Madeleine of Sweden
Princess Madeleine with her husband Christopher O’Neill and their three children (pictured)
In 2010, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, then 27, called off her royal wedding to Jonas Bergstrom after a Bournemouth student claimed she had a fling with the royal’s fiancé.
The couple had been engaged following a romance spanning eight years and shared an apartment in Stockholm together.
But the then 31-year-old prince-to-be was alleged to have cheated on Madeleine with Tora Uppstrom Berg, a then 21-year-old photography student at Arts University College, during a ski trip with friends.
After Ms Uppstrom Berg, who was a Norwegian handball star before coming to the UK, told of the alleged fling to a magazine, the royal palace in Stockholm announced the engagement was over.
She claimed the encounter took place at an exclusive Swedish ski resort where they met in a nightclub.
‘I had an affair with Madeleine’s fiancé,’ Miss Uppstrom Berg told Norwegian gossip magazine Se Og Hor. ‘We were intimate. He followed me home in a taxi at four o’clock in the morning.’
She claimed not to have known who her lover was. ‘Had I known, I would never do anything like this. I feel sorry for Madeleine for having an unfaithful man,’ she said.
Madeleine was said to have fled to New York for ‘peace and quiet’ following her fiancé’s apparent betrayal.
Bergstrom proposed to her on the island of Capri. No date had been set for the service but it was widely expected to be announced in the summer before the scandal.
For three days after the scandal broke the palace refused to acknowledge the couple had any problems. But then Madeleine took off her engagement ring, boarded a flight for the US and a statement confirmed they had split.
‘They have decided that the best for them is to go their separate ways,’ the Swedish royal palace said.