Following the recent demise of the glossy royalty magazine Queen, tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet is apparently trying to fill the gap with their new magazine Royal. The first issue was sold with the newspaper this last weekend and five more issues are expected before the royal wedding in the summer.
The first issue deals with Victoria and Daniel, Victoria and Daniel, Victoria and Daniel, and, last but not least, Victoria and Daniel. The story of their lives and love is told over several profusely illustrated pages, there is an article on the man believed to be designing the wedding dress, their friends are charted, there are articles on the engagement, on the engagement ring and on Haga Palace, their future home.
There is also a long interview with the notoriously unreliable journalist Herman Lindqvist, who predictably lauds Crown Princess Victoria. He does admit that Princess Madeleine is the most intelligent of the siblings, but feels the need to stress that Prince Carl Philip is unfit to be king and that King Carl Gustaf would have ruined himself if his wife had not taken command of him and the monarchy.
Apparently Lindqvist thinks the best way to make Victoria look better is to talk down other royals and he obviously does not see that this really weakens his case quite substantially. Things are of course also worse in other monarchies, he tells us. It is not long since his blatant lies that the Crown Princess of Norway was a drug addict were published by Aftonbladet; he now adds that both King Harald and Queen Sonja became “seriously ill” when they heard about their son’s wish to marry her and that the Queen had to “enter therapy”.
It never went this far in Sweden, Lindqvist reassures us. He does admit that King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia were sceptical towards Daniel Westling, but, characteristically modest, he tells us that they did change their minds thanks to his advice. Should one laugh or cry?
Also new on the market is the biweekly magazine S, which Bonnier tidskrifter has founded as a replacement to Queen. Two issues have now been published, filled with lots of photos, little text and much nonsense.
“Everyone believe Queen Margrethe will abdicate on her 70th birthday in April”, they tell us in a long article about how Crown Princess Mary will soon be queen, complete will “proof” such as photos showing that she has learnt to walk with a straight back, look people in the eye when greeting them and conversing the guests at official dinners. One need not know much about Queen Margrethe’s personality to know that there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that she will ever abdicate and so she has said on numerous occasions, including very recently in the book Dronningens teater.
Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg, the former head of the Swedish royal court’s information department and now TV4’s royal reporter, is interviewed over several pages and mostly answers other questions than those put to her.
In the first issue there is an interview with Emma Pernald, Prince Carl Philip’s ex-girlfriend, titled “We have shared custody”. This quote refers to the dog they bought together and already in the second issue there is a clarification that Pernald never said that, but that the dog belongs to both of them.
“Sweden’s hottest power couples” are presented over several pages and we also meet insignificant celebrities such as Anna Anka, and read about “the world’s dirtiest inheritance disputes” as well as food, makeup, clothes and accessories.
The highlight of the second issue is the questions and answers page, where a question about who is the black sheep of the Swedish royal family is brilliantly illustrated by a photo of Jan Bernadotte, the self-proclaimed “Prince Carl Johan”, talking to an actual black sheep!
It seems Bonnier tidskrifter and the editor, Pamela Andersson, who took over Queen, destroyed it and closed it down last month, have now gotten what they really wanted to turn Queen into: a gossip magazine of questionable quality.