As Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf turns 70, a royalist and a republican argue head-to-head in a Radio Sweden debate about the future of the monarchy.
The King, who is Sweden’s head of state, has been on the throne since 1973 and Magnus Simonsson, secretary general of the Republican Association, said it is high time Sweden abolishes its monarchy. It is no longer a relevant institution, Simonsson suggested.
“Most Swedes don’t care much about the royal family so I guess the majority of people won’t be watching the celebrations this weekend,” Simonsson said referring to recent polls about Swedes’ attitudes towards the monarchy.
Simonsson said that “as a modern, democratic country, we should be represented by people whom we elect and not by people who inherit their power”.
However, Sara Skyttedal, head of the Christian Democrat Party’s youth wing, disagreed, saying: “I find it amusing that Republicans seem to believe Sweden is not really a democracy because of our constitutional monarchy. That is absurd. Rather, the monarchy is a crucial part of our modern society. Of course, real power should be elected by the people but there are limits to the part that politics can play in society.”