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Royal Controversy

Published fredag 18 juni 2010 kl 15.57

As the final touches are put in place for tomorrow’s historic event, the weather forecast is not looking great with clouds and scattered showers expected.

Recent polls have also indicated that support for the monarchy has dropped and that a majority of Swedes are tired of hearing about the wedding. Nevertheless, at least one in every people asked said they plan to watch it on TV.

And as more and more details of the wedding emerge –some are proving less popular than others.

Among the popular revelations, in keeping with Sweden’s well known emphasis on sustainability, palace spokesperson, Nina Eldh says the big day will be very environmentally friendly.

“There’s environmental thinking behind the whole wedding. We will not be any balloons, confetti or fireworks. All the flowers are ecological and most of the guests will be transported in environmentally friendly cars,” she said.

But the wedding list does not live up to the same high standards, say some critics.

Among the 1200 guests, are diplomats from several of dictatorships such as North Korea and Eretria. In particular the Eritrean invitation has angered many due the level of human rights abuses in the country – as well as the imprisonment there of Swedish journalist, Dawit Isaak.

However the Swedish foreign ministry says its national policy, on state occasions such as this, to invite diplomats from all countries with an embassy in Sweden.

Foreign minister Carl Bildt told Swedish Radio that picking and choosing countries would prove difficult.

“I think that if you start trying to sort out that kind of list – apart from our closest friends in the Nordics and the EU – you would run into all kinds of problems. There are countries that we have good relations with which are right solid dictatorships.”  

Another controversy has blown up over the official wedding chocolates, made by the Nordic confectionary company Chloetta, which has sponsored a number of concerts and other activities during the pre-wedding festival.

According to Fair Trade Sweden the chocolates, which have the photo of the royal couple on the cover – and are on prominent display in ever corner shop and supermarket in the county - are made from cocoa produced by child labourers, working in dangerous conditions in West Africa.

Chloetta says that about 70 percent of all the worlds cocoa is from the same region and that they are working to improve conditions there.

Still, given that part of the proceeds of the chocolates go towards a royal fund to help disadvantaged children in Sweden – it might not have been the best choice of corporate sponsorship.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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