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The wrong Margareta Winberg

Mix-up sends pensioner to ministerial banquet

Published onsdag 25 april 2012 kl 08.13
Margareta Winberg ended up in a photo with former government ministers. Photo: Marianne Andersson/Miljödepartementet

A pensioner from Stockholm, Margareta Winberg, took her place at the top table at government headquarters along with ministers, ex-ministers, diplomats and high ranking officials in a banquet marking the big three-day environmental conference taking place in the Swedish capital.

However, there was one problem, the wrong Margareta Winberg had been invited.

Former agriculture minister for the Social Democrat Party, Margareta Winberg, had been supposed to attend the event but never received the invitation. Instead it was sent to the 67-year-old from Sundbyberg, outside Stockholm. There are 20 people with the same name in the whole of Sweden.

Environment minister Lena Ek realised the woman was hungry and asked her to stay for the three course dinner.

The press secretary at the environment department, Erik Bratthall, told newspaper Dagens Nyheter that Lena Ek thought the whole mix-up was "insanely funny."

The 67-year-old said she soon realised she was not supposed to have been invited but was made to feel so welcome that she stayed.

"We had a starter, main course and dessert, and everyone was very nice. There were interesting people to talk to, such as Hans Blix" (the Swedish diplomat and politician) she told DN.

The "real" Margareta Winberg has received an apology from Lena Ek but has taken it all in good spirits.

"She has never been to a government dinner. I have been to many," she said.

It is not the first case of mistaken identity at a prestigious dinner. Dagens Nyheter reports how a journalist, Håken Kjellgren, received an invite to the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel in 2010. The real invite was meant for someone of the same name who worked at Daniel's gym. The journalist though returned the invite before the wedding.

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