By Nordstjernan columnist Ulf Nilson, March 2010

It happened in the U.S., in the very “Swedish” state of Minnesota. The reason for my printed eruption was that I felt the king was snooty toward some schoolchildren who came to wave Swedish flags and wish him and the queen luck. It was, I now confess, quite stupid of me. One is not supposed to attack somebody who is not supposed to defend himself. And besides, the program was tight, we were all tired and, well, I should have known better.
So, your Majesty, please forgive me. And while we are at it, let me say that I was stupid again, much later, when I wrote that you ought to pay for the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling out of your own pocket. Of course you make 56 million SEK or so, but the fact is that you didn't ask to be king, you were more or less forced into the role. In the U.S., people fight for the right to sit in the White House and make decisions—fight for power—but in Sweden the Chief of State has really no power at all, indeed, hardly even the right to refuse to perform the job. So, there is every reason to treat the king and his family with dignified courtesy.
Besides, I thought, when watching a television show about the upcoming marriage of the crown princess, who will one day become Chief of State ... besides, I thought, if we were to make Sweden a republic, who would become president? Göran Persson, the former Prime Minister? Hardly. Too many people feel insulted and badly treated by him. The present prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt? No, too right wing for most Swedes (if not me). And Mona Sahlin, the present leader of the Social Democratic party? No, no, I don't think the Swedes are ready for a woman. And besides didn't she forget to pay her parking tickets on time?
A sports star? No, not dignified. A movie personality? Hey, think again, Sweden is a serious country. What we need is not a Chief of State who is tainted—yes, that is the word I use—by politics. Not somebody who has worked hard and used whatever means to be popular. No, what we need is precisely what we will get. Crown Princess Victoria, daughter of a beautiful immigrant mother (German-Brazilian), engaged to be married to a not altogether successful business man—to all intents and purposes as ordinary a Swede as can be. Indeed Hollywood could hardly have come up with a better story. Instead of discussing serious, but tedious issues, the Swedes can let themselves fall all over in admiration of the irrational, of the flight of imagination, of the visualization that the impossible can happen.
It’s a grey and cold country. More than most, we need the glitz and glitter of a queen and a guy who is appointed, not born, a prince. We need a romance like theirs. We need, indeed a royal house, not the least to remember that one should never take oneself too seriously.