He was seen as the perfect 21st-century monarch, insisting Swedish law be changed to allow his eldest daughter to succeed him rather than his only son, and an ordinary family man loved by his people.
For years, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden’s only acknowledgement of a racier world was the stable of fast cars he enjoyed driving – while his 45-year marriage to Queen Silvia was credited as a wonderful example of partnership.
Yet in 2010 the Swedish monarchy was rocked by the release of a new biography about the King which shined a light on his ‘wild sex parties with strippers and lengthy affair with a singer’.
Titled The Reluctant Monarch, it accused King Carl – who is a third cousin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth – of attending underground strip clubs with his friends and having an extramarital affair.
Now the author of the controversial book, Thomas Sjöberg, has appeared on a new podcast, Motive, to explore with the documentary series creator, Nils Bergman, the ‘royal scandal’.
Following the biography’s original release, King Carl offered a ‘vague’ statement, saying he and his family had chosen to ‘turn the page… and move forward because, as I understand, these are things that happened a long time ago.’
For years, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden’s (pictured in the ’90s) only acknowledgement of a racier world was the stable of fast cars he enjoyed driving – while his 45-year marriage to Queen Silvia was credited as a wonderful example of partnership
Yet in 2010 the Swedish monarchy was rocked by the release of a new biography about the King which shined a light on his ‘wild sex parties with strippers and lengthy affair with a singer’ Pictured, Camilla Henemark
Titled The Reluctant Monarch, it accused King Carl (pictured recently with his wife) – who is a third cousin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth – of attending underground strip clubs with his friends and having an extramarital affair.
The controversial book revealed that the king and his friends had enjoyed the company of ‘coffee girls’ – women who would ‘entertain’ the group, consisting of members of the remains of Swedish aristocracy.
It also alleged that the king visited underground strip clubs, and that he had been involved in an extramarital affair with a famous Swedish singer in the 90s.
In the biography, the three investigative authors claimed the King had ‘wild sex parties involving strippers’, sometimes hosted by an infamous Mafia boss in a Stockholm club.
It was also alleged that, over many years, he had been protected by the Swedish secret service, Sapo, covering up embarrassing material in his wake and pressuring women to hand over compromising pictures.
Now the author of the controversial book (pictured), Thomas Sjöberg, has appeared on a new podcast, Motive, to explore with the documentary series creator, Nils Bergman, the ‘royal scandal’
According to the late Mafia-linked club owner Mille Markovic, who was quoted in the book, he liked having the King as a customer because it minimised the possibility of police raids.
Following the publication of the book, Markovic claimed that he had compromising photographs of the king with naked women, taken at one of his sex clubs in the 1980s.
In the descriptions of the six-part podcast, available via the Acast+ subscription service, it is said that the King and his friends, the so-called ‘royal gang’, for a few years in the early ‘90s had a standing reservation on Mondays at the underground club owned by Markovic.
‘Young women and strippers have in an almost systematic way been called into these party nights to please this elite group of powerful men,’ read the synopsis of episode two, when translated from Swedish to English.
‘The men have promised the world, modelling jobs and careers in the entertainment industry, in exchange for providing what they want.’
Several women interviewed for the book claim they had sex with the King. After one big dinner celebrating a successful elk hunt, he is said to have enjoyed sex with two women at the same time.
Following the biography’s original release, King Carl (pictured with his wife recently) offered a ‘vague’ statement, saying he and his family had chosen to ‘turn the page… and move forward because, as I understand, these are things that happened a long time ago’
At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where the King of Sweden was inevitably a VIP guest, he is said to have spent $10,000 (£7,000) in the Gold Club nightclub, including two hours in a room alone with one of the strippers.
In some instances, Sapo agents have been used to search the homes of women in order to confiscate pictures taken at the King’s private parties.
‘If the rolls of film and pictures aren’t turned over, some unpleasant things will happen,’ the book startlingly claimed.
No fewer than 14 pages detailed an alleged lengthy affair he had with Camilla Henemark, the Swedish singer and model.
Her response to the revelations following the book launch was not to deny them but merely to say her lawyer had advised her ‘not to give any comments’.
King Carl and Queen Silvia’s eldest child, Princess Victoria (pictured with her husband in 2019), is the heir to the throne, rather than her younger brother Prince Carl Philip, because of a change in the law insisted on by their father, which enables the eldest to inherit, whatever their sex
The book claimed that Queen Silvia was aware of this affair but was helpless as the King ‘had fallen in love like a teenager and, on one occasion, the King and Henemark were talking about leaving for a distant island, like Marlon Brando in Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, where they planned to live on coconuts’.
Who are the Swedish royals?
Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife Silvia, the King and Queen of Sweden
At the age of 75 Carl is the longest reigning monarch in Swedish history, having took to the throne in 1973 .
He and his wife Queen Silvia, 77, a German-Brazilian former flight attendant, have three children: Victoria, 44, Carl, 42, and Madeleine, 39, and eight grandchildren, and have increasingly been handing responsibilities down to heir apparent, Crown Princess Victoria.
Crown Princess Victoria, eldest daughter of King Carl XVI Gustaf, and her husband Prince Daniel
Victoria, 44, was not expected to take to the throne when she was born in 1977 but a change in the law of succession three years later changed that.
In 2010, Victoria married her former personal trainer Daniel Westling, and the couple share two children, Princess Estelle, nine, and Prince Oscar, five.
Prince Carl Philip, son of King Carl XVI Gustaf, and his wife Princess Sofia
Prince Carl Philip, 32, caused a stir when he married former glamour model Sofia Hellqvist in 2014.
The Prince, who is dyslexic, accused the public of ‘bullying’ her at the time, but the duo went on to welcome Prince Alexander, in April 2016 and another little boy, Prince Gabriel, in August the following year.
They also share Prince Julian, who is eight-months-old.
Princess Madeleine, youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and her husband Christopher O’Neill
Princess Madeleine, 39, broke off her engagement to a lawyer to marry a ‘commoner’, financier Christopher O’Neill, in 2013.
He declined a royal title when he married the princess so he was free to pursue his career and the couple live a relatively private life in the US with their children Leonore, Nicolas and Adrienne.
There had always been much sympathy for the King in Sweden, since it emerged that he is dyslexic and finds reading and writing difficult. Added to this was considerable admiration for the way he overcame the challenges he faced as a child.
He was just seven months old when his father was killed in a car crash. This made him heir to his grandfather, King Gustaf. He was 27 when he became King.
At the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, he met Silvia Sommerlath, an interpreter with a German father and Brazilian mother. She was working as an official Games hostess.
The couple – who have three children – married in Stockholm Cathedral in 1976.
Their eldest child, Princess Victoria, is the heir to the throne, rather than her younger brother Prince Carl Philip, because of a change in the law insisted on by their father, which enables the eldest to inherit, whatever their sex.
‘It’s terrible that this has all come out,’ said a courtier at the time. ‘But the Queen is a trooper. She will show nothing.’
When first faced with questions about the book, after enjoying a gathering with friends and shooting elk, the King said he had not read it ‘yet’, but he understood what it contained.
‘I have spoken with my family and the Queen and we choose to turn the page … and move forward because, as I understand, these are things that happened a long time ago,’ he said.
Recalling the monarch’s statement, the podcast claims ‘the most important thing for the trio of authors is that the king at least does not deny any of their claims.’
However, Thomas, the author of the book, admits he was ‘punished for digging into the King’s private life’, finding it difficult to get new journalist assignments.
Branded a ‘scandal book author’, he began work as a bus driver in Stockholm.
Episode four of the podcast, meanwhile, details the release of The Reluctant Monarch, and how ‘it caused chaos within the Swedish media… drawing headlines all over the world.’
Upon the launch of the scandalous book, the 75-year-old King’s image of ‘almost dull respectability underwent a remarkable transformation,’ suggested journalists at the time.
And in 2017, only one-fifth of the Swedish public polled said he was their favourite royal and some two-fifths said that he should abdicate, according to Newsweek.
Meanwhile, his daughter Victoria, 44, was picked by nearly 50 per cent of those asked about who their favourite royal was.
Nils Bergman, the creator behind the podcast Motive, says: ‘I’ve been working on Motive for almost two years now, and it’s by far one of my biggest ventures to date.
‘I’ve spent countless hours on research to get to the bottom of what actually happened. Through these revelations, I hope to provide answers to questions that have never before been answered, including the full story of our Swedish King.’