‘A Royal Secret’: The Swedish King Who Loves a Swindler

Depending on who you listen to, the relationship between King Gustaf V of Sweden and restaurateur Kurt Haijby was either the latter’s ploy to enrich himself illegally, or it was a story of fervor or even love. four-part mini-series ‘The Royal Secret’ (Tuesday, 27th of the movie) presents it more as the latter, although its writers seem to know that no matter what, two apparently opposing ideas can be true at the same time. This absolute uncertainty invites us to continue the search, to understand how and why Haijby managed to sneak into the heart of the monarch.

According to the data of the series, in 1932 that former swindler (Sverrir Gudnason‘Borg/McEnroe’ Borg) requested a private meeting with the king (Staffan Gothe) something that Governor Nothin (Reyne Brynolfsson) denied him because of his criminal record, to ask him to act as an intermediary on his behalf and be able to sell alcohol in his restaurant. It wasn’t the first time Kurt had seen Gustavo face-to-face: he sold him a May flower while he was a scout.

He was no longer a child, and that night he caught the attention of the king, who asked him to come back. According to the series, it was the first of many encounters that were not just sexual but truly loving. Kurt’s wife Anna (sanna pancakes, from the Swedish ‘Millennium’ saga), finally discovers this hidden agenda and requests a divorce alleging adultery and without fear of mentioning the king as a third party. The governor thinks this is a bad idea: it’s better to argue “irreconcilable differences and the irreparable rupture of the marital bond.” He would receive fifteen thousand crowns in return.

abuse odyssey

At the beginning of the drama, we find Haijby on trial for extortion at a sensitive moment. There is a moment when he vainly tries to defend himself: “You know, our country’s Constitution makes it clear that we have a duty to honor and love the king. And no one has honored or loved him. The king has been like me.” When he says “dear”, he really seems to mean “dear”.

Gudnason makes his character’s appeal to the seventy-something monarch believable. Just because she enjoys lavish gifts and cash payments doesn’t mean she enjoys this unexpected mutual intimacy. The compassion in his gaze reveals a vulnerable man who is largely a victim of his time and whose succession is inevitable to worry about. He was dragged into exile in Nazi Germany, in prison, a mental institution, and eventually one of the most questionable trials in Swedish history..

Everything has changed for the better

Director Lisa James Larson both have experience in historical drama (signed episodes ‘Victory‘) as historical fantasy (what Roman delusion called ‘Britain’, Druid realms and giant squids). While the intimate details are purely speculation, the ‘Royal Secret’ is marked by an obvious fact: homosexual activity was not legal in Sweden until 1944. After Lord Chamberlain (Bengt Braskered, also one of the show’s screenwriters) approaches the king to remind him that his adventure is “forbidden by law”, Gustavo blurts out: “At the moment, yes it is. And in this country”. To add a little later: “I am the ruler of the sad barbarian people of the frozen north”.

Fortunately, things have changed quite a bit since then: in October of last year, two months after the first premiere of ‘A Royal Secret’, Marshal of the Kingdom of Sweden confirmed same-sex marriage is not an obstacle to the throne.

Source: Informacion


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