The Cable

Boo! The Queen of Sweden Believes Her Palace Is Haunted by Ghosts.

Sweden says it will focus on including women as the UN Security Council president. Also, its queen thinks her palace is haunted.

swedish-ghosts

It has been a spookily significant week for Sweden.

On Tuesday, Sweden took over as U.N. Security Council President for a month-long rotation.

But, in equally lively news, on Thursday, the country’s public television will air a documentary in which its queen says that her palace is haunted by ghosts.

The 17th-century Drottningholm Palace, a UNESCO world heritage site, is outside of Stockholm. It serves as permanent resident to Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf — and also, apparently, “very friendly” ghosts.

“They aren’t scary, and in a way it’s quite thrilling,” she said.

The supernatural residents were likely welcome guests for Queen Silvia, who said that, when she married King Carl 40 years ago, she was a bit lonely in the palace that was “dominated by men.” Hopefully, her country’s stellar record on women’s rights helped change that. Sweden comes in second in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of best countries for women (each country is scored on 65 attributes based on survey responses), and announced it will focus on including women in the peace process during its time as UNSC president.

Provided Sweden’s longest-serving queen is right about her palace’s ghostly guests, one can assume some of the very friendly ghosts are equally paid ghost women, as supported in their ghoulish endeavors as are their male counterparts. Perhaps they, too, made the palace’s halls less lonely for its monarch.

Also a woman: the king’s sister, Princess Christina, who did not go so far as to say that there are ghosts, but suggested it would be strange if there weren’t.

“There is much energy in this house. It would be strange if it didn’t take the form of guises,” she said.

Which, yes, we suppose it would be.

Photo credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy covering ambassadorial and diplomatic affairs in Washington. @emilyctamkin

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