On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the coronation of Sweden’s figurehead King Carl XVI Gustaf, communists in the country called for abolishing the monarchy. The Communist Party of Sweden (SKP), the Communist Party (K), and other groups criticized the monarchy as an outdated, redundant institution which must be abolished. On September 15, the four-day official celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the ascendance of the incumbent king concluded with a military parade in the Swedish capital. Dignitaries from various countries, including monarchs from Denmark and Norway, were present at the celebrations.
Constitutional monarchies continue to survive in around a dozen European countries, including in the UK, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Andorra, as well as the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
In Sweden, even though the king does not possess any significant political power, he continues to represent the country as the head of the state in official events and ceremonies, including at the Nobel Prize award functions. The monarchy in Sweden is over a thousand years old and the incumbent monarch, King Carl XVI Gustaf (77), ascended to the throne on September 15, 1973. He is the second-longest reigning European monarch alive today, after Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Campaigns by republican sections, led by the working-class and communists, have demanded the abolition of the monarchy in several European countries like Spain and Belgium. Major protests were held in the UK against the coronation of Charles Windsor and his wife Camilla as king and queen last year.
SKP’s Andreas Sorenson told Peoples Dispatch on September 15, “The Swedish monarchy is a relic from the past and today it only has representative functions. However, it serves an ideological purpose, insofar as it invites people to identify with it, and thus identify with Sweden. It allows for soft patriotism, which creates an obstacle to class consciousness. The communists oppose every form of power which does not stem from workers’ power and we reject every form of hereditary power. Monarchy is incompatible with every form of democratic management and should be regulated to the dustbin of history.”
The Communist Party (K) stated on social media on September 14 that “the royal house is an undemocratic outdated institution that is also very expensive. In a democracy, no one should be born into an office!”