Prince Daniel has given a rare and exclusive interview to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. The Prince invited the journalist to his home Haga Palace, or Haga Slott, near Stockholm. Daniel gave an interview to talk about health, family life and the non-profit organisation GEN-PEP that he founded with Crown Princess Victoria.
Prince Daniel mainly talked about health and GEN-PEP, “a non-profit organisation initiated by the Swedish Crown Princess Couple, working to spread knowledge and engage people and organisations in a joint effort to make it easier for children and young people to live a healthy life”. Daniel and Victoria are striving for people and especially children, to life healthier and to move more.
When asked what he could do to change this situation he said:
It is incredibly complex. It should be clear. But now it feels like more and more people are starting to talk about health as a challenge and that children need to exercise more. Today, one and a half billion people in the world suffer from overweight and obesity. And as a consequence, it is more and more affected by type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that a further 200 million will suffer from type 2 diabetes in the next 20 years. When it comes to solving the problem, there are studies that show that all social components must be able to contribute if we are to have a chance. And then I feel that we have a good opportunity to serve as a unifying force. Therefore, we [Crown Princess Victoria & Prince Daniel] have taken this initiative.
Prince Daniel also added that the health issues are also a class problem. He said that it is tougher on people that already suffer economically and socially.
Further, Prince Daniel was asked about integration as he said he saw that as a “major challenge”. He said:
It is no simple matter. There is much to do about that there must be enough venues. We are pretty good at hanging out of bounds. We are familiar with a family from Syria. And when they describe how it is in Aleppo, which does not differ much from Stockholm in the development and education degree, they describe a society where people are open and talking to each other. We are not always like that in Sweden.
According to Daniel, Sweden has already taken important steps in helping refugees and finding solutions for the integration issue.
After talking about the health problem and integration, more personal questions were asked. He was asked about his role as a prince, about his wife and his children. When asked what he was most proud of Daniel responded: “As a parent, I am most proud of my children. And I feel like a good parent. But beyond, I’m not particularly proud of anything yet. But I hope I’ll be in 40 years when I look back at what I’ve done. And I’m very happy to have the ability to support dedicated and talented people in important social issues.”
Prince Daniel also gave a small peek in his everyday family life during the interview. He was asked about a topic many royals are concerned with nowadays: their children growing up in the spotlight. About this, Daniel said: “I feel incredibly happy that I have married such a warm, wise and very good person who is also an amazing mother. That gives our kids an incredible security and good opportunities. It is much easier to grow up with two parents who spend a lot of time and energy and love on their children than to grow up in an environment where it is cold, and there is no commitment.”
Prince Daniel and Crown Princess Victoria have been together for 15 years now, and he said that he is “very grateful” for his relationship. Prince Daniel also talked about his paternity leave. He is said to be one of the first royals ever to take paternity leave. He said:
My dad was on maternity leave with both me and my sister in the early 70s. So for me, it was natural to be home with my children. I think that there are many professions where there is a low parental leave among men. And I think that’s a shame because you get the most out of being with their children and get to know them that way. And you get a deeper understanding of the woman who often takes greater responsibility. So I think it was absolutely right that I did it. I’ll be on paternity leave with Prince Oscar, too, and I look forward to it.
Prince Daniel also talked about playing Pokémon Go with Estelle this summer. He very much liked the game as his children were forced to go outside to play the game.
Last but definitely not least, Prince Daniel was asked about how important a role as a prince is in today’s society. He was asked what kind of purpose such a “symbolic” role has in today’s society. He answered: “I think it is important – not least in today’s society – there are positive, unifying forces that bring people together. Where people can feel a sense of community and something that’s there. Something that is long term. When we pull in, for example, a health program, we do it with dedication. I think we need more long-term thinking in society.”
The full interview can be read in Swedish on the website of Aftonbladet.