Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden made a surprise visit to the South Theatre in Stockholm on Sunday to support the #MeToo campaign. The evening saw 210 actresses take the stage to read hundreds of anonymous testimonies gathered under the #MeToo hashtag online about female performers’ experiences with sexual harassment and assault in the theatrical world. The Stockholm presentation was supported by twelve additional presentations in other Swedish cities.
Crown Princess Victoria told Swedish publication DN that “it’s an extremely important campaign”.
The royal’s visit had been long planned but was kept under wraps until their arrival at the theatre making their presence a welcome surprise to both presenters and attendees. It’s understood that both women felt it important to show their support – and the support of the wider royal family – for the #MeToo campaign which has swept Sweden for the past month.
The female actors who participated in the #MeToo event released a joint statement saying:
“We will no longer be silent. We will ask the respondents to answer and let the judiciary do their job when there is reason. We will lay the shame where it belongs – with the perpetrator and the one who protects him.”
Culture and Democracy Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke was also in attendance at the event and said afterwards that: “I expect change. I will also have meetings next week with film, television and performing arts industry leaders to put [on more] pressure. We need to ensure that we go away from just having politics and beautiful words on paper, we need change – silence culture has to be broken down.”
The Royal Court’s Chief Information Officer Margareta Thorgren spoke with media on behalf of the event organisers following the evening, saying: “It was important for the Queen and Crown Princess to attend. It was a very strong evening to share and listen to all these stories. It feels extremely important for the royal family to share and support the manifestation.”
Queen Silvia has long been an advocate for victims of sexual abuse and violence and has worked hard to combat it through her charitable works, especially the World Childhood Foundation, which she founded in 1999.