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Sweden’s king recalls order of chivalry from the man who allegedly sexually harassed Crown Princess Victoria

His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden has decided to recall the order of chivalry from Jean-Claude Arnault, it was announced. This is the man who brought the Swedish Academia in its worst ever crisis following the “Me Too”-campaign in Sweden. In April 2018, he was also accused of sexually harassing Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria.

Three anonymous witnesses told the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in April 2018 that they witnessed Crown Princess Victoria being sexually harassed by Jean-Claude Arnault, a Swedish cultural figure. The Royal Court has not wished to comment on these accusations.

The Crown Princess in the living room of Haga Palace. Photo: Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se

The following message was sent out from the Royal Court in Stockholm on Tuesday:

Revocation of knight’s dignity of the royal order of the North Star: When Jean-Claude Arnault’s appeal to the Supreme Court was rejected, and the judgment against him thereby gained legal force, His Majesty The king, as the grand master of the Order, decided to revoke the knight’s dignity.

According to the regulations that apply to the order system, the King may decide to withdraw an order, which has happened today. The Government Offices have been informed of the decision.

The Order of the North Star is a Swedish order of chivalry created by King Frederick I in 1748. The Order of the Polar Star was intended as a reward for Swedish and foreign “civic merits, for devotion to duty, for science, literary, learned and useful works and for new and beneficial institutions” until 1975. After the reorganisation of the orders in 1975, the order is only awarded to foreigners and members of the Royal Family.

Jean-Claude Arnault photographed in connection with one of the many lawsuits against him. Photo: Frankie Fouganthin via Wikimedia Commons.

The French-Swedish photographer and theatre director Jean-Claude Arnault was accused of sexual assault and harassment by several of the Swedish Academy’s members in 2018, and by their wives and daughters. Arnault is not a member of the Academy himself, but the organisation decided to break all ties with him. It is his wife, lyricist  Katarina Frostenson, who was a member of the Swedish Academy.

The King of Sweden is the highest patron of the Swedish Academy. The King has involved himself in trying to help out in the crisis. In 2018 he said: “It is my conviction that the Monarch has authority over the statutes of the Swedish Academy, which my predecessor, Gustav III, established. In light of the developments, I will consider the need for supplementary provisions.”

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