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King Carl Gustaf reacts to the death of Professor Sara Danius – the first woman to head the Swedish Academy

Frankie Fouganthin via Wikimedia Commons CC

King Carl XVI Gustaf has reacted to the news that Professor Sara Danius has died at the age of 57.

Professor Danius was a well-known Swedish scientist, style icon, feminist and former Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy.

On Saturday morning, the Professor’s family announced the news of her passing. Professor Danius died surrounded by her family from breast cancer.

In a statement to the media her family said: “The family deeply mourns her passing and looks back on her life with great gratitude, pride, and joy.

King Carl XVI Gustaf knew Sara through her work for the Swedish Academy, the institution that is responsible for the nomation of the laureates of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

His Majesty said: “I have received the sad news of the passing of Professor Sara Danius.

In her role as the Permanent Secretary of the Academy, I had the privilege of having regular meetings and interesting conversations with Sara Danius.

A strong cultural personality has left us, far too early. My thoughts go to her family and relatives.”

Professor Sara Danius was by all account a remarkable woman. She started her career as a journalist and writer, studied at the Universities of Stockholm and Nottingham, and obtained two Ph.Ds from Duke University (USA) and Uppsala University (Sweden).

In 2008 she started working as a Professor of aesthetics and later as a Professor of literature. In 2010 she joined the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters and in 2013 she was elected to the prestiguous Swedish Academy.

In 2015 she was the first woman ever to become the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy. She was forced to leave this position a short time later after she was criticised for the way she handeled the Jean-Claude Arnault scandal.

In addition to her impressive career, Sara Darius will be remembered as an active feminist and a fashion icon. She was most known for her pussy bow blouses.

Following the announcement of the passing of the 57-year old, friends, politicans and other prominent Swedish figures expressed their grief over her death.

Antje Jackelén, the Archbishop of the Swedish Church, said: “Sara Danius meant so much. Strong memories, even for me. May God’s peace enclose her and all who mourn her.”

Swedish politician Arman Teimouri said: “Sara Danius was a real fighter. For the literature, for the culture, for the Metoo movement, against cancer. She may not have won the last fight, but she is the winner in so many other aspects. She was a role model and a colourful personality.”

Writer and friend of Professor Danius, Katarnia Wennstam, said: “Dear Sara, thank you for everything. I have no words right now, but my thoughts go to your family. To me, you are not only a dear friend, but also a decent secretary. The one we needed. Thank you for everything.” – Katarnia Wennstam, writer and friend

About author

Laura is from Belgium and has a passion for all things royal. She is Europe Correspondent for Royal Central since October 2016 and has contributed to other news websites. In her daily life she is a fulltime student in EU-politics and political communication.