Throughout this week, there have been several days with protests just outside the Royal Palace in Stockholm which have turned violent. Protesters have clashed with the police outside the palace in connection with the demonstration against racism and police violence following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The Stockholm Police Department had allowed the organisers to gather with a maximum of 50 people because of the coronavirus situation, but according to police data, 8,000 people were crowded into a square in downtown Stockholm when the demonstration was held on Wednesday.
Later in the evening, the crowd spread, and the protesters had no permission to do so. In most places, demonstrations remained peaceful, but later in the evening, the situation escalated in front of the Royal Palace. The protesters were allowed to approach the palace, and the Royal Guard thought this posed a security risk. Sections of the palace’s outer areas and courtyard were blocked off before the protests reached the palace.
Police put up barriers to prevent the protest from reaching the Royal Palace when suddenly a group of protesters managed to get through a barrier and pass four police horses on the last bridge before the palace. The protesters ran past the police and up to “Lejonbacken” – the grand staircase leading up to the palace. There, they shouted slogans in the direction of the Royal Palace before they were stopped by riot police, who also took help from the Royal Guard to move the protesters back.
Pepper spray was used against the protesters, and a number of people were arrested. The protests also managed to reach Stockholm Palace during demonstrations on Thursday. No one in the Royal Family was at the palace during the protests neither on Wednesday or Thursday. The Swedish press has been in contact with the Royal Court’s information manager who declined to comment on the protests. However, it was confirmed that the King and Queen were at Stenhammar Castle during the events.
The Stockholm police are warning that, if necessary, they will barricade several of the bridges leading to the palace in the next few days if the protests in Stockholm do not end to prevent security risks to the royal property.