Prince Daniel of Sweden has been in the media spotlight in the recent days. There have been suggestions that the prince has become involved helping a personal friend build a factory in his hometown, thus potentially interfering in a political process.
Prince Daniel has always been a promoter of entrepreneurship. After years of being an entrepreneur himself, he wanted to inspire the next generation and started the Prince Daniel Fellowship, a mentoring program for young entrepreneurs. Many of his good friends are active in the business sphere including Håkan Lundstedt, CEO of Synsam. Sysnam is a Swedish manufacturer and seller of glasses, they own 500 stores in the Nordic nations and account for 20% of all sales of glasses in Northern Europe.
Håkan Lundstedt regularly participates in Prince Daniel’s mentoring program, and is frequently seen at the annual celebration of Crown Princess Victoria’s birthday. In 2020, Lundstedt announced his plan to build a new factory in the hometown of Prince Daniel. The village of Ockelbo has about 2.700 inhabitants. The new factory would cost 124 million Swedish kroner and create 200 new jobs in the small village.
It is the Swedish newspaper Expressen that first wrote about the story last weekend. When the plan was in place, several opposition politicians thought it strange that a close friend of the prince wanted to invest so much in the prince’s hometown. In addition, the plans for the new factory was met with great political opposition and it was not possible to secure a political majority locally to build the factory. After a long process, they chose to build the new factory in the larger city of Östersund. However, many still questioned Prince Daniel’s role in the original plan.
The Swedish royal court has only spoken briefly on the case and denies that Prince Daniel was involved in any way in the plans for the new factory or tried to influence the outcome. Municipal councillor in Ockelbo Magnus Jonsson denies that Prince Daniel has had any role in the plans, saying: “You have to understand that, if you move such a production to Sweden from Asia, it does not matter if you are a Prince. The new place of the factory has to deliver.”