In a surprise appearance, Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria, handed out the country’s Gay of the Year award on Tuesday.
Princess Victoria presented the Gay of the Year award to an author who wrote about the 1980s AIDS crisis.
Taking to the stage to ABBA’s Dancing Queen, the 35-year-old, presented the award to Jonas Gardell, whose book and TV series, Never Dry Tears Without Gloves, sparked debate on the treatment of gay men during the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
“It’s a true delight for me to be here tonight. To feel your power, your happiness and your sense of community,” the princess said in her speech.
“Few have touched us and made us so proud as you have. Your message is clear. Straighten your back. Stretch out your hand. We will wipe each other’s tears,” Victoria said to the author after a surprise appearance that prompted a standing ovation.
“Victoria, you’re our crown princess, but I think tonight I’m our queen,” Mr Gardell replied.
The book, named after the instructions given to a nurse as she wiped the tears from a dying man’s face, prompted calls for an official apology to the gay community.
“I’m not looking for an apology. I want to finally be able to talk about it. To no longer put a lid on it, to finally be able to remember,” Gardell last month wrote in daily Svenska Dagbladet, the Daily Star Lebanon reports.
Sweden legalised equal marriage in 2009 and the Lutheran Church, which was the state church until 2000, has authorised the celebration of same-sex marriages.
Last year’s Gay of the Year award went to the world’s only openly-gay professional footballer, Anton Hysen.
The country’s future queen, Princess Mette-Marit, used a diplomatic passport to travel to India in late October, as that granted her immediate access, and did not alert Indian authorities of her arrival.