I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Friday, June 4, 2010

Royal anachronisms

It does seem odd at first that these very advanced democracies -- Sweden, Norway, Denmark -- still have monarchs, but I suppose someone has to live in those palaces, and it's a little late to turn them into museums; all of the best art has been stolen already.

Of course Sweden still has mandatory military service although they haven't gone to war since 1840, so why wouldn't they keep their king?

The royal guard duty is rotated and today it was a Stockholm regiment. The changing of the guard is apparently as much a photo op for the friends and families of the soldiers as it is for the tourists, and our guide Britt said you can always see the mothers and girlfriends running after the horses with their cameras. Since most of the soldiers have never ridden before they get a crash course in horseback riding in preparation for the big day. This was obviously no news to the horses, who were definitely a little frisky and seemed to think that playing "let's panic the city kids" was the most fun ever.

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