Sweden Roiled By Tell-All Book Said To Detail King's Scandals

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, right, and Queen Silvia are seen ahead of a gala dinner at the Ajuda Palace in Lisbon Monday May 5, 2008. Sweden's king was on a three-day state visit to Portugal.
Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, right, and Queen Silvia are seen at a gala dinner the Ajuda Palace in Lisbon Monday May 5, 2008. (Photo by PAULO DUARTE)

STOCKHOLM (CBS/AP) A new tell-all biography of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf has Sweden in turmoil this week, leading to an appeal by the monarch for "peace."

Speaking to throngs of reporters at his annual elk hunt Thursday, the 64-year-old figurehead monarch said he had not read the book, which includes claims of visits to seedy nightclubs and an extramarital affair in the 1990s.

PICTURES: King Carl XVI Gustaf

The 338-page biography by journalists Thomas Sjoeberg, Deanne Rauscher and Tove Meyer broke a long-standing tradition by Swedish media not to print intimate details about the king's private life.

They detail his youth and accession to the throne at the age of 27, reportedly devoting long passages to descriptions of constant partying and playing around with young women. The authors even suggest he may have put himself in danger by frequenting clubs owned by ex-cons.

Without addressing any of those claims directly, the king Thursday said he understood from media headlines that the book dealt with events that happened "far back in time" and that his family had "turned the page."

He appealed to reporters to leave the royal family in peace "because we have certain duties to fulfill."

Bookstores throughout Sweden are reporting that they cannot keep the biography, titled "Carl XVI Gustaf, the Reluctant Monarch," on their shelves. One Stockholm store said it sold all of its 100 copies in the first two hours after book sales began.

Anticipation had been building for weeks as details of the book began leaking out. There also has been speculation that the royal family may sue the authors.

The king is best known as the presenter of the Nobel Prizes each year. He has an interest in vintage cars, the environment and scouting and is honorary chairman of the World Scout Foundation.