“I received an invitation; it had my name and my address on it. I didn’t really think too much about it” – Margareta Winberg, Stockholm.
When Margareta Winberg received an embossed invitation from the Swedish government to attend a formal dinner she was a little surprised as she never worked for the government. Nevertheless, since she had received the invitation through the post, with her name and address on it, she didn’t really worry too much about what it was about. “I just knew that I was invited and that it was ‘about the environment’,” she said to the The Local paper.
On the set date, Winberg got herself glammed up and duly presented herself at Sweden’s official government office complex at Rosenbad. It was only then that officials realised the mix up, for the invitation had been supposed to go to a former deputy prime minister, agricultural minister and ambassador to Brazil – who just happened to share the same name.
Despite the gaffe, the event’s host, current environment minister Lena Ek, kept her cool. Mrs Winberg was escorted to ‘her’ seat and introduced to the other guests.
“When Lena realized the mistake she did everything she could so that the lady wouldn’t feel uncomfortable,” said Erik Bratthall, press spokesperson for Ek, to daily Aftonbladet. He told another Swedish paper how Ms Ek thought the whole thing was ‘a great laugh’ and that no harm had been done.
“I was allowed to take part anyway. The food was nice and there were a lot of people talking and talking,” Winberg said.
The other Mrs Winberg has since received an apology and reportedly took the mix up in good humor: “I hope my namesake had a lovely dinner,” she told Swedish media.
Despite involuntarily crashing the party, Mrs Winberg said she didn’t feel awkward taking part in the event alongside Sweden’s environmental policy elite. “I just took it for what it was; a mistake, as did the others. I had a great time and listened carefully to all the speakers,” she told The Local. “I’ve also met interesting people like that guy Blix,” she said referring to the former chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix.
Main source: The Local