Today, December 23rd, Queen Silvia turns 75 years old. The family is celebrating privately at Drottningholm as they do every year. Every year the family organizes a surprise party in a different room of the palace. The Queen knows they will be celebrating- but she never knows where in the palace the party will take place!
As we shared earlier this week, for the Queen’s birthday there was a seminar held at Oscar Theatre in Stockholm. When we wrote that post, the seminar had not been broadcast yet so there was little to report except for fashion. Now that the broadcast has come out, I wanted to share with you the little speeches the family held in honor of the Queen.
The King began the morning by taking the stage to welcome everyone. With no prewritten script, no prewritten speech- he simply was himself. His mannerisms showed the twinkle in his eye, that the family has mentioned in countless interviews, and his words and actions showed the pride he has for his family- especially his wife.
Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and gentlemen, Staff from the Court, Foundations, all of you who are here. Welcome to the Oscar Theatre.
Yes.. This is pretty fun I think. To stand on Oscar Theatre Stage. I love being on stage and talking to everyone here. I have the feeling that many of you also wanted to stand here on stage at the Oscar Theatre! It is a dream that many have. But now I am doing it! I’ve probably been here sometime before in some other context- but above all, I remember many years ago that the lodge there… maybe the royal lodge is called? There I sat, with the queen and Prince Bertil and Princess Lilian. It was the Unicef Gala I think. And it’s dark inside. Prince Bertil always sat behind and mumbled a little and had view on the artists. But it is time-barred now! But we hoped it would not be heard on stage.
No, I’m not the main character tonight, because that is the queen. My wife, and consort. Mom, Mormor, and Farmor. It’s her we should pay tribute to today. It’s pretty early in the morning- We usually stay here in the evening. It is amazing what she has accomplished during her years here. She has started and run various foundations: Childhood and Mentors for Young People’s Rights and Opportunities- in the world and in Sweden. We also have Silviahemmet for the elderly, or “older younger” those who have dementia problems. Which is not just in Sweden but is increasing worldwide. And she also has many other tasks with time.
And I know this. She is like a little blowtorch- behind all them- As chairman of many of these foundations. And you have to be! And that’s a bit like… I know a little about this. With that in the morning, at the breakfast table, at lunch, at dinner- I always get these questions! I have become a bit of a ballboard in these contexts. I know what you do in the foundations but I also know what you are not doing. But we are not talking about that tonight! You are fantastic! It’s unbelievable. There is a lot of work behind and we have a leader sitting up there. She’s like a blowtorch. She calls around the clock. You know that is true. I know that too, because I usually sit very close. But now we should not talk more about it. I just want to welcome you to this “happening”! A show. So let the game begin!
Dear, Dear Mamma, We humans are given limited time on our planet. We are born, we live and we move on. Some people have abilities and capabilities beyond the ordinary. You mother- are one of these. You have taken the chance and you have done your utmost to contribute and do good. You have not chosen the easy questions- but several of the most important ones. Always focus on the vulnerable. Always focus on helping and improving. Today we have had an in-depth understanding of your efforts both in and outside of Sweden. Your ability to gather good forces in common effort it inspires. For me you are great role model- and I am so proud that you are my mother. I love you.
Carl Philip was next:
Dear, Dear Mama,
For me, courage can be shown in may different ways. Many are brave through their career choices- as a firefighter, military, or adventurer. One can also have the courage as an individual. Cutting new roads and breaking standards. You have shown it over the years. Courage can be to begin to speak about things- as others might find difficult or are difficult. Like in the the 90s to begun talking about issues such as sexual abuse of children. All this and much more than that, you have shown over the years. That is why you are role model. For so many men, women, old and young. Dear Mama, you are one of the bravest and most empathetic people I know. I am proud to have you as mother and I am proud of you because you have had such a significant part in so many peoples lives.
And finally Princess Madeleine:
You are brave Mama. When I was little you used to tell about children you met on trips around the world. Children who were often in very vulnerable situations. You met children in the street, you talked to the, you saw them. You told me about the children you met in prison. This was very difficult to understand and but you also told admirably, of all the enthusiast we saw examples of today. Brave people engaging and doing everything to try and make it easier for children. I remember feeling that I also wanted to help. That I now follow in your track in Childhood, and in your work feels very natural to me. I am so incredibly grateful for everything you have taught me. I am proud to follow you in Childhood words. We love you. And we are really proud of you. Now I must stop because otherwise I will cry.
The Queen was obviously struck and surprised. You could see her wiping tears from her eyes and when it was her turn to speak, her prewritten speech was forgotten and her words were sincere and from the moment.
What should I say..? I knew nothing. I knew that it was something going on. Many said, “We see you on the 18th” But I didn’t know what would happen. I have to say its amazing. Great to have such a wonderful family: Victoria Daniel and Little Estelle. Unfortunately Oscar was not allowed to be here today. Carl Philip and Sofia- with the two wonderful little boys Alexander and Gabriel. And the Madeleine and Chris with the three little popcorn- which are wonderful, which are everywhere. They are really fast- fast in the head as well. I am very proud and grateful. And not least I want to thank the king, who has been so durable who had such… great patience. It is true that he has been told it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s great to stand here and have all friends in front of me. And also, what nice employees I have. It was a wonderful performance, one can say. The Oscar Theatre was set up, Vicky von der Lances with the entire ensemble. “As in Heaven”. warm thanks for the fine songs. Thanks also Carola. And I’ll probably never go out into the woods without thinking about the Little Academy. It was wonderful- so humorous and well done.
The seminar was truly a wonderful reflection of the work the Queen has done over the past 43 years. Listening to her family speak, and hearing their pride- I can’t help but echo that pride and admiration. I might be a few generations removed from being a “full” Swede and live in the United States- but Queen Silvia has always been “my Queen”. I am so proud to have a Queen who brings attention to the hard issues, and never shys away from issues of human rights, and is always looking for ways to help the vulnerable. Whether it be through Childhood, Mentor, Silviahemmet, or another organization- she brings attention, education and aid to those who need it most.
Grattis på Födelsedagen ers majestät och tack för allt du gör.
And if you can’t get enough of the Queen (like me), Året med Kungafamiljen (SVT) released a special full length interview with the Queen at Solliden in early July. The casual interview sees the Queen wandering around Solliden, picking strawberries, and talking about life.