“I hope these days give you the opportunity to reflect,” said King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in his annual Christmas Day address to the Swedish people.
His Majesty began his remarks discussing that many across Sweden are celebrating with their loved ones but also recognising that some in Sweden do not observe the Christmas holiday. However, he said, “Regardless how your Christmas looks, I hope these days give you the opportunity to reflect, now that the year is coming to an end and a new one will soon begin.”
“When I look back on the year that has passed, I am thinking in particular of all the people I met around our country, which in different ways chose to take responsibility. Either in everyday life or in extraordinary situations.
“People who have made a difference when they have shown courage, thought, and action,” he continued.
The King then specifically mentioned those who “are committed to giving children and young people access to good education and a positive community,” as well as those working for sustainable development.
Those who fought the forest fires in Sweden over the summer were also mentioned. “Emergency personnel, the armed forces’ employees, homeless people and volunteers: There were many in our country who made great sacrifices to fight the fires and minimise its harmful effects,” he said.
The King then spoke of his, the Crown Princess Couple, and Prince Couple’s visits to the fire-ravaged areas, and then made sure to mention, like many other royals in their Christmas speeches this year, the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
His Majesty also spoke of the Riksdag (Sweden’s Parliament)’s 100th anniversary and the 200th anniversary of the Bernadotte dynasty in Sweden – which has been celebrated with several events throughout 2018.
A nod to the Nobels was included as was the 75th birthday of Queen Silvia which took place on 23 December, “Over the years, the Queen has worked stubbornly and purposefully to improve the conditions for vulnerable children and young people, but also for people with dementia.”
The Swedish Royal Family’s newest addition, Princess Adrienne, was also mentioned with the King saying she “made us very happy!”
“I want to end this Christmas greeting from the Royal Palace in Stockholm by wishing you a happy Christmas – and a happy new year 2019,” His Majesty concluded.
The Christmas Day address by King Carl XVI Gustaf can be viewed here.