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King Carl XVI Gustaf visits police station and international school

His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf visited the police station in Skärholmen and the Botkyrka and Karsby International School in Botkyrka yesterday.

At the police station, he met police inspector John Franco and Chief Superintendent Hanna Bjärgård. Both have previously received from the King’s Young Leadership Foundation. According to the Royal Court, the scholarship “is awarded annually to young leaders who have shown particular courage, thoughtfulness and decisiveness.” The King was also informed about how their roles as police officers were helped by being recipients of the scholarship. Hanna received the scholarship in 2009 while John was awarded it in 2014.

His Majesty meeting Hannah Bjärgård and John Franco. Photo:

The King was also able to hear about the initiative to Mareldlänk which is focused on the police restoring security in the most vulnerable neighbourhoods. Before heading to the school later in the day, Carl Gustaf was given a tour of the vicinity where he met other police officers and investigators.

His Majesty then travelled to Botkyrka to the Botkyrka and Karsby International School where he took part in the school’s crime prevention through their project, Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP). The Royal Court explained, “The project is working to increase the children’s knowledge about violence and its consequences.”

They added that the project has been successful with violence in the school environment reduced significantly. One of the classrooms he visited had their students working on the importance of and how to be a good friend. Another classroom had students from grade nine holding exercises on standards for grade six. The Court remarked that MVP has been aimed at older students to encourage them to “become positive role models to younger schoolmates and thus counteract violence and crime.”

While visiting the international school, His Majesty gave one young child named Kinora Aybar, who was celebrating her 11th birthday, a hug and got her class to sing “Happy Birthday” to her. The King then had the class stand up and offer her three cheers for her birthday before he said, “So I really want to congratulate you on the day!” Kinora later told Expressen, “It is just so cool that he hugged me.”

King Carl XVI Gustaf was asked if he has a person he can talk to when he is upset and told the children, “Yes, I have many. I have my family to begin with, but also many good friends who I can ask for advice. In your case, maybe you can ask your classmates, or whether it is a more difficult question to go to a parent or a friend of your parents – sometimes it can be easier. I thought that one should not be afraid of asking others for help.”

He also let the children ask him any questions that they wanted which he happily answered.

When he was questioned about what it is like to be the King of Sweden by one girl, he explained, “It is fantastic fun. I have had the honour of being [King] for quite a few years now, and I think I can withstand a few more years. However, I tend to say that when I am travelling and representing Sweden abroad, that it is very funny. In addition, those times when it goes well, for example, in sports and I see the flag waving and hear the Swedish national anthem, I am very proud.”

Translations by Oskar Aanmoen, Europe Correspondent

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