Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden was in Madeira, Portugal, yesterday to open a new department for the elderly in the Hospice Princesa Dona Maria Amélia which will accommodate up to 40 senior citizens. The area also contains a school, nursery and preschool. Madeira is an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean south-west of Portugal.
The Queen told those assembled, “To give our elderly the best possible care and care is an issue that is very close to my heart. The desire to take care of those who once took care of us is a universal driving force that unites us, no matter where we live and work. And I’m convinced that we have to make every effort to learn from each other.”
The Chief Financial Officer of the Swedish Royal Court, Jan Lindman, said that the Royal Family entirely financed the new addition and has funded it in the past, as well. Some in Sweden have complained about their tax dollars going toward a Portuguese hospice. However, the Chief Financial Officer explained that the funds given to the Hospice Princesa Dona Maria Amélia were not from the money given to the Swedish Royal Family by the Swedish government.
Lindman told the Swedish publication Aftonbladet, “Payments from Sweden to Hospicio Princesa D. Maria Amelia takes place from a fund originally instituted by Emperor Amelia of Brazil (Queen Josefina’s sister).
“The fund is managed in Sweden but has an economy completely different from that part of the court funded by the state budget. Thus, no cost on Madeira is paid by the government budget to Kungl. Hovstaterna.”
The connections between the Swedish Royal Family and the Hospice Princesa Dona Maria Amélia go back to Sweden’s Queen Josefina. Josefina’s sister, Empress Amelie of Brazil, founded the hospice after her daughter died of lung disease.
It is no surprise that Her Majesty travelled to Portugal to support the hospice for the elderly as she is the patron of the Hospice Care Foundation and committed to helping those with dementia. The Queen inaugurated the Silvia Home Foundation in 1996. It contains the Silvia Home in Drottningholm. According to the Royal Court, the foundation “works actively, promotes scientific research and offers education, specialised training and care in the field of dementia.”