On 14 May, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden opened Europe’s ECRD2020 conference on rare diseases via video conference as the patron of Sällsynta diagnoser (Rare Diseases Sweden).
The conference was due to take place in Stockholm from 14 to 15 May, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was moved online.
The Crown Princess delivered her speech in English from her home at Haga Palace.
She began her remarks saying: “I wish I could welcome you all to Sweden and Stockholm, at this the most beautiful time of the year. However, as we all know, meeting each other in person is not an option right now…Still, until we can travel again, we can at least meet online, like this.”
The Crown Princess spoke of her pride that Sweden was the host for the 2020 conference and her experience meeting children and young people with rare diseases.
“Learning about the challenges that these children and their families face, has made a deep impression on me,” she said.
These challenges consist of finding the right doctors, navigating the healthcare system, and the emotional and financial stress that impacts the body. She stressed that conferences like ECRD2020 are very important because they serve to “give voice to those who need to be heard” and to “share knowledge and experiences.”
Her Royal Highnesses concluded by echoing what many have been saying throughout the pandemic – no one is alone. She said that this conference and others like it “remind us, that even when the world gives you plenty of reasons to feel that way, you are not alone.”
Her full speech can be read here and seen below: