King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden opened the Folke Bernadotte Bridge yesterday in Stockholm. The pedestrian bridge crosses the Djurgårdsbrunnsviken and connects Museum Park and Rosendal Palace.
Folke Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg was a cousin to the King and one of his godfathers. He was known for negotiating the release of tens of thousands of prisoners at German concentration camps during World War Two and was unanimously chosen to be the UN Security Council’s mediator during the Arab-Israeli Conflict of 1947-1948. He was assassinated on 17 September 1948, 71 years to the day of the bridge opening in his memory.
The inauguration of the Folke Bernadotte Bridge began with the King and Queen laying a wreath at a bust of Folke Bernadotte before King Carl XVI Gustaf gave a speech where he said, “The bridge reminds us of one of the humanitarian heroes of the 20th century: Folke Bernadotte, whose death date is just today, September 17. After his efforts during the Second World War, he was named UN’s first international mediator. A true bridge builder and a prominent person in our Swedish history.“
The King then cut a ribbon to mark the official opening of the bridge and walked across it alongside Queen Silvia. The public was then invited to Rosendal Palace where the Royal Court said free screenings were given.
This pedestrian and bicycle bridge is in the same location as a previous temporary pontoon bridge built by King Karl XIV Johan so that he could ride horseback from Rosendal Palace to Ladugårdsgard’s training ground. Its construction cost 40 million kroner and took ten years of planning.