King Carl XVI Gustaf addressed Sweden this afternoon from Stenhammar Palace in Södermanland regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The King’s speech, “The King’s greeting to Sweden,” was aired on SVT1. He recorded the speech from Stenhammar Palace where he and Queen Silvia have been residing since the outbreak began in Sweden.
He spoke about how he was delivering his address on Palm Sunday and how today begins Holy Week for Christians as it leads up to Easter. However, this year he said, “Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of this solemn week.”
Speaking of the toll COVID-19 has taken on the Swedish people and the Swedish economy, His Majesty said: “The pandemic has dealt a major blow to our businesses, workers and the Swedish economy – to Swedish society as a whole.”
As with other monarchs across Europe, he mentioned his gratitude for healthcare workers and the sacrifices they are making.
He said: “Let us turn our thoughts to everyone who is working to ensure that the rest of Sweden continues to function – despite the constraints of the situation and despite the risks to their own health.”
The King also spoke about how he understood why people wanted to attend church this coming Sunday but stressed that it is important to stay home during this time.
His Majesty said: “But, this Easter, some of this will not be possible. We have to accept this. We have to rethink, prepare ourselves for staying home.
“We might feel sad about this. But there will be more Easter holidays. After all, for most of us, this will require relatively minor sacrifices – especially if we compare this to falling seriously ill or losing a friend or member of our family.”
King Carl XVI Gustaf also mentioned his upcoming 74th birthday, which usually is celebrated at the Royal Palace in Stockholm with the public. He mentioned that in his 74 years, he has seen Sweden deal with many things.
The King said: “I have seen how crises help us to re-evaluate, to distinguish between important and unimportant. How fear turns into an understanding of the seriousness of the problem and how it can be solved.
“And one thing I have learned is this: however deep or protracted a crisis becomes, it will ultimately come to an end.”
Poignantly, he concluded his speech by telling the Swedish people: “And though it might be hard, remember: You are not alone.”
His full speech can be read, in English, here.