Queen Silvia of Sweden has placed herself in the middle of a major housing dispute that revolves around one of the Queen’s most important projects. Last weekend, Queen Silvia was a guest in a podcast with the Alzheimer Life Foundation, on the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Day.
One of the topics brought up in the podcast was the Queen’s project “SilviaBo”, a project she had been working on for a long time. SilviaBo is located at Drottningholm in Ekerö, and consists of six apartments, where Queen Silvia wants people with dementia to be able to live with their partners. The project was praised by several but some living nearby have been unhappy with the development.
Some neighbours complained to the Swedish Land and Environment Courtdea which deals with, among other things, construction cases. They claimed that the buildings do not fit into the area. The case went in the neighbours’ favour and the houses are now to be regarded as so-called “black buildings”, illegally erected buildings.
In the podcast Queen Silvia took part in, journalist Henrik Frenkel asked whether the queen believed that prejudice against dementia could be behind the conflict with the neighbours. He Majesty replied: “I often think about it. I dare not to ask, because I suspect it is so. I think this is very tiring, and I think it is really disgusting”.
This strong statement has not gone down well with the neighbours of SilviaBo. The Swedish newspaper “Aftonbladet” has been in contact with one of those who was involved in the process against the SilviaBo-project. The neighbour, who has also been in contact with the others involved, reacted strongly to the queen’s insinuation. He says: “It is a statement that is astonishing. There have never been questions and discussions about dementia. What we have done as residents of Drottningholmsmalmen is to protect the place with its historical values”.
The Silvia Foundation has now made a new application for a building permit so that the dementia homes can become a reality. In the new application, however, the size and facades of house have been adjusted.