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Queen Silvia on Childhood celebrating its 20th anniversary: “It feels nice”

Photo: Anna-Lena Ahlstrom/Kungliga Hovstaterna

Queen Silvia has given an exclusive interview to Expressen, a Swedish newspaper, about the World Childhood Foundation that she founded 20 years ago.

“Then,” Queen Silvia says, “it was very difficult to talk about these issues… No one wanted to listen and no one wanted to see these children who were so vulnerable. And also not see what happens to the internet and the dangers of the internet, but also child pornographic material, no one wanted to react.”

When she formed the World Childhood Foundation in 1999, Queen Silvia gave a speech saying that “I have founded an organisation. My biggest wish is to shut it down soon.”

The World Childhood Foundation aims to “ensure that every child has a safe and loving childhood free from violence and sexual abuse,” per its official website. Since its inception, it has grown into a worldwide organisation that has provided nearly $80 million to projects around the world.

In the 20 years since, Queen Silvia’s youngest daughter, Princess Madeleine has become increasingly involved in the organisation. Queen Silvia said that “as a mother, you are very moved and happy and very proud, too.

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“She has been very active, she has done two ‘Thank You’ campaigns and ‘Eyes Wide Open’, which was fantastic.”

Of her daughter’s book, Stella and the Secret, Queen Silvia says that she got to read it first and that “It is a difficult theme and very complicated topic to talk to the children about. But Princess Madeleine dared, and she does it in a very nice way.”

Queen Silvia also commented on Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, now a leading voice in action for climate change. “We need a lot of Greta. She was good. I have to say, I admire her.”

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To celebrate the World Childhood Foundation’s 20th anniversary, a black-tie dinner was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on Tuesday, attended by Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine.

Earlier Tuesday, Queen Silvia appeared at the United Nations to give a speech about childhood sexual abuse. As reported in the New York Post afterwards, Queen Silvia gave an interview saying that the #MeToo movement is important. She said, “it’s very good it happened. But I wish that also 25 years ago, that we would have #MeToo for children because nobody wanted to ask and nobody wanted to see.”

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.