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European RoyalsSweden

Queen Silvia receives Butterfly Prize

Photo: Anna-Lena Ahlstrom/Kungliga Hovstaterna

Queen Silvia received the Butterfly Prize on Monday for her work towards addiction issues and drug-free policies from an organisation in Sweden.

The Butterfly Prize is awarded by the Women’s Organisations’ Co-operation Council on Alcohol and Drug Issues, and Queen Silvia’s citation read: “…for her many years of work and personal commitment to the drug issue and for children’s right to a drug-free upbringing. The Queen’s commitment to exploited children is innovative and has given the issues increased attention.

“Throughout her interest in substance abuse issues, HM Queen Silvia has raised the issue of addiction both nationally and internationally.

“Thanks to the Queen’s knowledge and efforts to influence attitudes, new opportunities to improve public health have been opened up. The Queen remains a source of inspiration and support for girls and women of all ages, with different social backgrounds. HM Queen Silvia contributes to a society where health and care are in focus.”

Queen Silvia accepted the prize via video call and delivered a speech. Her Majesty first thanked the organisation, saying, “I will wear this fine necklace with pride.”

She continued: “The butterfly award goes, of course, not only to me, but also to all employees and enthusiasts in Mentor and Childhood. Two foundations that I have founded and which both work for children’s and young people’s right to a safe and positive upbringing.

“When I, together with the WHO, founded Mentor 25 years ago, it was, among other things, to prevent drug abuse among young people. The many trips that the King and I had made, both in Sweden and abroad, had opened my eyes to how brutally alcohol and drugs harm children and young people. Directly and indirectly. Worldwide. And in all social classes.

“Also in Childhood’s work against sexual abuse, we see how children’s vulnerability increases in environments where there is abuse.

“Today’s young people face great challenges. Mental illness is increasing. Drugs and alcohol can be a dangerous consolation. Police also report that drug use among our young people is increasing during the coronavirus pandemic. These are reports that we must take very seriously.

“Working on these issues requires time, patience, and perhaps most importantly: cooperation. Therefore, it feels especially nice to receive this award from an organisation that works as broadly and long-term as you do.

“Ladies, we have a lot left to do, and I’m glad we’re doing it together.”

The Butterfly Prize is awarded in the form of a butterfly necklace, which Queen Silvia wore during the video call with representatives from women’s unions and groups, medical professionals and more.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.