2010-08-21

H.M. The King's speech of thanks at a dinner at Örebro Castle on Saturday 21 August 2010

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Mr Speaker,
Your Grace,
Archbishop,
Fellow dinner guests!

It is a real pleasure for me to be able to stand here and for all of us to have the opportunity to convey our thanks to the City of Örebro for an excellent dinner.

I would also like to thank everyone who has made this special anniversary possible. I refer not only to today's festivities, but also to the exhibitions, seminars and lectures that have taken place and that are due to take place in connection with celebrations to mark the anniversary of the Swedish Riksdag's election of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte as successor to the Swedish throne, 200 years ago this very day.

A huge thank-you to those of you who have spent months preparing and then putting on this superb anniversary.

I'm sure many of you have heard about the great rejoicing that broke out at all the inns and pubs of Örebro when the election of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was announced. I have no doubt that the celebrations were as heartfelt then as they are today.

In 1810 they made a choice, but naturally it was difficult back then to imagine what the outcome would be. Now we know. Two hundred years later we can honestly say that the year 1810, with a new successor to the throne who also became regent, was a turning point for our country. After just a few years there was finally peace. This meant that people's energy could then be focused on building our country. The years leading up to Karl XIV Johan's death in 1844 were spent establishing the country that we are living in today.

Karl Johan had a keen interest in food. He loved Swedish raw ingredients but he wanted them to be prepared in a French manner, Frenchman that he was.

I'm convinced that Karl Johan would have joined me in saying that we have enjoyed a delicious and well-composed menu, not forgetting the excellent French wines. I am certain that he would have also liked the references to the city and Lake Hjälmaren, as well as the fact that we enjoyed his favourite soup as a starter. Everything has been on a par with the customs of the Royal Table of that time.

Perhaps the King might have grumbled that he was used to being served at least eight courses, as was the custom at the time. My great grandfather Gustav V appears to have been responsible for deciding that three courses were quite enough. Today we have been served four courses, which is an excellent compromise in honour of this special day.

Once again, our thanks to our host the City of Örebro, led by Chairman of the Municipal Council, Lars O Molin. Allow me to propose a toast to this beautiful city on the shores of Lake Hjälmaren, for organising this successful anniversary celebration.