Kungl. Slottet, Stockholm
(Det talade ordet gäller)
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses,
Mr Speaker of the Parliament,
Mr. Prime Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All Swedes know that this is a very special evening - Valborgsmässoafton - when we gather around bonfires in our local communities all around the country to celebrate the end of winter. A winter that this year has been particularly long .....
For me it is a very special evening for quite other reasons as well. Sixty years ago I was born at Haga Palace, just outside Stockholm. I hereby made the happiness of the Family complete. At least this is what I have been told.
Today on my 60th birthday there are many people I would like to thank. Many who have meant a lot to me through the years. Some of them are, unfortunately not among us any more. But quite a few are here tonight.
It is a great privilege for me to see all of you gathered around the tables in one of the most magnificent rooms of the Stockholm Royal Palace. Over the time I have got to know and appreciate you in your different capacities and fields of work and duty.
But first I want to turn to my family. To my wife, Queen Silvia, who, faithful and loyal, share my duties, happy moments as well as sorrows.
To our children, Victoria, Carl Philip and Madeleine, who give me both happiness and headaches, but also make me so proud and grateful.
To my sisters, with whom I have shared so much. We have had a lot of fun together and – believe it or not – we have never fought, like sisters and brothers usually do. We have always been there for each other and enjoyed being together. Even if time and distance make it hard sometimes!
Thank you for being here tonight, all of you!
I would like to turn to you, Mr. Speaker and Mr. Prime Minister, and thank you for your good wishes and for the portrait presented to me from the Swedish Parliament and government.
I also appreciate very much that so many representatives of official life in Sweden, have sacrificed their own traditional celebrations of this evening, for being together with us here tonight. I wish to thank you personally, as well as everyone you represent in Sweden.
I have had a fantastic day. All the warmth, joy and signs of trust and confidence make me feel deeply grateful and proud.
The guiding star for me, as a Monarch and Head of State, is to meet with the expectations of the people. In today's global world it feels more relevant than ever to work ”For Sweden – in keeping with the times”.
We have all enjoyed a wonderful musical performance in the Hall of State. This was a selection of great Swedish talents. I am grateful for the possibility to be able to present to you, an evening like this, a touch of Sweden and its rich and appealing culture. Sweden has so much to offer!
I am looking forward to the rest of this evening.
Once again a warm welcome!
Tack och skål!