HM The King's speech at meeting with Bernadotte Museum Friendship Association
The Royal Palace, Stockholm
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to Stockholm and the Royal Palace. It is an honour to welcome you here, in the Bernadotte Library.
Completed in 1796, this room was originally built to house the Swedish National Library. Today, it contains the royal book collection: about 100 000 books that have belonged to my ancestors throughout the ages.
A library such as this is so much more than a room full of books. It is an opportunity: an opportunity to learn about our past, in order to better understand our present.
The same thing can be said for the Bernadotte Museum in Pau. And the Queen and I are delighted to see so many members of the Museum’s Friendship Association present here today!
Let me also take this opportunity to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Olof Sjöström – former president of the Friendship Association, who passed away in October. Olof Sjöström was an important driving force for the restauration of the Bernadotte Museum, and we will remember him for his valuable contributions to strengthening French-Swedish relations.
Today, when so much is uncertain, it is more important than ever to maintain and improve the things that unite us.
It brings me great joy to know, that the house where my ancestor was born in 1763, now serves as a landmark for connecting French and Swedish history and culture.
For this, I would like to thank the French ministry of Culture, the municipality of Pau – and of course you, the members of the Friendship Association.
Thank you, for your longstanding commitment to the Museum and for your valuable contributions to its ongoing restauration. We look very much forward to seeing the final result, a few years from now.
Once again, dear friends, a warm welcome!