On Tuesday 5 June, The King, The Queen, The Crown Princess and Prince Daniel attended the opening of a memorial to the 2004 tsunami disaster. The memorial is at Blockhusudden on Royal Djurgården in Stockholm.
Hundreds of friends and relatives of the 543 Swedes who lost their lives in the disaster had gathered at the new memorial.
The King and Queen and The Crown Princess Couple arrived together with the Prime Minister and Mrs Ulla Löfven, Minister Lena Hallengren, Thailand's ambassador Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum and County Governor of Stockholm County Sven-Erik Österberg.
The ceremony began with a welcoming address by General Director of the National Property Board of Sweden Ingrid Eiken Holmgren and Danish artist Lea Porsager.
The King then gave a speech, in which he said:
"We will always carry our memories with us, wherever we go. Still, it can mean a great deal to have somewhere to go where we can remember. […] It feels good that land on Royal Djurgården can be used for this purpose. And I am honoured to be here today with you. Dear friends! I hope that this memorial will be a place that many people will visit. An opportunity for reflection. A place for you."
Relatives' representatives Josefine Fredriksson and Bob Stigsson spoke at the end of the ceremony. The King and Queen and The Crown Princess Couple then made their way, together with other guests, to the centre of the memorial to lay flowers.
On 26 December 2004, Southeast Asia was struck by the biggest natural disaster of modern times. A quarter of a million people lost their lives in an extensive tsunami as a result of an earthquake in the Indian Ocean. Of these, 543 were Swedes.
The National Property Board of Sweden was commissioned by the Swedish Government to create the memorial in association with the Public Art Agency Sweden and in consultation with the Royal Djurgården Administration.
The aim of the memorial is to honour the memory of those who lost their lives in the disaster, and to create a beautiful and dignified shared space for those who survived the tsunami and for friends and relatives of those who died.