(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to Sweden and to Stockholm!
Stamps and postal history reflect a global connection among peoples and societies.
In much the same way, this community is truly international and brings together collectors, dealers and enthusiasts from all over the world.
And I am very pleased that Stockholm is hosting this exhibition.
There have been important international philatelic exhibitions in Stockholm three times before: in 1955, 1974 and 1986. Both in 1974 and 1986, I had the honour of being Patron and to inaugurate the exhibitions.
The first time I saw the world famous "Treskilling Yellow" was at the 1974 exhibition. Now, it is displayed in the exhibition's Court of Honour, by Swedish collector Gustaf Douglas. I look forward to once again seeing this "crown jewel of stamps collections".
Ladies and gentlemen. Stockholmia 2019 celebrates the 150th anniversary of The Royal Philatelic Society London. And I have understood that the exhibition started with 12 frames containing a prominent display from the Society's Patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Compared to Britain, Sweden does not have a strong royal tradition of collecting stamps. However, both my grandfather and my father entertained this noble hobby, and their collections are a part of my family's history.
As some of you may know, this exhibition is held on historic grounds. Or, at least, on grounds with a close historical connection to stamps.
In 1926 a large building for mail sorting, Stockholms Bangårds-postoffice, was inaugurated here. Later on it became the Postterminal Stockholm Klara, which existed until the year 2000.
After that, the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre complex was built, to host large-scale meetings and events such as this in the heart of Stockholm.
As a proud patron of Stockholmia 2019, I would like to wish the organisers the best of luck. It is my hope that this exhibition may in the future be recognised as a new milestone for stamps.
I hereby declare the Stockholmia 2019 open!