2018-10-08

HM The King's speech at the reopening of The Bernadotte museum, Pau, France, 8 October 2018

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Your Majesty,
Your Royal Highnesses,
Mr. Mayor,
Excellences,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour to be here today for the reopening of the Musée Bernadotte.

I sincerely believe that knowing our past makes us better equipped to understand the present.

My ancestor, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, was born in this house. As an adult, he would be known as King Karl XIV Johan.

This son of Pau became a driving force in the foundation of modern Sweden. A work in which he greatly benefited from knowledge and experience gained in the service of his birth country.

Renovating this museum is an important effort to preserve – and bring to life – a part of the history that connects France and Sweden.

This day marks the end of an extensive project. But, as I am very pleased to see, it is also a starting point for further strengthening the ties between our countries.

It is my hope that the Musée Bernadotte will be a meeting place for Swedish and French culture.

Ladies and gentlemen: Great efforts have gone into making this renovation possible. As a descendant of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have contributed.

As a token of my appreciation, I will now present Mayor Bayrou with a copy of my ancestor’s adoption certificate.

I hereby declare the Musée Bernadotte reopened!