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Yennie 12-27-2004 09:23 AM

The Tsunami in South East Asia (Reactions of the Swedish Royals); December 26, 2004
 
Edit Lena (on the 31st of december): Since Sweden is the nation outside of South Asia, which has (probably) lost most people in the Tsunami-catastrophy, and since we already have so many posts on it, Alexandria suggested to start an own thread. I´ve moved the posts, we already had on the catastrophy and on the reactions of the swedish Royals:

Kungen uttrycker sitt djupa deltagande

Kung Carl XVI Gustaf sände på måndagen telegram till statsöverhuvudena i de värst drabbade länderna Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indien, Indonesien, Malaysia, Maldiverna, Burma och Bangladesh
I telegrammet uttrycker kungen sitt djupa deltagande i den svåra tragedi som drabbat befolkningen där. TT

GrandDuchess 12-28-2004 09:06 AM

Today the King issued a statement in Swedish - here is my translation:

Statement by H.M. The King of Sweden concerning the disaster in South East Asia

With dismay, I have during the last few days, through news media, taken part of the catastrophe that has struck so many people in great areas of South East Asia. Through telegrams of condolences to the Heads of States in the countries concerned, I have conveyed mine and the Swedish people’s warm sympathies and great commitment to what has happened.

Naturally, I carefully follow the development with concern to the Swedes who were present in the struck areas at the time of the catastrophe. Many people and families are presently living under a strong psychological pressure, uncertainty and in some cases even sorrow.

My thoughts are with You; I feel a deep compassion and warm sympathy. I will continue to take part of the regular reports, and of course hope that the uncertainty shall be exchanged to joy and reunion.

Carl Gustaf

GrandDuchess 12-29-2004 01:51 PM

A Sweden in chock and mourning
 
I hope it's okay if I take a little space here to things that are not free from political parties (if not, you can remove everything but my translations). Sweden is today a country of chock and mourning, being the European country with most missing citizens after the catastrophe - over 1 500 are still missing. The Prime Minister holds daily press conferences, our Minister for Foreign Affairs is in Thailand to access the situation, and the King who issued a statement only a day ago - today held a speech to the nation and took some questions...

On the daily press conference today, Prime Minister Göran Persson is calling for national gathering and has proclaimed New Year’s Day to be a day of national unity, the normal official flag day will instead be exchanged to flags on half mast around the country.
- This is the worst catastrophe in our time, others things are now left aside, Persson said.

He warned that the number of injured and dead will be large, and that we must stick together and provide support for each other. All party leaders of the Parliamentary parties are behind what is now being done and taking place.


This afternoon, H.M. The King spoke to the nation from the Royal Palace of Stockholm. Here is my translation of his speech:

On Boxing Day we woke up to news from the other side of the world with chocking reports and images from an incomprehensible natural catastrophe. The tidal wave, that without warning and with an enormous force had struck large parts of South East Asia and its population – also struck us, family, relatives and friends. Many Swedes had this year chosen to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holiday in sunny vacation paradises at the Indian Ocean. Suddenly, the dream vacation was exchanged to misery and tragedy for many.

The catastrophe will continue to grow. The number of deaths in the affected countries is growing hour by hour and has long ago reach five figure numbers. Weak and poor people have, like always, been struck very hard. But also for many families in Sweden – the tragedy has caused alarm and uncertainty when relatives are missing or have not been heard from. In some cases, the uncertainty has already turned into sorrow.

My thoughts go to You all, who in any way show compassion, commitment and courage to help those who now suffer and are in a hard situation. We are many who follow Your work and wish You all imaginable strength and endurance.

I share the sorrow with you that have been struck with loss of near and dear, and in this way I want to convey my own and my family’s deepest sympathy.

Later, the King also took some questions from reporters from the Swedish Television, Swedish Radio and TV4 and gave the following short statements to them:

- I share the sorrow with you that have been struck with loss of near and dear, and in this way I want to convey my own and my family’s deepest sympathy.

- I believe that there are many with me in Sweden who has visited these areas during other circumstances on their holidays, and maybe that is what has made the chock to strong and great for us all.

The Swedish Royal Family apparently has friends who have been struck by the catastrophe. The King answered one question with saying that he has heard of some “acquaintances” that are in the region.


You can hear both the speech and some of his comments online at SR (Swedish Radio). Go here and then scroll down a bit, click on "Kungen om katastrofen" = the questions, "Kungens tal i sin helhet = the full speech

Dennism 12-29-2004 02:18 PM

Thanks for the translations. It is indeed a tragedy for so many nations. It´s nice of the King to address the Swedish nation and Swedes everywhere on this most tragic of situations. Comfort is needed for so many.

GrandDuchess 12-30-2004 09:19 AM

At noon today, the King and Queen together with the official Sweden took part in an intercession (I don't know if that's the right word in English, it's förbön in Swedish) in the Cathedral of Stockholm (Storkyrkan) for all those struck by the catastrophe. The service was broadcasted live on television, you can see the intercession on SVT's website, click on "förbön i Storkyrkan i Stockholm".

GrandDuchess 12-30-2004 10:19 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Two big pictures from the intercession in the Cathedral of Stockholm at noon from Dagens Nyheter, one small one from Dagens Nyheter (Scanpix all of them, I think):

A nice picture from the intercession in the Cathedral of Stockholm at noon today. Picture from the Royal Court, taken by Pressens Bild:

hrhcp 12-30-2004 02:51 PM

Curious .... where did the King and Queen come back from, to attend "this service" ?

Lena 12-30-2004 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hrhcp
Curious .... where did the King and Queen come back from, to attend "this service" ?

Good question. And I also wonder, where their children are. IMO they should be in Stockholm right now and should haved attended the "förbön" with the Royal couple!

mixer2002de 12-30-2004 02:59 PM

Maybe Vicky is in a hidden block house with Danny... as all others with ther girl or boy friends

Lena 12-30-2004 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mixer2002de
Maybe Vicky is in a hidden block house with Danny... as all others with ther girl or boy friends

But Victoria isn´t like all others! IMO a Royal can´t just enjoy the benefits (2,5 weeks Christmas holidays, paid parking tickets...) especially not in the time of a crisis!
It´s a duty to be there for the swedish people in times of need. I say it´s a duty, but when I´m honestly I´ve also hoped that the Royal children would have felt the need to help. That they would have wanted to set a sign, a little gesture for the many people, who have to live with this great fear, that their relatives and friends won´t come back.
So if Victoria is indeed still in a block house, or in Ockelbo, or in Storlien...then a big "boo" (as Dennism would say) to her

mixer2002de 12-30-2004 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lena
But Victoria isn´t like all others! IMO a Royal can´t just enjoy the benefits (2,5 weeks Christmas holidays, paid parking tickets...) especially not in the time of a crisis!
It´s a duty to be there for the swedish people in times of need. I say it´s a duty, but when I´m honestly I´ve also hoped that the Royal children would have felt the need to help. That they would have wanted to set a sign, a little gesture for the many people, who have to live with this great fear, that their relatives and friends won´t come back.
So if Victoria is indeed still in a block house, or in Ockelbo, or in Storlien...then a big "boo" (as Dennism would say) to her

Well... maybe she is somwhere without electricity and TV and a wireless net?

GrandDuchess 12-30-2004 06:24 PM

I totally agree with Lena.

I’m personally a bit angry and disappointed that the royal children haven’t showed themselves since this terrible tragedy occurred. There are no excuses. I’m sure Victoria is with Danne in Ockelbo – but all of the royal children can see their partners in Stockholm all year round.

Sweden is now in national mourning and a period ahead that will take lots of healing – this is our worst tragedy in modern time.

My main argument for a monarchy in Sweden, is that the Head of State and his family is to be a non-political gathering force for the country – and at a time like this the whole Royal Family (and most certainly the future Head of State herself) should act their job and lead the country’s mourning.

The King and Queen are doing an excellent job as always – but I’m disappointed with the children, and especially Victoria!

A big boooooooooooooooo!


On Saturday, the King and Queen will attend a direct broadcasted fund collecting evening hosted by SVT (Swedish Television). The money will go to the victims of the catastrophe, mainly children. The King and Queen will attend together with the Prime Minister, representatives from aid organisations – and there will be performances by some of Sweden’s greatest artist, among them world renowned opera singer Ann Sofie von Otter.


The King and Queen visited the crisis- and family centre at Arlanda Airport

The Royal Court reports that the King and Queen visited the crisis- and family centre that has been established at Arlanda Airport on Thursday evening, in connection with the arrival of a flight with people from the catastrophe area in Asia. The King and Queen received a status report on the situation and met with people returned and staff at the centre.

With their visit, the King and Queen wished to give their support to returning travellers and their relatives, and to the staff of the centre and other people – as well as to get informed about how the centre and crisis handling at Arlanda and other receiving airports works.

Dennism 12-30-2004 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lena
But Victoria isn´t like all others! IMO a Royal can´t just enjoy the benefits (2,5 weeks Christmas holidays, paid parking tickets...) especially not in the time of a crisis!
It´s a duty to be there for the swedish people in times of need. I say it´s a duty, but when I´m honestly I´ve also hoped that the Royal children would have felt the need to help. That they would have wanted to set a sign, a little gesture for the many people, who have to live with this great fear, that their relatives and friends won´t come back.
So if Victoria is indeed still in a block house, or in Ockelbo, or in Storlien...then a big "boo" (as Dennism would say) to her

Yes, a big boo. And I have to agree with what GrandDuchess has said as well. The family as an unit needs to be seen in public. Especially the Royal Couple. The King and his heir. Reassurance. All of the political leaders are being seen in public together as well. Thus, it´s the duty of the RF as a family unit to be in public together. Mourn with the nation. Shining figureheads, largely, for their country. Reassuring for a people in despair as are Swedes right now.

GrandDuchess 12-30-2004 07:16 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Big picture from the intercession in the Cathedral of Stockholm at noon, from Scandpix:

Alexandria 12-30-2004 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GrandDuchess
I’m personally a bit angry and disappointed that the royal children haven’t showed themselves since this terrible tragedy occurred. There are no excuses. I’m sure Victoria is with Danne in Ockelbo – but all of the royal children can see their partners in Stockholm all year round.

Sweden is now in national mourning and a period ahead that will take lots of healing – this is our worst tragedy in modern time.

My main argument for a monarchy in Sweden, is that the Head of State and his family is to be a non-political gathering force for the country – and at a time like this the whole Royal Family (and most certainly the future Head of State herself) should act their job and lead the country’s mourning.

The King and Queen are doing an excellent job as always – but I’m disappointed with the children, and especially Victoria!

A big boooooooooooooooo!

I do agree that it's a tremendous disappointment that Victoria, Carl Phillip and Madeleine have not made a single appearance or any kind of humanitarian gesture in regards to this terrible tragedy. While it is a tragedy that did not occur in Sweden, thousands of Swedish citizens have been affected by this tragedy, whether they were on holiday in the area at the time or whether they have family and friends who are now missing.

The King and Queen, as others have mentioned, have indeed set a proper example, but also a genuine one at that. The King's public statement and the church ceremonies attended by he and the Queen are a comfort to their fellow Swedish citizens I'm sure.

While it is not a comparison as the two tragedies are of vastly different horrors and magnitudes, I have to say that in the wake of the March 11 terrorist attacks the Spanish royal family set a stellar example of how a royal family can set an example and lead and grieve with their fellow citizens. I am constantly reminded of King Juan Carlos's statement when he spoke on television that day: Your King grieves with you -- King Carl Gustav issued a similar statement I believe. And in addition to visiting the hospital in the hours following the attack, Prince Felipe and Infantas Elena and Cristina also joined the PM at the time as well as dozens of politicians and hundreds of Spanish citizens in a streete protest against the attacks, showing a united front of Spanish citizens against the terror inflicted upon them. I was most impressed by the united and unanimous support the Spanish royal family offered to their fellow citizens at this time, and I'm disappointed that Victoria, Carl Phillip and Madeleine couldn't take a cue from their Spanish counterparts similar support and sympathy, particularly Victoria who will one day be Queen can't show an ounce of leadership and compassion at this difficult time for so many.

If it is revealed or learned that at this time while thousands of Swedish citizens were experiencing such loss and sorrow and uncertainty, Victoria, Carl Phillip and Madeleine were curled away with their respective partners, that will be such a tremendous disappointment but also show how selfish and self-involved the King and Queen's three children are.

Dennism 12-30-2004 07:39 PM

Well said, Alexandria. Yes, the King and Queen have been excellent leaders among all royals at this time. In the next couple of days, we will see more Kings and Queens in public. But the Swedes have taken the lead and they are to be commended for that. Well, it could be that among countries not in the area, that Sweden is the one that has suffered the most. Percentage-wise. And yes, the Spanish Royal Family was quite heartfelt in their public mourning with the Spanish people at the time of their recent tragedy. It was a great comfort to so many Spaniards as well. Yes, a big disappointment that the children have not made an appearance yet.

GrandDuchess 12-30-2004 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alexandria
I do agree that it's a tremendous disappointment that Victoria, Carl Phillip and Madeleine have not made a single appearance or any kind of humanitarian gesture in regards to this terrible tragedy. While it is a tragedy that did not occur in Sweden, thousands of Swedish citizens have been affected by this tragedy, whether they were on holiday in the area at the time or whether they have family and friends who are now missing.

The King and Queen, as others have mentioned, have indeed set a proper example, but also a genuine one at that. The King's public statement and the church ceremonies attended by he and the Queen are a comfort to their fellow Swedish citizens I'm sure.

While it is not a comparison as the two tragedies are of vastly different horrors and magnitudes, I have to say that in the wake of the March 11 terrorist attacks the Spanish royal family set a stellar example of how a royal family can set an example and lead and grieve with their fellow citizens. I am constantly reminded of King Juan Carlos's statement when he spoke on television that day: Your King grieves with you -- King Carl Gustav issued a similar statement I believe. And in addition to visiting the hospital in the hours following the attack, Prince Felipe and Infantas Elena and Cristina also joined the PM at the time as well as dozens of politicians and hundreds of Spanish citizens in a streete protest against the attacks, showing a united front of Spanish citizens against the terror inflicted upon them. I was most impressed by the united and unanimous support the Spanish royal family offered to their fellow citizens at this time, and I'm disappointed that Victoria, Carl Phillip and Madeleine couldn't take a cue from their Spanish counterparts similar support and sympathy, particularly Victoria who will one day be Queen can't show an ounce of leadership and compassion at this difficult time for so many.

If it is revealed or learned that at this time while thousands of Swedish citizens were experiencing such loss and sorrow and uncertainty, Victoria, Carl Phillip and Madeleine were curled away with their respective partners, that will be such a tremendous disappointment but also show how selfish and self-involved the King and Queen's three children are.

Alexandria - you nailed it! This is exactly how I feel too, and you put it so wonderfully well.

I will make a drastic statement now - if Victoria cannot show support, sympathy and lead the national mourning at a time like this - she is not fit to be Queen and Head of State.

If the press would discover that the royal children are on holiday at a time like this, the media will be outraged and the people disappointed – and for Victoria it would be a big blow.

I highly recommend ETW to do something about this situation… Or maybe the King and Queen could talk to their children, and make them understand how vital it is to lead the mourning and be involved in a time like this is.

PS. If you would ever decide to run for next Swedish PM – I’d vote for you. DS.

Dennism 12-30-2004 08:09 PM

Yes, move over Göran. Alexandria for PM!

"If the press would discover that the royal children are on holiday at a time like this, the media will be outraged and the people disappointed – and for Victoria it would be a big blow."

This is very true. Most of the time, the press exaggerates but this is indeed a national tragedy. We need the family in this time of mourning. ETW to the rescue! We can always count on her! Something needs to be done indeed. I agree with GrandDuchess. And I hope that the 3 Scandinavian families will do something in the future, a memorial ceremony for example, as well for this event affects so many countries.

Alexandria 12-30-2004 08:32 PM

Thank you GrandDuchess and Dennism for your agreement and support.

I do think that when times are difficult and a country's fellow citizens are experiencing such turmoil and loss, true leaders and leadership emerge. It's not what your actions are when times are peaceful and good but it's what you do when times are difficult that reflect most upon your nature. As it is, I am already quite disappointed in my own government's slowness to commit a significant amount of aid money when other nations, including Norway had committed many millions already.

Throughout this tragedy, I have heard more from King Carl Gustav than I think I have heard from him all year, and how shaken up the King and Queen are by this tragedy is evident through the tears shed and the public grief expressed.

Short of being on their own deathbeds, we should've at least seen Victoria, Carl Phillip and Madeleine by now. They are not five or six year olds for whom a loss and tragedy of such magnitude is incomprehensible. They are adults for whom such tragedy is understandable, and adults for whom much is given, much is expected.

Dennism 12-30-2004 08:39 PM

Leaders must lead.

"As it is, I am already quite disappointed in my own government's slowness to commit a significant amount of aid money when other nations, including Norway had committed many millions already."

Yes, and Sweden has promised 75.5 million USD. And Serbia, quite a poor country(well, by European standards), has promised 45 million USD. Yes, I hate to say this but the King has been on "good form" this past week. His excellent Christmas speech and his speeches and actions this last couple of days. Bravo to him and the Queen. We salute them.


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