Photo by Johannes Jansson/ Baltic Development Forum via Flickr
In Berlin, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden spoke to the German parliament, the Bundestag, to mark the German National Day of Mourning for the Victims of War and Violence (Volkstrauertag).
The Crown Princess, who is part German through her mother, spoke to the German government to honour those who have been killed in conflict or simply victims of violence.
Victoria spoke of the unity between Germany and Sweden and her country’s upcoming entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which has drawn the ire of Russia.
Her Royal Highness said: “Our countries are united in a community of values, in our view of freedom, democracy and human rights, in our European and international commitment. And we do it now even closer than before.
“Since February 2022, the world has learned the concept of Zeitenwende. Sweden has undergone its own Zeitenwende and is facing the biggest security policy change since the Napoleonic Wars, with our upcoming entry into NATO.”
She spoke in German (her mother’s native tongue) and even remarked on her personal connection to the country: “My strong family ties to Germany and everything German has been an integral part of my life since I was a child. My feelings for Germany are intimate and deep.”
The heir to the Swedish throne did not skip over the tragedy of World War Two for Germany and Europe during her speech to honour all those who have died in conflict. She said: “World War II caused Sweden to distance itself from much of its German heritage. But since the democratic and reunified Federal Republic has become an anchor of stability for the European Union and Sweden has become a member of the EU, close relations have been re-established between our countries. And today, fortunately for us, we are united.”
The Crown Princess also touched on the Russian-Ukranian War and the attack on Israel by Hamas and subsequent retaliation by Israel on the terrorists. She stressed that the protection of civilians must always be protected. She then said she hoped that the optimism that came after the fall of the Berlin Wall could “continue to shape the world.”
The Volkstrauertag takes place two Sundays before Advent begins each year. Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel have been in Berlin on an official visit to meet President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and to lay flowers at Neue Wache – the German memorial to victims of war.