Thursday, 26 December 2013

Royal Christmas - speeches, Christmas Day

People were at the heart of the speeches made by European monarchs on Christmas Day 2013.  King Carl XVI Gustaf thanked his fellow Swedes for joining him to mark his 40th anniversary as king in widespread celebrations across the country in September.  But the main part of his fortieth festive message as king was his own personal celebration of the many people he had met when he and Queen Silvia toured Sweden to mark his jubilee.  He talked of the experiences he had had across the country and of the warm and open reputation that Sweden has across Europe and the world.

Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden addressed his fellow citizens as their monarch on Christmas Day 2013 for the fortieth time
Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands made his maiden monarchical Christmas speech on December 25th 2013 and asked his fellow citizens to help one another to overcome the difficulties that many are now facing.  Like Philippe of the Belgians and Juan Carlos of Spain he mentioned the devastating effect that unemployment and financial worries were having on many.  But he made reference to an African proverb - 'People are people through other people' - and he urged those watching to try to help those around them in an effort to eradicate loneliness.
Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands delivers his first Christmas message as king on
December 25th 2013
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg also dedicated part of his Christmas Day message to the sadness and hardship caused by the current economic difficulties being experienced by many across Europe and referred to the historically high number of people without work in his country.  And he made special mention of the frustrations of many young people who can't find work and have found their lives put on hold.
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg spent a long time in his Christmas speech talking about the sadness and frustrations experienced by those looking for work
All the European monarchs have spoken of hope in their Christmas messages as well but the focus on the still ever present shadow of economic problems and unemployment in so many of the festive speeches marks a moment in royal history where monarchs made sure their people knew they were thinking of them and aware of the difficulties they faced.

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