King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden addressed a special Cabinet meeting at the Royal Palace on Wednesday, 18 March 2020, focusing on the coronavirus pandemic.

King Carl XVI Gustaf-Special Meeting-coronavirus
King Carl XVI Gustaf addresses a special cabinet meeting at the Royal Palace. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist / TT

King Carl Gustaf welcomed the Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers to this extraordinary meeting and thanked them for coming.

The number of government ministers was ‘greatly reduced’ and Crown Princess Victoria was noticeably absent.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven provided an update on government measures

The King said he would pass on the information to the Crown Princess after the meeting and thanked the Prime Minister for his update.

Video: Sveriges Television

In Sweden, since 1974, the Prime Minister is responsible for keeping the King informed of affairs of state.

The King formally convenes the government as a council but the decision is made, after consulting the Prime Minister.

King Carl Gustaf had previously met with the Prime Minister at the Royal Palace for an urgent update on the epidemic on Friday, 13 March 2020.

English Translation

Here is an English translation of King Carl Gustaf’s address:

The coronavirus has put our country in a strained situation.

Many are worried: for their health, for their relatives, for their livelihood. We are in a position that requires responsibility for oneself and others.

But difficult situations, such as the one we are in now, also offer an opportunity; the opportunity to bring out the best in ourselves. As a country, and as fellow human beings.

The seriousness of the moment should not be impaired. But there are also good reasons to feel hope and confidence.

Recently, both public and civil Sweden have emerged:

The government has taken a number of measures. Parliament is preparing a number of new laws.

Employees and volunteers work purposefully to limit the spread of the virus, to get accurate information and to help those affected.

In the business sector, good initiatives are also taken to support and contribute.

These efforts deserve our appreciation and respect.

At the same time, millions of Swedes take great responsibility:

You refrain from activities and togetherness that you have been looking forward to. You change your daily life and your plans. And this is done not just for their own sake, but for the sake of their fellow human beings. In order not to spread the infection.

Yes, we all have our own responsibility, to avoid contributing to the spread of infection or to become infected ourselves. We need to listen to the advice of our expert authorities. Avoid any meetings that may have been scheduled. This is especially true for the elderly and for other people who, for various reasons, are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if they are infected.

The Queen and me and our family are trying to live by this advice to the greatest extent possible.

Now we all in Sweden – you and I – need to do everything we can to help. It is in our ability to take responsibility jointly as our strength is shown.

Every time this happens, every time we choose to show consideration and empathy, we help to maintain the best with Sweden – for the good of Sweden.

Temporary Closure of Royal Palaces

King Carl Gustaf has announced the closure of the royal palaces and cancellation of public events, including pre-booked shows, lectures and other programmed activities from Saturday, 21 March 2020.

Anyone who has already pre-booked for entry, screenings and program activities will receive a refund.

Governor Staffan Larrson said, ‘This is a precautionary measure for the development of the coronavirus. The situation does not allow us to conduct public activities in the royal castles. We are following the trend and look forward to welcoming our visitors as soon as possible. We will increase our efforts to make exhibitions and castles available through our digital channels. The royal parks will also be open as long as nothing else is announced.’

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