(VIDEO) His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden Delivers His Traditional Christmas Speech.

On the evening of December 25, 2016, His Majesty King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden delivered his traditional Christmas Day speech.  The pre-recorded message was filmed inside Prins Bertil’s apartment at the Kungliga Slottet in Stockholm.

Below is a rough translation of His Majesty’s speech:

“Dear Swedes, at home and abroad. Everyone in Sweden!

Courage.
Consideration.
Power to act.

These words are key for me. They are sometimes used to describe good leadership. But I think they can be good watchword for all of us. Not least in times of great challenges.

According to researchers in 2016 looks set to be the hottest year ever recorded. The temperature in the oceans and on land continues to rise. During the past year we have seen how extreme weather events have caused great losses around the world, economic, but above all human.

Changes in climate affect us: our ability to get food and clean water, to feed us and ultimately protect life and property. People’s lives are connected with how we take care of our environment.

Here in Sweden we are privileged to have access to clean water straight from the tap. Often we think probably not on it. We see it as self-evident. The global water shortage can be felt distant. But it concerns us all. After a dry summer and autumn we have unusually low levels of groundwater. This has led to water shortages in many parts of Sweden. Among other things, Oland – where did it last summer to drive tanker trucks with water from the mainland.

This creates a difficult situation for many. Not least for farmers. It is also an important reminder of how dependent we are on clean water.

Royal Family’s commitment to water issues is large. And I am especially pleased to also crown princess has chosen to focus on just the marine and water issues in his role as ambassador for the UN global sustainability.

Climate change and other environmental problems do not follow national boundaries. It happens on the other side of the earth affect us and vice versa. That is why the climate agreement reached in Paris last year is so important. To reverse the trend, we must cooperate.

Protecting the environment is not just a question of ethics. But about survival.

Sweden is a country of forests. A great resource that covers more than half of our country’s surface. The productive forest land equivalent to more than three football fields per inhabitant. The forest is an important industry, but
also a popular place for recreation. We are many who feel a special peace and joy when we get the opportunity to go out for a few hours in a quiet and beautiful forest.

Forestry has a long tradition in our country. For many generations, we have built up valuable knowledge about how we can take advantage of the opportunities provided by the forests.

During the year I have visited several activities based on the expertise and who contribute in different ways to sustainable development.

This summer I was in Scania to launch the MAX IV research. It will attract researchers from all over the world. One of many exciting projects is just about developing new materials using raw materials from the Swedish forest.

The development also means that switch. In Ångermanland I visited, for example, a former pulp mill. It had been converted into a modern facility for manufacturing including biofuels.

And in Vasterbotten I gained an insight into the research being done on forest-environment.

Swedish research and technology expertise are key assets, both for the environment and as a basis for Sweden’s future prosperity.

During the year the Queen and I made three state visits – two outgoing and incoming. The contrast was great: from our visit to the tiny kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas to the populous Germany, Sweden’s biggest trading partner. And so the visit from Chile, a country that is far away, but many Swedes have close ties.

One thing has been common to these visits and it is the interest of sustainability, climate and environment. There are issues where we have much to learn from each other.

State visits helps to create dialogue and exchange of knowledge between Sweden and other countries. I see this as an important part of the mission as Sweden’s head of state.

In a few days, Sweden will take place in the UN Security Council. It will be an important forum in the coming years. I am convinced that our country will be a positive force for peace and security. Sweden needed!

Acts of terrorism, armed conflict and uncertainty. We live in troubled times. What is this world really headed? It is a question I have asked myself many times in the past year. And I do not think I’m alone.

The news never stops up. It can be difficult to take in everything. The most difficult thing is the pictures and the stories of how children fare badly. The work for children’s rights today seems more important position than ever.

One can feel anxiety about the future. But we should not let fear govern our everyday lives. We all have a responsibility to act as role models for our children and young people.

Again, we must show courage, thoughtfulness and decisiveness.
Courage to stand up for what is right.
Caring for each other.
And action to intervene when someone needs help.

Recently attended Queen and I at an ecumenical service held when Pope Francis visited Sweden. The cathedral in Lund gathered Catholics and Protestants together to draw attention to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

At this historic meeting, it was agreed to put the unit in front of the division. To focus on the common rather than the differences. Such steps towards reconciliation offers hope for the future!

When I look back on the past year, I feel – also on a personal level – much gratitude.

Our family has been extended with two new little princes. The Queen and I celebrated our fortieth anniversary this summer. And in connection with my 70th birthday last spring, I received many greetings and best wishes. I want to thank you for the warmth and care that we encounter. It means a lot to me and my family.

I would like in this context also send a special greeting to all Swedish men and women who now find themselves far from home in various international missions of peace and security.

To you I say: Thank you for your important work! You and your families are making great personal sacrifices, not least a weekend like this. It is worth our respect and gratitude.

2016 is about to end. Sometime early next year, Sweden its ten millionth inhabitant. It can be a person who is an immigrant or returning home after a long time abroad. It could be a child born anywhere in our country.

Regardless, he or she will be a part of our common future. For this person, I would say: Welcome! I wish you all the best!

By this I and my family wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017.”

(VIDEO) His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands Delivers His Christmas Message.

On December 25, 2016, a Christmas message from His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands aired on Dutch television.  The pre-recorded message was filmed at Villa Eikenhorst in Wassenaar.

Below is a rough translation of His Majesty’s speech:

“Heaven and earth touch each other at Christmas. Christ, the Son of God is born in a simple stable. His mother puts him to sleep in a crib. Angels proclaim a message of peace and hope for a better world.

Celebrating Christmas can be confronting and make us think. Near the spot where stood the manger, now reign of fear and violence. Unimaginable are the hardships that ordinary people – many of them small children – in Syria, but also to suffer in other countries. Violence can come close. Terrorist attacks – like this week in Berlin – this year many families in mourning.

Christmas 2016 also evokes contradictory feelings. That is why I have struggled with this Christmas Speech.

We would thus like to see the angel of peace spreads his wings over the world. We would know salvaged us so much. But while there is much that makes us worried and gives us a sense of threat and helplessness. Contradictions in the world appear to be larger. And that has an impact on our lives here. Extreme seems to be the new normal. Searching for security graves groups in their own right. That often makes an open conversation impossible. Many feel in a country without listeners to live.

Who doubts about the future, often idealizes the past. We give to all of us about to nostalgia for the past. Yes, once …

We know that the reality was less rosy. And that many issues on which we are now so worried, on closer inspection, are less serious than we sometimes think.

This is very much happy as well and that life in many ways is really better than then.

“Perception is reality,” you often hear. But the foundation of everyday life is like quicksand experience the view on reality displaces. Let us honestly name the difficult problems. But if there is one country also knows and solidarity, it is the Netherlands. Without them seek the limelight, millions of carers and volunteers our quiet strength. We see you and your loving work enough?

The message of Christmas is a message of hope, peace and charity.

This is a call to each of us. How we behave toward one another? What we do ourselves to our society in such a way that everyone knows and can feel safe at home? Can we still, solve problems together peacefully?

In these uncertain times, it is necessary to keep solid ground underfoot. The values that traditionally belong to the Netherlands, also determine in the future our ability to come together. While the world seems to give us less grip, we must stick to what we share and protect what connects us.

For so we want to live here. As free and equal people. Without those dissenting need to be afraid of threats or intimidation and without discrimination on grounds of belief, race, gender or sexual orientation. These rights apply here for everyone, always.

Freedom needs space. Room to live, to move, to think and debate without fear. Space to be different from each other. That freedom belongs to us and is stronger than any act of terrorism as well.

Earlier this year I opened the Rotterdam Library an exhibition dedicated to the famous Dutchman Desiderius Erasmus. He lived 500 years ago, not long after the invention of the printing press, the Internet of the 16th century. Erasmus was one of the first who took advantage of it. Throughout Europe reading knew his work.

Erasmus was a deeply religious man with a critical mind and a sharp pen. A man who sacred cows dared to overthrow. Nothing human was alien to him and he could tremendously excited about the abuses of his time. But he always continued to search his strength in reasonable arguments and the peaceful exchange of ideas. We need each other after all.

“Nature has divided our gifts so that one man can not do without the help of others,” he wrote.

Terrorists are trying to undermine our free way of living and to undermine our sense of home. Rightly people desire in the first place safety.

In this time of uncertainty, fear and anger understandable emotions. But anger can not be terminal. The peace we so desire does not come closer as people drop out and dig. Peace begins with protecting what we share and the use of all positive forces. Without you, without you, it’s not.

At Christmas we are urged not to give up. One another not to give up. Every person counts. Christmas light shines for all of us, and it makes us see each other.

The old Christmas carol puts it nicely.

Between all the people
in the human family
Hark, the herald angels sing the glory
of the newborn Lord.

I wish all of you – wherever you are and how your personal circumstances may be – a blessed Christmas.”

(VIDEOS) TRHs The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Attend Christmas Day Service in Englefield.

On December 25, 2016, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with their two children — Prince George and Princess Charlotte — attended Christmas Day service at St. Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire.

Accompanying the duke and duchess were Mr. and Mrs. Michael Middleton, Miss Pippa Middleton and her fiance, and Mr. James Middleton.

For more information about today’s visit to St. Mark’s Church please click here.

 

(VIDEO) Members of the British Royal Family Attend Christmas Day Service at St. Mary Magdalene.

On the morning of December 25, 2016, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales, His Royal Highness The Duke of York, Their Royal Highnesses Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York, Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex along with their two children — Lady Louise Windsor and James, The Viscount Severn — Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Philips along with their two children — Savannah and Isla Philips — attended Christmas Day service at the St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England.

Click here to view photos.

Members of the Danish Royal Family Attend Christmas Eve Service at Aarhus Domkirke.

Denmark1

On the evening of December 24, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark along with their four children — Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine — Their Royal Highnesses Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark along with Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Prince Henrik, and Princess Athena attended Christmas Eve service at Aarhus Domkirke in Aarhus, Denmark.

Click here to view photos.

(VIDEO) A Christmas Message From His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium.

On the evening of December 24, 2016, the Belgian royal court released His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium’s Christmas and New Year speech.

The pre-recorded message was filmed at Château de Laeken near Brussels, Belgium earlier this month.

Below is a rough translation of His Majesty’s speech:

“Ladies and gentlemen,

For many of us the Christmas and New Year celebrations are a time of happiness. The illuminated streets and squares create a festive atmosphere. In the hearths reigns the joy of being together, of being together. Unfortunately this is not for everyone. For many, these are difficult days. I am thinking of those who are alone, those who are sick, those who bear heavy burdens. I think of all those who lost a loved one. And this year in particular to the victims of the attacks in Brussels and Zaventem, and to their relatives.

The events of the past year, in Belgium, Europe and elsewhere in the world, cast doubt on the future. Many people are worried about their jobs, their income, their safety. Too many young people think their lives and those of their children will be worse than their parents. Too many elderly people are wondering if they will still be able to keep up with current developments. This sense of uncertainty, disarray, even anger, can also lead to a loss of confidence in institutions.

And yet I want to send you today a message of hope. Throughout the country, the Queen and I are impressed by remarkable projects in which citizens are involved and who motivate others to become involved.

I see men and women who dare to interact with sincerity and truth. I felt this on my recent visit to a home that provides a family environment for adults with mental disabilities. To meet without prejudice and tenderness, to recognize the frailties of the other at the same time as his own. I was shattered by the energy that it releases in itself. Sweetness is a force.

I also see many examples of solidarity and generosity. In holiday camps that give their smile to children who are victims of mistreatment and harassment. In families hosting excluded people. In projects that bring together people of different generations and origins. Many do not hesitate to sacrifice their comfort to get closer to the other.

I see finally many young and old who have understood that to succeed, one must have the courage to start over. They refuse to remain on the margins of society. They do not resign themselves. They understand that to succeed is also to want the success of the other and to accept his help. I think of those who grasp with outstretched hands to learn, to resume their studies, to find a job. I am thinking of those retirees who are embarking on new meaningful projects. And the older ones who accept to be helped without seeing a loss of dignity.

Ladies and gentlemen,

All these examples express the will to build a society where one sustains one another in the ordeal and where one helps each other to succeed. They show that a more cordial society is within our reach. They deserve greater visibility. I am convinced that they can also create a dynamic that enriches the action of our institutions and builds confidence in the foundations of our democracy. This is what I sincerely hope for our country and for Europe on the eve of 2017.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Queen and I and all our family wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”