A Royal Fairytale performance: Borgholm, Sweden 14/7/2018
NIELS PEETERS REPORTING
Borgholm is a beautiful small Swedish city on the island of Öland in the Baltic Sea.
It’s a nice place to visit. With the houses and the nature, you really feel like you are in an Astrid Lindgren movie. It is one of the most popular summer resorts in Sweden. The Swedish Royal Family’s official summer Palace can be found just a couple of kilometres outside the city centre.
This year we travelled to Sweden for our summer holidays, and were able to visit Borgholm on 14th July to attend the Victoriadagen. Victoriadagen is an annual event on the island and is a tribute to the Crown Princess Victoria’s birthday. This year’s celebration was extra special for me because Alexander Rybak was one of the seven artists invited to take part in the 2018 concert.
We arrived in good time for the birthday concert, because the security check takes time. It’s a royal event, so safety first 😉
When the concert started it was just like a fairy-tale, the Royal Family arrived in some old traditional carriages. King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and the little princess Estelle were in the first carriage. Prince Carl Philip, his wife Princess Sofia and his sister Princess Madeleine with her husband Christopher in the other carriage. This was very special to see. The Royals took their places in the nice chairs and the first song was the Swedish national anthem.
Alexander was the first artist to come on stage after the Swedish national anthem. Alexander had a little interview in Swedish with Kalle Moraeus. From what I understood, Alexander was honoured to play for the Swedish Royal family and that his father had always told him that one day he would play for a royal family 🙂
The first song that he played was a duet with Kalle and was especially for little Estelle. I knew the melody from somewhere but I realised later that it was “Fattig bonddräng” from the TV Show “Emil (Van de Hazelhoeve -Swedish : Emil i Lönneberga)” based on the children’s book by the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren. Astrid is one of my heroes.
Each artist performed one song and was then followed by the next artist. It was an alternative concert with different artists and styles. Alexander was still my favourite.
In the middle of the concert there was also a special attention for “ The Victoria Foundation”. The foundation makes it possible for children with a handicap to do sports. For example, that the children get a sports wheelchair or something they need to make sports easier for them. It was impressive and touching to see this great support from the Swedish Crown Princess.
Stina Nilsson is a Swedish cross-country skier and she was competing for Sweden in the Olympic Games. She got a scholarship from Victoria herself. This is happens every year on the Victoriadagen. One athlete gets the scholarship for what she or he has done special for their particular sport .
After this ceremony the concert continued and the artists performed again.
Victoriadagen finished with the Swedish version of “Happy Birthday” The Orchestra played the melody. All artists came back on stage and sang together (Alexander played the violin).
The Royal family stood up and thanked the artists and the orchestra with handshakes as they walked past the artist line up. Then the Royal family left the concert place. It’s was great to see Alexander’s happiness and that he was honoured to be a part of this fantastic royal event.
I had to wait a little while for Alexander. He was happy to see me here in Borholm. He said “Hello and you came all the way from the Netherlands to see this” 🙂 We talked for a short while and took some photographs.
At the end of the day, my parents and I took a drink on terrace by the harbour, with a nice sunset in view.
A wonderful day to remember, just like a fairytale!
Report by Niels Peeters ( from the Netherlands)