HM The King's speech at gala dinner on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Army
Karlbergs palace, Stockholm
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
We are here this evening to celebrate the 500-year anniversary of the Swedish Army.
The birth of the army is linked to the fact that Gustav Vasa was elected King of Sweden on 6th June 1523, making Sweden an independent state.
The army's tasks have varied greatly during these 500 years. And of course, technology has developed and the security situation in Europe has changed over time.
This year it is 50 years since I became King of Sweden. As head of state, I regularly visit exercises and units in the Army. The changing world has resulted in higher demands on the personnel in the armed forces. Your professionalism and ability to take on new tasks has always impressed me. Therefore, I am convinced that you will take on new challenges with strength and courage.
Today, we follow Ukraine's struggle for independence. The importance of our defence has increased and major investments are now being made.
Officers, soldiers and civilians in the army, your service under the Swedish flag is a strong and vital link to our history.
A link in an unbroken chain – from Gustav Vasa into the future.
Be proud of that task and carry the torch to the next generation of army officers.
I extend my warmest congratulations to the Army and all of you present here today. I wish you continued success in your important mission for our country.
I would also like to thank our many international guests and Army Commanders that have joined us tonight. You, our friends and partners abroad, are crucial for our close cooperation. Your presence here is highly appreciated.
Finally, let me propose a toast – for the Army and its 500-year anniversary.