The Swedish Queen and I

Queen Silvia Photo: Julia Hetta, The Royal Court, Sweden

Queen Silvia
Photo: Julia Hetta, The Royal Court, Sweden

When Swedes want to compliment me on my language skills, they very often say, “I can’t believe you are German. You don’t sound like Queen Silvia at all!” As I have learned, most of her subjects do not like the accent with which their queen speaks and while I can understand it is somewhat funny that a professional interpreter did not manage to acquire a language perfectly, I still think that Silvia has saved the Swedish monarchy with her regal elegance and her clever sense of discretion.

Language matters aside, Silvia and I happen to strangely share quite some things. Actually, it feels like they keep getting more. We already share the very first thing in our lives: the birthplace. Both Silvia and I were born in the picturesque city of Heidelberg. Also, both of us were born to a German and a non-German parent, resulting in a somewhat darker appearance than the average German. And now guess what? The Queen of Sweden moved, just like me, to Düsseldorf once. In 1963, she graduated from Luisen-Gymnasium in Düsseldorf, a school which happens to me right next to where I lived my first 6 weeks here. And does it even surprise you that both Silvia and I attended an all-girls-school?

I hope Hamburg wins the bid on the Olympic Games and becomes host city 2024 because obviously that’s where I should find love to following the Silvia-path, right?

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