Princess Sofia gives speech at Global Child Forum

Princess Sofia gives speech at Global Child Forum

Princess Sofia (formerly Sofia Hellqvist) was in South Africa earlier this week to give the opening address at the Global Child Forum as Patron of this year’s Forum. This was her first speech and her first international visit since becoming a royal. Three months in and Sofia is already giving speeches and meeting foreign dignitaries. Solo!

Sofia Hellqvist at Global Child Forum
[Graça Machel, Princess Sofia, and Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma]

This wasn’t some Duchess Kate-style micro speech, either. Sofia spoke for 4 1/2 minutes. She thanked Graca Machel (pictured above left), widow of Nelson Mandela and former South African first lady, for being patron of the Forum; talked about what Sofia’s seen with Project Playground; then about the Global Child Forum and what it’s trying to achieve.

Sofia said in part:

    “There are still clear violations of the rights of the child and it’s important to engage all sectors of the society, including governments, businesses, the civil society and don’t forget the local NGO’s and children themselves. And the main challenge is that all sectors think and work differently, that’s why it’s crucial to gather everyone and take actions together.
    “As our beloved activist Nelson Mandela said: it takes a village to raise a child. And that is exactly what Global Child Forum is trying to achieve. Cross sector partnerships to improve children’s rights. ‎Everyone has the responsibility to raise our children to BE free citizens of the world, free from violence in all shapes and to be self depended people. As long as children suffer we have work to do – as individuals and common commitment.”

[full transcript here]

The Global Child Forum was initiated by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden in 2009 and Silvia has been active with the GCF ever since. The GCF is “an independent, global multi-stakeholder platform for informed dialogue and thought leadership on how to advance children’s rights in support of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Global Child Forum aims at gathering leaders from business, governments, academia and civil society in a joint effort to implement children’s rights. This multi-stakeholder approach should be supported by effective information sharing, exposing leading case studies and learning from best practice from all parts of the world.”

Here is a video of Sofia’s speech. Her speech starts at about 1:15.

Because I criticize Duchess Kate’s speech-giving skills, in order to be fair, I must point out Sofia’s flaws as well. First, she needs to pull her hair back. Second, she looked down at her notes quite frequently which always bugs. Third, she stumbled over her words a few times. I’ll give her a pass this time because she wasn’t speaking in her native language, but it’s something to work on for the future.

Sofia Hellqvist gives speech at Global Child Forum

Aside from her hair, Sofia looked very professional in her black pinstriped suit and black heels from Gant.

The night before the Forum, Sofia attended a reception at the Swedish embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. Sofia looked excellent in a blue Armani dress she previously wore for her engagement photos. The low ponytail she wore to this reception would have been perfect for her speech.

Sofia Hellqvist at embassy reception 1

Sofia Hellqvist at embassy reception 2

Photos: Global Child Forum / Svenskdam / Twitter

32 thoughts on “Princess Sofia gives speech at Global Child Forum

  1. I’ll give her kudos for taking a solo trip and giving a speech, but especially for wearing the pin stripe suit. I’m so glad she realizes she doesn’t have to wear a dress or skirt every where and that when she does wear pants they don’t have to be skin tight and/or in the shape of jeggings.

    On another note, I can’t help but note how both Kate and Sofia have gone through Speech Making 101 with the looking to the right, center and left of the room at regular intervals. Sofia does it better, Kate looked like a little robot she turned at such regular intervals. She also didn’t rush and she didn’t giggle. I think as time passes she will be kicking butt in the speech making arena while Kate just stands there with a deer in the headlights look on her face. Oh Kate, being shown up by a former Miss Slitz. Although I’m sure Kate and Carole have decided that Sofia is beneath Kate in all ways so it doesn’t matter what she does.

    One other thing, with Madeline and Chris moving to London, this squarely puts CP and Sofia
    in the third tier royal slot. CG, Silvia, Vic and Dan can’t do it all. At least they’ve got a new addition who seems to be willing to work.

    But time will tell where this all goes and how it turns out.

  2. Good for Sofia! She is jumping right in — no fears of public speaking. Especially, in a language she may not be as comfortable in as her native one. I think she is going to keep making strides in all she does. I give her credit for becoming so involved in a sincere and caring way. Unlike someone else, I may add.

    Lisa, you are correct, with Maddie and Chris in London, Sofia and CG will be doing more both at home and abroad. I doubt Maddie will give up all appearances, though. I think she is a hard worker, too.

    Sofia, you are making people very proud!

  3. I am so glad you covered this engagement KMR, I saw it yesterday but didn’t want to interfere with HM’s celebration.

    I thought Sofia did a great job and was so surprised to hear her speak almost perfect English. I was not bothered at all by her looking at her notes as she didn’t take long pauses while doing so.

    This is what happens when a future member of a royal family does charity work or frankly any type of work before entering the Firm. They are much more comfortable in the spotlight and are able to make a real contribution. I get the impression that Sofia is a strong individual who knows herself and is confident in her abilities. I don’t believe that she will let the royal machinery wear her down or make her feel insecure.

    1. Well said Lauri Ca.

      Princess Sofia using her notes was not a factor – her speech came off professionally – sincere, eloquent, intelligent and caring – her time and travel – for a NEW royal.

      Well done Princess Sofia, SRF. Like Princess Maddie (no matter your Line to the Throne) – keep up the good work; service, duties to your people/ Goodwill and work to global cause!

  4. She’s 100 times better at speeches than Duchess Kate. Impressive that she’s making the speech in a language other than her native tongue AND that she traveled there alone. Can you picture Kate doing that? No, I couldn’t either. I don’t really care about the hair or wardrobe because obviously she is showing interest in something other than herself……

  5. Way to go, Sofia! I used to be a facilitator and also gave a lot of speeches, so I can be quite critical. I agree about the hair. Outside of that, she nailed it. The notes didn’t bother me as she probably needed that as English is not her primary language. I think it also helped as she was speaking about something that she truly knows about. This helped her to convey her point.

    She’s hit the ground running. She looks and sounds the part of a 21st century professional woman. Her pants suit was perfection. It was appropriate for both the event and her body.

    She and Kate had to wait for an extended period to marry. It is evident that Sofia spent her time wisely. There was no release from the palace that she needed to transition from commoner to princess. The fact that Kate still isn’t ready to speak or do a solo engagement is preposterous.

    Kudos, Sofia!

    1. Hi Rhiannon, I wonder if the structure of the BRF played a part in how unprepared Kate is for her royal role? I mean she didn’t meet the Queen until her and Will had been dating a number of years and while they were dating no one seemed interested in helping her prepare for her role. While the SRF is very close and Victoria is said to be the one to really welcome Sofia into the family. Plus, Sofia had a life prior to meeting CP, while Kate met Will at university and didn’t have a chance to develop her own life and goals. Now 4 years in Kate seems much more ill at ease in public than she did right after the wedding, which leads me to think that the Men in Grey aren’t very supportive or someone within the family is putting her down.

      1. Completely agree. KM seemed way more comfortable and enthusiastic about her role when they first married. There’s been such a noticeable difference that I think she’s either dealing with post-partum issues and/or she’s realized the politics of the royal family is too much for her.

      2. I have to say that yes, Kate met William at university, but she (and her stage manager mother) are at fault if she didn’t develop her own life and goals outside of William. She had several opportunities when he kicked her to the curb to go live her own life, but she chose to basically eliminate any outside influences and hitch her wagon to the star pony that is William. I can’t possibly feel sorry for her on that count. She chose to tag after him falling out of taxis and clubs instead of applying herself to some kind of position. She could have done tons of charity work and still been available for him. Her lack of development is all on her.

      3. I think that it boils down to her laziness. She had more than many chances to learn the ropes. Hell, she was caught reading a Diana biography.

        My philosophy when it comes to people is that they don’t do things out of skill or will. Either they can’t do something because ability. Or they can’t because they won’t. The latter is the case for Kate. She has no will.

        1. I think Kate was given much more of an introduction to what the Royal life would be like than Princess Diana ever was. However, Diana took on many causes and worked hard throughout her young life.

          Something is wrong with Kate. Post-partum depression could explain her lack of appearances this time around, but I think she is essentially angry that she is not getting the life that William promised her she would have . A life completely isolated from any work and from the media. I’m not prepared to cut her any slack, I am afraid.

          Carole Middleton may have guided Kate in every possible way to land William, but she never gave her daughter any ability to stand on her own.
          It’s no longer a surprise to me that Kate is incompetent when it comes to public speaking, or in finding a cause to champion diligently on her own. However, it does surprise me that she cares so little about the duties that come with her marriage. She has two children to consider now. Children who have been born into Royal responsibility. What kind of a message is she going to continue to give them by her laziness? What kind of a role-model will she be for Charlotte? Hopefully, PC will hear many inspiring stories about her late grandmother. I also hope those will be offered in a way to encourage her own growth, but not compare her to a woman she sadly never got to know. I think I feel a bit hopeless as to Kate’s willingness to start building any work ethic. Perhaps, she will prove me wrong.

          1. Amen Jenny!

            Petulant cover and excuse from royal duties traditions is his mother Diana. Who did not have the 10 years waity stalking and 4+ years marry in…

            Instead of Petulant William honouring his mother memory (like Prince Harry dedication to the people) – Diana major achievements – her positive life to others-giving back / to the BRF service to HM – The Monarchy/POW line; Petulant William and Limpet Cannot choose clothes – and the negative, as an easy way out of duties and service for all the wealth /perks and benefits from taxpayers; and NOT giving back to the people – HM/POW… what a dud!

        2. …carol/sowflake waity Cannot and the middletons family traits – No WORK, living from others (Prince William), take all the free Perks-hang on in a ‘false’ lifestyle of graduer …

          The same now passing on to P George and P Charlotte in the country – away from the people (not how to service, duties, traditions) – Bless nanny Maria and hope The Firm through nanny Maria loving care will off balance – the climbing carol and middletons (negative hangers on, take take traits).

          Sad for the Monarchy -HM/POW- GB UK CW; with HM/POW the Monarchy pride themselves on service to the people, duties and tradition.

      4. Hi Lauri. I had wondered if the reason William didn’t introduce Kate to the Queen straight away was that he really didn’t consider her as someone that he wanted permanently in his life for a long time?

      5. I love Princess Sofia! Now THAT is what a new Princess should be like. She not only jumped right in to doing solo work, gave a meaningful speech in another language, dressed appropriately, and had plenty of charm and understated elegance. I think she nailed it too. And in response to comments about Kate not having help during the “waity” years, I honestly think that the RF thought that there was no chance in Hell that William would actually marry Kate as she was completely unsuitable in both background, talents and motivation. I don’t think anyone thought Kate was a sure enough bet to invest training in. She has somehow gone from saying that she was very eager to make a difference in the world to a welfare queen, who wastes the taxpayers money and doesn’t give anything back. Producing two children is literally all she has done and she’s milking it for as long as she can. That she is a mother of two Royal children and she still hasn’t done a solo engagement or given a non-cringewothy speech is really, really bad. Kate needs to watch Princess Sofia and learn some things…

        1. Can’t rewrite history, so best not to compare backgrounds when speaking of Catherine and Sophia in the same comment. Glaringly obvious who comes out on top there, no matter who’s “team” you’re on

  6. Where I work, she wouldn’t pass a background check to be allowed around anyone under the age of 18. Interesting what pretty clothes and a title do so some people’s perception.

    1. At this point, I agree with you My2Pence. I believe in people being allowed to move forward with their lives, and not being held to their mistakes, but I just can’t help feeling skeptical about Sophia. Time will tell, and I’ll keep an open mind…

    2. I don’t understand why she wouldn’t be allowed around minors? For me it’s not about the pretty clothes or the title rather the fact that she co-founded a children’s charity and worked in Africa for that charity and others.

  7. Good for Sofia. I was on the ‘skeptic team’, but am glad I am being proved wrong. Either she has good insticts or is getting (and taking) good advice.

    It will take Kate a long time to win people to her corner. She is already a ‘has been’; despite not passing GO.

  8. Wow! Sofia is impressive and for all the little mistakes, in my opinion she gets a pass, especially since it’s her first speech and in a 2nd language! So wonderful to see a woman in power jump into her role and use her postion in a positive way. I really felt Sofia was sincere and spoke from the heart too, not robotic like Kate. Do-little should be ASHAMED, not judegemental.

  9. Well done Princess Sofia! Do us women Proud.

    HM POW The Firm – it’s way pass time for a 10 year wait -Limpet Cannot (and Petulant to give in the position they hold, and all the perks they receive).

    That’s what a working marry in (commoner) should give for the privilege life given to them. Princess Sofia is no way near in Line as Petulant Will &limpet Cannot – who Cannot travel to represent HM (POW Line) – give a proper, sincere solo speech – not even on video. Estelle of Sweden is a better representative to SRs than Cannot is to HM/BRF/POW – GB UK and CW.

    Even PG is becoming isolated, not given the proper RF protocols – duties traditions to HM POW – service to the people; just like Petulant, PG is becoming more like snowflake carol and the middleton siblings (NO WORK-No exposure to the RF) – ignore protocol – only enjoy the perks of a wealthy pampered lifestyle from taxpayers – title and association to the RF. Go away Petulant, to your regular, private country life with carol and the meddletons. Princess Sofia, Sweden is another example what a waste of BR Line you / Limpet snowflake Cannot really is.

    Lets hope King Charles the gov reassign his heir-POW to Prince Henry!

    1. Hi everybody,
      A Royal Highness? There are so many kind and good-hearted people that help others in difficult situations without making a big story- these are Highnesses. She can speak, she can travel and seems self-confident. But let us not forget she was a soft-porn-Model and did everything to become famous. The self-exposure is maybe not only a strengh ( especially in opposite of Lazy), but it may also come as a narcisstic attitude, to be in the limelight, to be photographed, etc. and the charity is only a verhicle. If you really care about the content and your actions have substance, than you don´t make comments like her. ( She said something really strange about the poor children getting raped by soldiers in Africa, where her charity or form the swedish RF is helping.) LOVE LOLA did an excellent research about Sofia.
      I really doubt, she is really involved in these things with her mind (which seems to be limited), but she has more cojones than Kate thats for sure.

      1. Hi Di,

        …everyone/most of us make mistakes (survival; she did not commit a crime). The thing is to learn/grow, adjust and DO better good – for others less fortunate, serve your people – especially in the privilege life / title/position she now holds.

  10. I actually think Sofia did great for her first speech! Yes she looked at her notes a lot, but she wasn’t speaking in her native language. Where as Kate always looks at her notes and pauses at odd moments when she is speaking in English. Can you imagine what Kate would be like giving a speech in second language? I am curious to see if Sofia looks at her note as much if she gave a speech in Swedish. Until she does and we see how she is I am not going to be as critical of her. It is not an even a fair comparison since she did it in another language. Which to me shows how right out of the gate she is better at it than Kate. Kate right now seems really behind and unprepared.

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