Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip to tackle cyberbullying and dyslexia

Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip to tackle cyberbullying and dyslexia

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are set to take up dyslexia and cyberbullying as causes with their foundation, The Prince Couple’s Foundation, and have (finally) launched the foundation’s website. They wrote a blog post about cyberbullying to launch the site. Also, included in this post: On Saturday, August 27, the couple attended the Swedish Local Heritage Federation’s 100th anniversary celebration “one evening in the People’s Park” at Skansen in Stockholm.

Carl Philip and Sofia Prince Couple Foundation photo

For their marriage in June 2015, the Prinsparet Foundation (Prince Couple’s Foundation, but also called the Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia Foundation) was formed for Carl Philip and Sofia. The Foundation focuses on dyslexia and cyberbullying (or rather, näthat, which has no English translation according to Google, but Wikipedia says it is “threats, harassment and violations against an individual which takes place over the Internet”, so I’m going to call it cyberbullying since that seems to be the closest English translation). This month, over a year since the Foundation’s inception, the website for the Foundation went live.

In addition to launching the website, they posted a first blog post which though not signed by the couple seems to be written from their point of view (using “we” and talking about their own experiences).

Here is part of what they wrote about cyberbullying and why they chose this topic (translated via Google Translate, so as always forgive any wonky wording):

    “Subjecting a person to bullying is horrible. Exposing a child to bullying is terrible. Words hurt not only for the moment and kind of do not only hurt for a moment. Bullying gives wounds that for many lasts a lifetime. We can not understand what all go or have gone through, but we have both experienced cyberbullying. It has given us an understanding, and an incentive to work with the issues and a willingness to help others. Hate can be felt no matter who you are and as new parents we feel it is more important than ever for us.
    “Every day, young kids around Sweden [experience a] lot worse things than what we have experienced. Digs, beaten and exclusion becomes in time a backpack that can crack the strong back anytime. Instead of living happy, children playing relegated to the corner of the schoolyard, without belief in themselves and without trust in society or the adults around them.
    “It should not be so, and it’s not good enough just to shout that “someone” had to do something. The responsibility is ours along, every day, for every child. It is our duty as adults to talk with our children, but also to be good examples.
    “Therefore, we are starting Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia Foundation, in order to strengthen the good conversation, strengthening the positive role models and to enhance all children, both those who are bullied, those who bully and those who stand passively on the sidelines. The good society is built on good citizens. And good citizens come from strong self-esteem and belief in their own worth. No child deserves less than that.”

[full post here, in Swedish]

When I first read that the couple’s foundation was going to focus on cyberbullying I became annoyed because most of the discussion around cyberbulling I’ve read is focused on how social media is bad and the Internet is bad because bullying, and that it’s up to the technology companies to do all the work to make changes (coughWilliamcough). That line of thinking misses the point, in my opinion, because the Internet is just a collection of computer networks and databases and HTTP calls. The Internet is nothing until humans put something on it. The Internet is the purest reflection of humanity there is. If there are bad things and bad behavior on the Internet it is because there are bad desires and bad behaviors in humanity. In order to stop online bullying, we must stop humanity’s desire to bully others. Because all the Internet has done is allowed us to be our true selves.

When I started reading what the Prince Couple’s Foundation website said about cyberbullying, I actually became less annoyed, happy even, because they recognize that how we are on the Internet is a reflection of how we are in real life, saying “the problem with the Internet-bullying is not the Internet, it’s the people behind the screens”, which is my thought exactly. So the Foundation wants to work both on the Internet and off in order to tackle cyberbullying. I like that idea, and I really hope they follow through with it.

Though Carl Philip and Sofia have attended many Foundation board meetings since they got married, they have not done any actual events for their foundation, nor have they done any work with anti-bullying. There is a Foundation symposium announced for September 7 which is not on their official schedule on the Swedish royal family’s website, but the announcement says there will be a speech from the couple. So hopefully they will show up for that.

Carl Philip and Sofia at Swedish Heritage 100 2

On Saturday, August 27, Carl Philip and Sofia attended the Swedish Local Heritage Federation’s 100th anniversary celebration.

The Swedish Local Heritage Federation was founded in 1916 and serves a nationwide local heritage movement, consisting of 26 affiliated regional federations and some 2,000 local heritage societies, with approximately 450,000 individual members in total. The mission of this grass-roots movement is to preserve, protect, share, and develop local cultural heritage. To this end, the local societies maintain 1,400 heritage centers, most of them open-air museums, hosting collections of buildings and artifacts as well as extensive archives.

Carl Philip speech at Swedish Heritage 100

Carl Philip gave a speech about Swedish heritage (speech was in Swedish, translated by Google Translate):

    “It’s really fun to see so many people here at Skansen today to celebrate the Swedish Local Heritage Association’s 100th anniversary. I understand that many of you have traveled far. You represent not only different parts of Sweden. But also one of the largest social movements, with nearly half a million members in the two thousand local history societies. […]
    “Sweden has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. You are part of it and keep it alive. You are the storytellers of Swedish history. But you are also an invaluable force to develop and renew all the Swedish localities – from rural to suburban, from rural to urban. It can be a difficult balance to maintain old traditions and still keep the organization updated. […]
    “You are making great efforts to include more people in the community. Both old and new Swedes. Many of us have reason to be grateful for your efforts. I want to congratulate you for everything you have achieved during your first hundred years. I wish you a successful celebration this weekend at Skansen – and good luck in the future!”

[full transcript, in Swedish]

Sofia presents award at Swedish Heritage 100

Sofia presented the Year Hembygdsförening award to folklore societies from Snöstorp in Halland, Bureå Västerbotten and Fagersta Västanfors in Västmanland. In addition to a nice little plaque, each organization received 10,000 SEK.

Sofia wore a Rodebjer “Mila Border” dress in Sand. Shopbop has this dress in blue ($300) describing it as a boat-neck shift dress with mixed stripes and bell sleeves. It’s the stripes which make this dress photograph so oddly (even in the designer’s stock photo).

Rodebjer Mila Border dress

Here is a video from Expressen with footage from this event. It has footage of Prince Alexander because Expressen asked Sofia how the plans for the upcoming baptism are going and she said, “It is just fine.”

Photos: Prince Couple Foundation / screengrabs from embedded video.

57 thoughts on “Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip to tackle cyberbullying and dyslexia

  1. Does Sofia not have a mirror ? That dress does nothing for her and the sleeves . . . . . the gathered attachments are just not in keeping with the rest of the dress. Get rid of them and the dress would still be sack like but “OK”.

      1. I agree with the more casual dressing for non-formal occasions – but that dress does not do it for me. The fabric is creased around where the seat belt would be and I don’t think it suits her – too much pale material. On someone else maybe – you need a very small frame/dress size all over to wear that style well. The style would probably suit Kate M and CP Mary

      2. +1

        Different not boring and still appropriate.

        The Swedish Prince Couple actually working, not just in name only. From past duties, they seem to be taking the lead with professional advise.

    1. Maybe she is still carrying baby weight and therfore wore something looser. She may not have made loosing the baby weight her first priority, like Kate, and is not stressing over it. So, her dress gets a pass in my book due to this. It’s nice seeing a celebrity not go to extreme lengths to shed baby weight in a few months.

      1. I agree. I always criticize her for wearing too tight outfits and say she should go the next size up. I don’t care for the dress, stupid middle part that she won’t change up or tacky dye job but at least her dress isn’t too tight!=)

  2. It will be interesting to observe how this royal couple goes about defining their chosen issue of cyber-bullying, how and what will be rolled out, what they achieve, and what constitutes work on their part.

    1. I am curious, too. I don’t see what can be said that isn’t already being said and how it would make that much difference except to give them a higher profile.

      I guess I’m old fashioned- I like to see royals visiting the sick, the homeless, patronising charities that make a difference in the world, shining a light on much needed support, the nitty gritty stuff. Something that forces them to get out of their comfort zone and make an informed and really involved effort.

      It should be something truly hands on that they will actively work for year after year, for example, Camilla’s very concrete work with survivors of sexual assault, inspiring a passion for reading, entertaining children at Christmas time at her home.

      1. I agree. I’d also like the visits to a specific place that highlight things that people see or go to every day. Charity is worthy, but many people have just ordinary lives that seem to be ignored by the royals. And those people are becoming less interested in the royals, too.

        Not to take away from CP and Sofia. The Swedish royals seem to do things so well.

        1. I think most people expect royals to visit charities and hospitals, but they also visit businesses and organizations just to turn up and say “good job”, which is being lost because W&K&H don’t do that. Critics of W&K say those visits where they just show up to say “good job” (like the ones in Cornwall this week) are fluff and mean nothing, but they do mean something to the people the royals visit.

          1. I agree KMR, while it’s great when the royals use their positions to highlight serious causes, it’s also important to shine a bit of light on those who are just going about their days and working hard and the companies who are employing them. I know there are days when I’d like to be recognized for all the hard work I do at my job and for all the extra I put in, I imagine having royalty recognizing that would be a great boost to one’s morale.

          2. Who wants to hear “good job” from those lazy wasters (WK)? It’s laughable. Didn’t they do that at a couple of charities, telling them to keep up the good work as they slipped out in the middle of the event(s)?

            Fact is, there is barely anything but fluff for their delectation, which is not the same as bread and butter appearances. Bread and butter appearances by the deadly duo are rarer than hen’s teeth and they have never toured the kingdom showing an interest in the day to day.

            IMO, when they show up to say “good work” they have no right and no authority because they do not do any substantial work. It’s ludicrous and offensive.

          3. “Bread and butter appearances by the deadly duo are rarer than hen’s teeth and they have never toured the kingdom showing an interest in the day to day”

            They lined some up in Cornwall for this week and everyone got mad because they’re “bread and butter”/”fluff” appearances and not “real charity work”.

            Also, if I ran a business and the president or former president came by and said “good job”, even if it’s a president I disliked, it would still be really cool. So maybe there are people who think it would be cool to get a “good job” from a royal, any royal. I’m sure there are people out there who would be happy with that. Just because you or I don’t care doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t.

      2. I don’t see why they can’t do both. It’s not an either or. They have a connection to this cause and want to see it furthered. Why shouldn’t they? They aren’t going to stop doing the little things that they currently do just because they have a main cause they are supporting. They just started with their Foundation, I think we should give it time to see what they do with it. Maybe they will be hands on with working with people who have been bullied and such.

      3. Maven and Fifi, I was thinking along similar lines though you’ve both unpacked it far better. I just don’t want to see vulnerable people and volunteers used so that a couple of royals can get some mileage for PR purposes, which seems to be the W+K model. If they take on something, then I want to see some gutsy, real work. Camilla is a great example. I’m not saying that Sofia and Carl-Philip are like W+K, though am curious what their idea of royal patronage looks like. I’m hoping they will be hands on and make a real difference.

        1. I agree!

          I have given up on entitled lazy willnot, cannot and carol middleton celebrity ‘easy’ show. Very sad for Great Britian the Firm and the caring regal traditions of HM and the BRF!

    2. It’ll be interesting. I hope they take the path of talking to people and focusing on changing attitudes toward wanting to bully people in the first place and building resilience in people who are being bullied. There isn’t anywhere to go with the whole “social media sites should prevent hate speech” aspect of cyberbullying, so I hope they go in a different direction. Given what they’ve already said on their website, it seems like they will be focusing on different aspects to cyberbullying than, say, Prince William.

      1. The only effective way I can see to teach resilience is ongoing group education and practice. Some rah rah words are not going to cut it without the former.

        BTW, does anyone know at all what approach Willy has taken to cyberbullying because I’m drawing a total blank? We do know he’s against it.

        1. As far as I am aware, William hasn’t done anything with his cyberbullying thing since he started it.

          1. Didn’t he take a meeting with internet people at some point this year. I seem to remember seeing a photo of him at a table with a bunch of people and he had his concerned “I’m listening” face on.

            I’m wondering if the Swedish foundation will reach out to William to coordinate something with the cyberbullying. Not that William would deign to work together with them. He wouldn’t even acknowledge a King, CP doesn’t stand a chance.

          2. Yeah, I think that we part of the first task force meeting?

            William already ignored CP once during the London Olympics, so I doubt William will work with him. But it would be smart of them to work together.

          3. Maybe William didn’t recognize Carl Phillip? If he didn’t then one of his entourage should have know CP would have been at the event, known what he looked like, and then had a word in William’s ear. That’s one reason why W+K etc should go to these events with a Lady in waiting or an equerry or a private secretary in tow! If nothing else I’m sure someone must have seen “The Devil wears Prada” and seen Andy prompt Miranda with a name at the big party????? Get the hint! That’s why the entourage is there! Not just to be someone to talk to, or to do your hair!

          4. The Devil Wears Prada! But yeah, you’re totally right about someone should have known to let William know CP and Dan were there even if William didn’t recognize them. Both Daniel and King Felipe were at William’s wedding so it’s really so rude of William not to recognize them.

        2. Exactly, Maven. Rah-rah words via events here and there don’t cut it. I am wondering how this royal ‘work’ works beyond being ornamental on occasion. All I see is that any awareness generated seems to be one third to the cause and two thirds to the royal’s personal PR. It’s all very generic in approach, and not sustained: constant learning and listening but no ‘do’, as if they’ve never heard of these organisations before rocking up.

  3. I really like them and Sofia really grew on me during the last months. Actually never had a problem with her before her marriage, but afterwards I think she found her position as a princess rather well. And though it’s hard to compare members of royal families as some have in general lower number of engagements, I enjoyed to see her out and about, to give speeches, visit organisations… she seems rather comfortable in her role and looking forward to see more of them.

    And I find it always interesting when Royals start smt new and hope they stick with the topic!

    Also not a fan of the dress but somehow seems to fit summer and it’s not like she looks bad. More like an unusual choice.

  4. It will be interesting to see how this initiative plays out. I agree, KMR, that cyber bullying is more than the website. A prime example was the Leslie Jones debacle. That truly broke my heart. Sofia has also experienced it, so I hope she speaks to it.

    I like everything on this dress with the exception of the sleeves. The dress verges on schmatta territory. I do agree that it would be more striking in another color. I’m glad Sofia acknowledged the baptism without adding snark a la William.

    Thanks for the update on CP and Sofia, KMR!

    1. I think the dress is a classic example of too many elements in one piece. The stripes, the sleeves, the pattern on the border, and the color mix. The designer should’ve just gone with 2 of these in my opinion. Then again, I’m not a fashion designer 🙂

      I hope that they can really carve out a space for themselves in the cyberbullying space. I think sadly this issue is only going to become more relevant as more and more of our communications occur online.

    2. Oh, Rhiannon. I have felt so bad for Leslie Jones. First all of the racist/sexist nastiness on her Twitter and then people posting naked pictures of her and hacking her ID and passport. Why would anyone be so cruel to another human being? What was her crime? Acting in a Ghostbusters movie? It’s horrible.

  5. Thanks KMR for keeping us updated on this royal couple! I too am glad to hear that they are starting to take steps to address cyberbullying and hope that they are able to really shine a light on this subject. One often hears stories about young children being bullied on social media sites and how that bullying can lead to the young victim believing that there is no way out except to end their own lives. When I hear stories like this it’s all I can do to not break down crying, but at the same time wondering where are the parents in all this? But having seen trolls here on this site and assuming that they are adults, it is easy to see how children believe that this type of behavior is okay. I think that the anonymity of the internet allows the most cowardly among us to hide behind a veil while spewing venom and hate. I do hope that this royal couple will use their position to speak out on this issue and hopefully, get adults and children alike to re-think their behavior.

    Okay enough of the serious stuff, onto fashion… while I like the thought of this dress, I’m not sure if I’m in love with the execution of it. The color is not, at least in photos, a great color for the Princess, much too beige and the strips really don’t add anything except for optical distortion. The neckline seems to be missing something, maybe a great, long necklace to break up it’s severity? And I’m totally on the fence regarding bell sleeves. I think Maxima can really rock them but I’m not sure about Sofia. Lastly, this hairstyle is kind of unflattering, too flat on top and the ombre coloring just makes the ends look dry. I think a half up/half down look would have worked better with this outfit. All that being said, Sofia has wonderful posture (jumpy claps) and I really like her smile, of course these two accessories make any outfit better.

  6. I agree with you, Lauri. People feel anonymous online and feel they can say the most horrible things. For the Royal couple to take an interest in this could be most important. I am eager to see where they go with on the subject. I thought their message was a powerfully crafted one and showed their understanding and empathy for those who suffer. I hope theirs’ will not be a fly by night interest.

    As for the dress, I agree that Sofia may be having difficulty losing her baby plumpness. The dress was very blah, color wise to me, but she pulled it off by looking so comfortable and confident in it. She is a woman who seems to have a sense of self worth. Her husband, always looks like he adores her.

    1. Not a big Sophia fan, but having trouble losing pregnancy weight? I guess I just feel that all these celebroyals are losing weight abnormally fast after giving birth. I was 10 months after my first and over a year with my 2nd. I praise her for not making skinny her main priority, if that is the case, and letting it happen in a natural and healthy way.

      1. I feel like if it takes nine months to have a baby it should take at least nine to lose the weight. But some women just never go back completely to what they were before and that’s ok, too.

  7. It seems to be an appropriate issue for both of them since Sophia’s past was plastered everywhere and she as a person was derided for not being good enough for him as soon as they got engaged.

    1. Good point. I hadn’t even thought of that as cyber bullying but you’re right. It’s a great cause for them to take on together.

      1. I think you have to realise this comment in the light of successive British (and Commonwealth) governments privatising aspects of public services that people hold dear and define the quality of their lives. So many services see budgets reduced by stealth, all in the name of efficiency but really, it’s about cutting services. This means less jobs, and those left have to do more. Responsibilities are shifted to the public or just disappear. It’s important to understand that public services, public education etc are increasingly seen as businesses and are run to a corporate model. As someone who works in this sector, her comments are recognisable and completely understood. I doubt her resignation has anything to do with running security for the royals, which would be dreary, but far less stressful than dealing with serious crime. The comments around that quote ‘ people will use you’ are more pertinent to me:

        • “Don’t make yourself indispensable etc” = don’t look for validation; your superiors will only give if it suits them; adon’t give them that level of power over you.
        • “Look after your mental health just as much as your physical health”= be able to retain balance through real friends.
        • “People will use you etc” = Those wanting to escalate their own careers will use you. Know it, protect yourself as much as you are able, but do your job for the right reasons, not recognition.

        In other words, beware of the middle management sociopaths. It’s brilliant advice for everyone.

  8. Did I miss what they were doing for dyslexia? I’m still surprised that here in the states all states don’t have mandatory dyslexia screening. Something that could be relatively so easy could make a world of difference to someone. I don’t know the cost associated with it so maybe that’s the reason?

    1. Yes, they are also focusing on dyslexia. I think I mentioned it in a paragraph or two. But I chose to focus on the cyberbullying since that’s what their first blog post was about.

  9. I like Sofia. I think she is doing a great job considering A. She is never going to be Queen and B. she has a small baby. She was working up to the last minute of her pregnancy before giving birth and has been working fairly recently after giving birth. Unlike Kate who couldn’t leave her baby to go to a memorial service yet she was able to attend Wimbledon for fun.

    Just a little background info on myself since I have been commenting for a few months now: I have worked my way through college and after graduating as a nanny although my majors were history and English literature, I am a first generation college student, I am 26, I am currently studying for the GRE which I am scheduled to take at the end of next month, and I have plans to attend grad school in history to hopefully get my MA-PhD. Which would take a looonnnggg time, but I am planning on working my way through it. I identify as a feminist. And I am an American.

    So having said all that, as a feminist and a hard working first generation college student who was raised by my grandfather (a first generation American) who was a plumber for 40 years before passing away when I was 17, I respect hard work more than anything. I have conflicting opinions about Sofia’s past. But at least she seems to be trying to do the right thing with the position she now finds herself. I could look past a lot of things as long as a person is putting effort into what they are doing and really seems to be trying. So kudos to Sofia for trying. Maybe Kate can learn something from her.

    1. I’m sorry. I disagree with the line “She was working up until the last minute of her pregnancy.” Her job is not a regular 9-5 job like the rest of us, where we need to be awake at 7am to beat traffic and then get to work, and then leave the office at 5pm but only reach home at 7pm (traffic again) to do the laundry, clean the house, cook dinner and finally fall into bed exhausted late at night. I think Sofia has it more relaxed as in maybe she had engagements for a couple of hours every alternate day, where she didn’t have to wake up at 7am and go through traffic (she probably had a driver and police escort) and where all she needed to do was show up and go through with the program. Hence yes, she could do a great job because she has it much more better than us. But in terms of working hard, I have to disagree.

      1. Compared to Kate, Sofia was “working up until the last minute of her pregnancy”, though I agree compared to the general public not so much.

  10. Hi, Cookie, and good luck on your GREs. I agree with you about Sofia.

    Clotheswise I think I’d like the dress better if the sleeves were just bell shaped, not gathered. I think it’s too bad the stripes photograph so poorly. Otherwise I like the casual, yet covered look. She probably doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on dressing with the baby.

  11. My first impression when I see royalty jump on the cyber bullying bandwagon is that they are upset because they feel they have been cyber bullied and that’s why they chose to focus on it. I could see if perhaps Anne chose to take it on because that hasn’t really happened to her or at least that I know of. It seem like Prince William decided to take it on when he became fed up of people online wanting to hold him accountable for his lack of work. Sophia was definitely a target of cyber bullying because of her past, but at least she is working hard since she has become a member of the royal family.

    I just feel that perhaps others would be able to give the proper gravitas towards the subject. Instead I feel like Prince William is using it to excuse criticism of what he does. It would be nice if Will and Kate actually worked hard and then if they were cyber bullied come out and speak on the topic.

    Again, this is just my two cents and something that has caused me to wonder whenever I hear this come up from his camp. 🙂

    1. That’s an interesting perspective on why certain topics are chosen, SpringsMom. I can see William feeling upset by criticism, though his reaction tends to reveal no self-reflection. Does he conflate criticism with cyber-bullying? Whether comments about him are cyber-bullying or the exercise of free speech is a matter of degree. Would William consider this blog cyber-bullying because he’d not like what he found here?

      In the case of Sofia, her life choices were her own and very clearly in the public sphere. They were not illegal, just not everyone’s cup of tea. Moving from porn star to princess is a bit of a leap in anyone’s book, but disrupts our ideas, doesn’t it, about a princess being the embodiment of goodness and purity. Does it matter, or should we accept women aspiring to marry royalty as having lived? I am reminded of this article, but who knows:

      I think you are right, though; if Kate and William really worked at a substantial, sustained and genuinely engaged level, a lot of criticism would cease. Their respective pasts do not indicate that as likely. If you’ve been brought up as entitled, entitled you will stay. Luckily for them, there is a huge PR and protection force there to shield them from real danger. Most people are not that lucky.

  12. cyber bullying is a very important concept , many teenagers are committing suicide and even when they are young children they sometimes not only hate school but hate their lives and everything about it as well because of it , hope they will be serious in following this up with effective results
    along with dislexia which can seriously affect the person’s life , late King Hussein and many members of our royal family have it

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