Sweden’s Princess Sofia will be working in a hospital during the pandemic

As the Windsors try to outdo each other from their remote castles and palaces, Sweden’s royal family has been trying something… different. First of all, Sweden was basically the only European country to not go on total (or even partial) lockdown in March for the pandemic. They closed some schools and vaguely encouraged social distancing, but restaurants and businesses were still open well after the scope of the coronavirus pandemic was clear in Europe. Even now, Swedish officials have avoided large-scale lockdowns even as they’ve seen a huge uptick in cases and deaths.

So what about the royal house of Bernadotte? Well, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel were still out and about in late March, doing events and not staying six feet apart from medical workers. But they seem to have changed that up this month and they’re doing more remote-briefings and video conferences. I haven’t really wondered what Prince Carl Phillip and Princess Sofia were up to. But it looks like Sofia has put all of the European royals to shame: she took a three-day medical course (offered by Swedish hospitals) and now she’ll be working on the corona frontlines at a hospital.

Princess Sofia of Sweden today started working in hospital to help the country’s fight against coronavirus. The royal, 35, who is married to Prince Carl Philip, 40, took a three-day medical course at Sophiahemmet University College in Stockholm, where she is an honorary chair member. She is now able to assist with healthcare work and help fight the pandemic, which has infected 11,927 in the Scandanavian country and killed 1203.

Pictures show her scrubbed up posing with other staff members at the Sophiahemmet hospital – who are all keeping a safe distance from one another. The university is training up to 80 people a week to help lift the heavy burden placed on doctors and medical workers in the country, according to local media reports.

Director of the Information and Press Department at the Royal Court Margaretha Thorgren said the princess wants to make a voluntary contribution to healthcare at at time where resources are stretched. The Duchess of Värmland has two children with Carl-Phillip, Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel, who are fifth and sixth in line to the throne.

[From The Daily Mail]

Can you even imagine if someone like Duchess Kate quietly took a three-day course and worked in a hospital during a crisis? Wow, she would never. At least not without announcing her keenness for weeks in advance, then breezing out of the hospital on her first day so she could do some shopping. No, she wouldn’t get that far. To be fair, most non-medical people wouldn’t get that far either. I certainly wouldn’t! But props to Sofia, what she’s doing is really brave and interesting.

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Photos courtesy of IG and Getty.

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60 Responses to “Sweden’s Princess Sofia will be working in a hospital during the pandemic”

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  1. OriginalLala says:

    Good for her – I’m sure there are alot of support roles that non-medically trained folks can do. She really is putting other royals to shame!

    • MrsBump says:

      Indeed. this is just so impressive.
      Puts ALL other royals to shame.

      • tempest prognosticator says:

        This is the first royal who has taken very real action by joining the front lines. She definitely has put the action/inaction of all other royals into perspective .

    • liz says:

      Hospitals can’t function without the non-medical staff. Even if she is standing in the kitchen chopping carrots, it’s hard work that needs to be done and frees up another staffer to do other work like transporting patients or moving supplies from storage to nursing units. Good for her!

  2. Lisa says:

    Kudos to her and may she stay safe.

  3. S808 says:

    Wow go Sofia!

  4. Ali says:

    This is amazing.

  5. Bavarian says:

    thumbs up!

  6. truthSF says:

    Kudos to Sofia! She’s really committed to being hands on with helping during the crisis! Hopefully Sweden is actively supplying ALL of their medical workers with the correct attires/equipments while they work on the frontline.

  7. Laalaa says:

    Kudos!!! I love her, even though I’m jealous :D (her husband, wink wink)
    I’m just wondering – I don’t think Kate would want to do something like this, but would she even be allowed?

    • Becks1 says:

      I don’t know if she would be “allowed” to work in a hospital like this, but she did volunteer/shadow nurses a few months ago, so her being in a hospital isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

      Sophie has been preparing meals so presumably Kate would be allowed to do something like that if she wanted.

      • Nic919 says:

        “If she wanted” is the key phrase here. She’s never wanted to do more than the minimum.

      • Xo says:

        Having read that article, it’s my impression that Sophie was photographed helping for the day. The headline was misleading.

    • Dee says:

      Why wouldn’t she? She could easily do paperwork, take phone calls, order food, etc. and not expose herself to patients.

  8. caitlinsmom says:

    wow. She is amazing. Take note, European Royals! She’s lapped ALL OF YOU.

  9. Spicecake38 says:

    Thank you Sofia !Stay safe.

  10. BayTampaBay says:

    “Can you even imagine if someone like Duchess Kate quietly took a three-day course and worked in a hospital during a crisis?”

    I doubt Cathy Cambridge could sit in a chair in a classroom for three days let alone pass the final exam.

    I always thought Sofia of Sweden was pretty sharp brain-wise even though she came across as a “pin-up” girl. Three cheers for the wonderful example this Royal Princess is setting and the actual work she is doing.

    Although she may be a royal grifter, I bet Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York could sit in a chair in a classroom for three days, pass the final exam and do the necessary REAL medical support work. Sarah was raised on a horse farm and farm girls know how to due unpleasant physical work if it must be done.

    • Col says:

      She did graduate from university, not sure why you think she couldn’t even sit in a chair.

  11. SkaraBrae says:

    Sofia has done really well hasn’t she?

    She was a reality TV star who married the playboy Prince.
    She’s ‘faded’ really well in her new role as a supporting royal, produced the children and is now doing this… kudos to her.

    • FHMom says:

      I had to google if she was the actress/model royal. She’s done remarkably well. It’s awesome that she’s volunteering to help. The Swedish people must adore her.

      • Paz says:

        And they look so hot together…like come on!

      • Lizzie says:

        I don’t know about the Swedish people, but I certainly adore her. This is such a brave and wonderful thing to do.
        Per Ancestry I may be 4% Swedish and I couldn’t be prouder.

    • Chelle says:

      I like her. Some people won’t forgive her for her past. And I also think she may have said or made fun of someone with a disability. I’m not sure on that one but it was circulating for awhile. If true, that wasn’t cool at all. No buts . . . but I like the fact that she’s lived her life and that she’s not some pristine princess.

      How long will she continue to volunteer? I don’t know. Was this just an advertisement for the program? Could be. But I’m glad she helped out with this. I hope she continues.

  12. Dimsum Mum says:

    Prince C-P visited my daughter’s school two years ago, and my daughter had the opportunity to speak with him regarding how technology can assist students with individual needs. She was really impressed with how he listened, asked questions, and shared about tough times he had at school.
    Glad that his wife seems to be as fabulous as Prince C-P is.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Prince C-P has dyslexia.

      Prince C-P has always been very personally interested in K-12 education, especially involving children with special or ancillary needs.

      • Dimsum Mum says:

        Yes, that’s correct, BTB!
        The way he asked the children how their days were improved by the technology showed that the personal narrative of kids with individual needs is very important to him.

  13. Stockholmer says:

    I’m sorry but this isn’t quite accurate. For one thing, Sweden absolutely is on at least partial lockdown — travel over Easter weekend was down 94% on last year, and many, many people are working from home and isolating, just not under the threat of fines like in some countries. Restaurants are (mostly) open, but many only serve on outdoor terraces and block off every second table. Secondly, while there has been an increase in both new cases and deaths, it is misleading to describe it as “huge” when the rate is much slower than in many other countries such as the US. Sweden also counts deaths outside of hospitals (such as in care homes) unlike the UK, for example, so the number is not only lower but more accurate.

    But most importantly, well done to Princess Sofia!

    • Paperclip says:

      Agreed. Their culture is such that personal and community responsibility is almost in their DNA. For the most part, they don’t need legal lockdown because recommendations and guidelines are taken very seriously.

      • Stockholmer says:

        Exactly! In reality, huge changes have been made to people’s daily lives and it’s a myth that life goes on as normal. It’s just largely a question of responsibility and choice than force!

      • Original Jenns says:

        In Minnesota, we’ve joked that’s why our state is doing so well with shelter in place! It’s that northern custom embedded into our societies haha

    • mika says:

      No. Sweden has almost ten times as many deaths as Norway and cant even come into conversation with Finland. You can talk about culture and character all you want but if you look at the data, their partial lockdown is failing.

      • Susan says:

        Yes, you are right. Even compared to non-Nordic countries Sweden is in trouble. Sweden’s death rate per million of population has already outstripped the US and they are on track to pass the UK’s death rate in a couple of days and they are still only climbing on the upside to their peak at this moment. It’s going to be horrific numbers for Sweden when this is done.

      • Asa says:

        It is really hard to compare numbers at this point, right? While I have no wish for numbers to escalate in Norway or in Finland, I saw somewhere that there is a difference in how Finland and Sweden count their dead. In Sweden, every death WITH covid is shown in our statistics, while the numbers from Finland contains dead BY Covid. If that is the case, the difference is not what it looks like in this moment. And I agree with stockholmer, Sweden is closed down. We have not used a government decre to do it, that is all. Travels during easter, for instance, preliminary numbers show it down by 90 %. I have been working from home for four weeks. Exams are cancelled, all the proms for the students are cancelled, unemployment is up I dont know how much, companies file for bankrupcy every day. I could go on, but it does not seem to matter. The rest of the world are convinced we breeze through this, not caring one bit. It saddens me, but most of all, the fact that all countries might be losing to this virus saddens me.

    • Malin says:

      Fellow Swede here. I agree with Stockholmer but also want to add that the aim is not to remove the virus (since it is impossible) but to slow down the spread of the virus in order for the hospitals to be able to handle the ones that are in need of hospital care. We don’t know what strategy will be the most optimal, we won’t know that until in about a year if even longer. What Sweden have failed in doing so far is protecting the old and weak that live in special homes for elderly, and that is a problem right now. But otherwise the curve is flat enough, there Is a large margin of intensive care places still (I think about 50% or a little more are used).

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Well done, Sofia! This is leadership in action. Very impressed.

    I’m looking at those photos and they have no PPE, and they’re maybe three feet apart, which is not “keeping a safe distance.” I just find it odd how two to three feet is considered to be safe distancing. Isn’t it 6-10 feet?

    Regardless, a great job on her part.

  15. M Narang says:

    As of today there are over 13,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sweden & 1400 deaths which is higher than their neighbors who prescribed physical isolation, closed schools & nonessential services. In any case, it always refreshing to see members of a Royal family actually take action.

    • FHMom says:

      A previous person mentioned that Swedes are social distancing and adapting their lives to fight the pandemic. The measures they have and have not taken are far from perfect.

  16. bluemoonhorse says:

    Not to be a downer but in 3 days what do you learn? Let’s not pretend this is anything but changing bed linens, standing around looking awkward while real nurses do the heavy lifting, and bringing coffee to the staff. And from dealing with interns, I’m not sure they are that much help in the long run as they are more trouble generally than they are worth as you spend most of the day explaining to them where the bathroom is. But I guess slow clap for effort.

    • AGreatDane says:

      Wow, this kind of comment makes CNAs seem irrelevant. The people who actually spend the most time with patients/residents, are the most exposed, and generally paid the least. Gold star to you, elitist.

    • Iknow says:

      Excuse me, but even if Sophia is only changing bed linens or fetching coffee, or just standing around, it’s more than most us are doing. And she doesn’t have to do it, she is there because even if she isn’t a trained nurse, she can help in some way. Are the janitors, the people who register patients, receptionists, cooks, nothing to you? It takes a village honey and she is doing more than some of us who are commenting on a celebrity gossip website.

    • Malificent says:

      Wouldn’t it be pretty hard to maintain even basic standards of hygiene without changing the bed linens? Sounds like a critically important job to me.

    • line says:

      The CNA are not useless people, I volunteered in the summer of 2018 in a retirement home because it is a heat wave and the health facilities needed more personal so they had made a call to the gift.
       My work is organized around:
      - preparation / distribution of meals,
      - Clean and iron the linen of staff and patients,
      - Take care of the trash
      - Cleaned common and local areas
      - Distribute the drugs
      - Take care of the mail
      -Check and inventory stocks

      All this is done with a schedule that could go from very early in the morning ( me my planning was from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. with two breaks in the day, one at 12 p.m. and the other at 4 p.m). Consequently it is not profoundly useless, because everything we do makes it possible to lighten the work of the nursing staff, because during a crisis, all their tasks are multiple by 100.

    • Charfromdarock says:


      Changing the linens is an important job. Have you ever been hospitalized? I have and I was grateful for everyone doing their part. The cleaning staff are critical in all times but especially now.

      There are so many components to what makes a hospital run and each and every role is important.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      Um,nurse here,and anyone who is willing to volunteer is much appreciated in my book.Nurses are always overloaded and when an aide or volunteer changes bedding,brings someone a ginger ale,or just says -what can I do to help when your 12 hour shifts enter 14-15 hours it’s always appreciated.And not just by nurses but by doctors,patients,families et al.

    • Chelle says:

      @BlueMoonHorse – I was like you when I first saw this yesterday. I was like WTF can a three day course do for anyone in this pandemic? Taking a step back I realized that that was a surface level reading/reaction. It really depends on what is being taught and covered. How intense intensity really is? And what course participants are really being trained and taught to do? I doubt if it was a crash-course in drawing blood or epidemiology. However, if they are being taught how to support front line staff or even how to do some of the grunt and gross work to take the pressure off of more experienced staff members who do that then it’s all good. There is a wide range of things people can do and be taught to do to help hospital and clinic staff. So, good for Sofia! We should probably have something like it here in the states.

    • 10KTurtle says:

      It was probably a course in Universal Precautions or whatever the Swedish equivalent is, plus procedure for a terminal room cleaning, and additional measures to protect yourself and family/ decontaminate yourself when you get home. No job is too small, and no person is too big to do it. Kudos to Sophia, and may she stay safe.

    • Lady D says:

      I volunteer at a senior’s home three times a week and I go nonstop the entire time I’m there. When I leave, I leave knowing that they (care aids, nurses, kitchen, housekeeping, gardening staff) could desperately use me 10 hours a day, seven days a week.

  17. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Bless her. This is very brave. I dont think I could do it. And the fact that she is as royal voluntarily decided to do it is impressive.

  18. Other Renee says:

    I have always liked her. She rode out the snarky bad press phase and has proved herself to be a hands-on go getter even before this pandemic.

  19. Sojaschnitzel says:

    Holy fucking shit this is awesome. I need to find out if we can do this in germany aswell. Love it.

  20. vesper says:

    AND she has two young children…SO no excuses Kate! Brits are a lazy bunch! At least Meg and Harry are out there doing stuff by delivering food.

  21. Lizzie says:

    I am in awe of Princess Sofia. It’s like Disney created this smart, brave, beautiful princess.

  22. Lotta says:

    Apparently she is cleaning, sanitayzing, and yes; changing linens.

    The spread of Coron seems to have slowed down in Sweden. The big problem is the care homes for the eldery, which is bad enough.

    • Lady D says:

      The majority of the cases in Canada are coming from senior’s homes. I understand Quebec has been hit really hard by deaths in the care facilities. A men’s correctional facility on the coast has put seven inmates in the ICU for Covid, with many more infected.

  23. Jumpingthesnark says:

    This is impressive, for the reasons above. Fetching meal trays, changing bedding, cleaning and just simply providing reassurance etc are all things that need to happen in a hospital, especially since patients can’t have visitors now.
    On a snarky note, I wonder what kind of pretzels the Cambs, their comms team and the British RR are tying themselves into as a response. A royal actually doing something?? That we can’t exactly throw under the bus (like they do the Sussexes)?? Oh noes!! What do we dooooo??? They’ll figure out something mean and sh!tty, I suppose. They always do….

    • ArtHistorian says:

      I don’t think that the British royals keep tabs on what their European counterparts do – the BRF has been very insular for a very long time. They rarely interact with other royals – and both William, Kate and Harry has been somewhat rude to their continental colleagues in the past.

      I hope they sent a private birthday message to Queen Margrethe because they certainly didn’t send a public one, like all the other monarchs (+the Swedish and Norwegian heirs + Sofia’s husband bc Margrethe is is godmother) sent a public video message. It was very quite – all the “younger” royals called her Aunt Daisy, even the Spanish king, which surprised me.

  24. MerryGirl says:

    Very good work Sophia – all hands are needed in this pandemic no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. She didn’t have to volunteer, but she did and for that, she should be lauded.

  25. Snap Happy says:

    Anyone who voluntarily walks into a hospital right now is a hero. This is very impressive.

    However, her bravery should not be something to put down other royal women. Not Kate, not Meghan, not Letizia, etc. everyone has the right to decide how they respond to this virus. This is not ordinary volunteer work.