(Vatican Radio) Princess Charlene of Monaco and her husband, Prince Albert II of Monaco, were received in private audience by Pope Francis on Monday morning.
It was not the first time the Princess graced Vatican City State with her presence, as Vatican Radio's Charlotte Smeds found out last November when she spoke to her about the foundation she heads with a mission to prevent poor children in developing nations from drowning.
During her November visit to the Vatican, Princess Charlene also delivered a brief address to the participants in the 30th Annual Conference for Healthcare Workers, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers.
Click below to hear Princess Charlene in an exclusive interview with Charlotte Smeds of Vatican Radio’s Scandinavian service
In her remarks, H.S.H. Charlene focused on the work of her foundation, which works to prevent drowning.
Princess Charlene began her address with words of condolence and solidarity with the victims and all the people of France in the wake of the coordinated attacks in Paris a week ago Friday. “I would like to convey to you a message of friendship and best wishes on behalf of Prince Albert of Monaco, my Husband, our families and the people of Monaco, and to express our sadness and compassion with the families of the so many people who died and those injured during the tragic attacks in Paris,” she said.
Please find the full text of H.S.H. Charlene’s remarks to the XXX Conference for Healthcare Workers, below
Good morning everyone,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First, I would like to convey to you a message of friendship and best wishes on behalf of Prince Albert of Monaco, my Husband, our families and the people of Monaco, and to express our sadness and compassion with the families of the so many people who died and those injured during the tragic attacks in Paris.
This year, the Pontifical Council holds the 30th edition of the Annual Conference for Healthcare Workers.
Congratulations on Your steady commitment towards public health, security and safety.
As we just heard from the distinguished representative of The World Health Organization, death by drowning is one of those serious threats to public health worldwide, especially in poor regions,
Having spent years teaching underprivileged children to acquire simple water safety techniques around aquatic environments, I can only say that simple ideas prove sometimes to be most effective.
Around the Globe, thousands of innocent lives are tragically lost to drowning every year.
I am here to share with you how many lives we are saving– and how many more we can save, simply by training the trainers and by focusing on one person, one family, one community at a time.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In joining forces, in sharing experiences and resources, we will succeed in saving lives through more international cooperation in fighting death by drowning, this terrible yet silent killer.
Launched on 14th December 2012, the primary objective of The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation is to save lives by putting an end to drowning.
Its missions are to raise public awareness about the dangers of water, teach children preventive measures, and teach them to swim.
The World Health Organization estimated that 372,000 people drowned worldwide in 2012(*).
- More than 40 fatalities every hour
- More than half the victims are under the age of 25
- Children under the age of 5 are the most affected
When a drowning is non-fatal, often the victim is left with severe aftereffects, in particular neurological.
A number of “Learn to Swim” and “Water Safety” programmes have been implemented around the world in order to fight against this scourge.
The Foundation is equally involved in communicating the values of sport such as discipline, respect for oneself and for others, determination and teamwork. The “Sport & Education” program believes that sport is a tool that contributes to the well-being and the development of children.