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Princess Madeleine shares moving story of why Queen Silvia started her charity

October 2, 2015
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Princess Madeleine of Sweden is proud of her mother Queen Silvia's charity work. The 33-year-old shared a moving story revealing why her mum set up the charity World Childhood Protection with her Facebook fans on Thursday, encouraging them to learn more about the Queen's philanthropic efforts.

Queen Silvia's charity supports 100 projects in 16 countries, focusing on preventing child abuse, assisting victimised or at-risk children and educating the public. However when she founded the charity in the 1999 it was inspired by the story of one young boy in Brazil.

PrincessMadeleine © Photo: Rex

Princess Madeleine supports her mother Queen Silvia's charity work

Speaking to NPR, Queen Silvia explained: "My husband and I travel a lot, and in many parts of the world we saw children in serious situations. We were in Brazil, where I grew up, and I wanted to see the favelas – the shanty-towns, the poor neighbourhoods. So we went.

"There was a little boy, about nine or ten, who wanted to show me something, so I followed him. It was a box! And that is where he lived, all by himself. 'This is my house!' he told me. He seemed very proud of it."

She continued: "On the flight back to Sweden we went through terrible thunderstorms, and I suddenly thought, 'What happened to this little boy in his box?' He was alone, unprotected, and I thought, 'I have to do something'."

QueenSilvia © Photo: Getty Images

Queen Silvia set up World Childhood Protection in 1999

That meeting inspired Queen Silvia to raise the issue of child protection publicly, explaining that people were initially shocked but she was adamant that it needed to be discussed.

"If you don't talk about it, you can't change it," she said.

Queen Silvia's family are proud supporters of her charity work, with Princess Madeleine moving to America to work at the charity's New York office in 2010. She met her future husband Chris O'Neill in the city and the pair have gone on to welcome their two children, Princess Leonore and Prince Nicolas together, before relocating to London over the summer.

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