Lisbeth Palme

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Lisbeth Palme
Lisbet Palme 2016-3.jpg
Lisbeth Palme in 2016 at the 30th anniversary ceremony of the Olof Palme murder
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Sweden
In office
8 October 1982 – 28 February 1986
Prime MinisterOlof Palme
Preceded bySolveig Fälldin
Succeeded byIngrid Carlsson
In office
14 October 1969 – 8 October 1976
Prime MinisterOlof Palme
Preceded byAina Erlander
Succeeded bySolveig Fälldin
Personal details
Anna Lisbeth Christina Beck-Friis

(1931-03-14)14 March 1931
Stockholm, Sweden
Died18 October 2018(2018-10-18) (aged 87)
Stockholm, Sweden
Political partySocial Democrats
Olof Palme
(m. 1956; died 1986)
ChildrenJoakim Palme
Mårten Palme
Mattias Palme

Anna Lisbeth Christina Palme, née Beck-Friis (also sometimes spelled Lisbet Palme; 14 March 1931 – 18 October 2018), was a Swedish children's psychologist, UNICEF chairwoman and the wife of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, until his assassination in 1986.[1]


Early life and studies[edit]

Anna Lisbeth Christina Beck-Friis was born to civil engineer and freiherr Christian Beck-Friis and his wife Anna-Lisa.[2] After graduating from the Nya Elementarskolan för flickor (New Elementary School for Girls) in Stockholm in 1950, she studied and graduated from Stockholm University in the summer of 1955.[3]


Palme worked as a children's psychologist and was during a period of time employed at Stockholm County Council, and later at the social department for Stockholm county.[4]

She was the chairman of the Swedish UNICEF committee between 1987 and 1999[5] and in that role campaigned against the sexual exploitation of children.[6] She became the international chairwoman for UNICEF between 1990 and 1991.[1]

Palme was one of the champions for the Children's convention (Barnkonventionen) which was later established.[7] She was a member of the Organisation of African Unity committee of investigation into the Rwandan genocide which reported its findings in 2000.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Lisbeth married politician Olof Palme on 9 June 1956. He later became Sweden's prime minister; firstly between 1969 and 1976, and again between 1982 and 1986.[9] Together they had three sons: Joakim, Mårten and Mattias.[10] The couple had been married for almost 30 years when Olof Palme was assassinated in 1986.[9]

Lisbeth Palme was an eyewitness to the murder of her husband on the night of 28 February 1986.[9] During the trial, she pointed out Christer Pettersson as being the perpetrator of the killing.[9] According to a detective present, she also made remarks that it was evident that Pettersson was an alcoholic.[11][12] The comments were interpreted by some as if she had been informed that the suspect was an alcoholic and a drug addict.[11] Several experts have, over the years, pointed towards the possibility that Lisbeth Palme may have identified the wrong man.[13]

Lisbeth and Olof Palme on their honeymoon in 1956


Palme died on 18 October 2018, after suffering from an unspecified illness for some time.[12] She was 87.


  1. ^ a b "Lisbet Palme, widow of murdered Swedish PM, dies aged 87". The Local. 18 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Palme, S Olof J". Vem är det : Svensk biografisk handbok (in Swedish). Stockholm: Project Runeberg. 1981. p. 822. ISBN 978-91-1-805012-1.
  3. ^ "Bilden Palme helst hade sluppit vara med på". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish).
  4. ^ "Stefan Löfven: 'Hade många fina samtal med Lisbeth Palme'" (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. 18 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Lisbet Palme var en orädd och kraftfull förespråkare för barns rätt" (in Swedish). UNICEF Sveriges blog. 18 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Sexual Exploitation Is Up, Experts Say". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 12 June 1996. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Lisbeth Palme kämpade för barnens rättigheter". Aftonbladet (in Swedish).
  8. ^ Brittain, Victoria (7 July 2000). "Africans say UN must pay for genocide". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d "Who Murdered Olof Palme?". Observer. 16 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Sönerna: "Olof Palme var en gladlynt och positiv person"". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 26 February 2016.
  11. ^ a b "LEDARE: Lisbet Palme har skäl att vara kritisk". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). 25 October 2001.
  12. ^ a b "Reports: Widow of slain former Swedish PM Olof Palme dies". The Miami Herald. 18 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Palmeexpert: Lisbet hade fel i vittnesmålet". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). 28 February 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to Lisbet Palme at Wikimedia Commons