The Petra and Karl Erik Hedborg Foundation

The foundation was constituted on March 7, 1984. Its activity is based on donations from Consul General Karl Erik Hedborg. As a tribute to the memory of Queen Astrid of Belgium the Foundation shall support and develop relations between Belgium and Sweden.

Karl Erik Hedborg was born in 1889. Shortly after graduating as a Master of Science in Engineering he was employed by (hired by) STAB, Svenska Tändsticks AB (Swedish Match). In 1920 he was appointed managing director of STAB subsidiary Union Allumettière S.A. in Belgium. Through far-sighted acquisitions and financial consolidation he rapidly transformed Union Allumettière into a group well equipped to meet the Great Depression of the early 1930:s, thus making it possible for Union Allumettière to continue its expansion. In 1944 it inaugurated its Overbolaere works, one of the biggest match manufacturing plants in the world. When Karl Erik Hedborg in 1956 resigned as managing director he left a profitable business which still exists today.

Karl Erik Hedborg was Swedish Consul General in Brussels 1928 – 1962, and during the German occupation 1940 – 45 played an important role, not least behind the scenes. As the only diplomatic representative of a neutral country resident in Brussels he was in charge of the transition from German to Belgian rule when the Germans were forced to evacuate (withdraw from) Brussels in early 1945.

During most of the 20th century Karl Erik Hedborg and his wife Petra were prominent personalities in the Nordic community of Brussels, working tirelessly to strengthen the ties between Sweden and Belgium. Their hospitable home in Brussels – and later their country estate La Bruyère with its art collections and gardens – were central to this undertaking. Petra Hedborg, dead in 1979, was to predecease her husband by almost ten years. Karl Erik Hedborg died in 1988.

The foundation at present distributes grants of about 200 000 SEK annually. Grants may be awarded e.g. in support of higher academic studies, research exchange, printing and translation of literary or scientific works as well as in support of art exhibitions, concerts and lectures that serve the purpose of strengthening the ties between Sweden and Belgium

The board of directors reviews and decides on applications for grants at its two annual meetings in mid-april and mid-november. Applications for grants in order to be dealt with at these meetings must have reached the secretary of the foundation on March 15 or on October 15 at the latest.

Chairs of the Foundation
1984-85 Karl Erik Hedborg
1985-89 Jean-Jacques von Dardel
1989-06 Johan Hedborg
2006-16 Elisabeth Hedborg
2016- Anja Broeders
Board of directors
Anja Broeders, chair
Elisabeth Hedborg
Urban Hedborg
Lars-Owe Forsberg
Ingrid Hedström
Niclas Lemne, secretary


Petra och Karl Erik Hedborgs Stiftelse
C/O Lemne
Grönstavägen 18
Tfn: + 46 (0)70 182 92 90