The Royal party at Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg. Photo: Anders Wiklund/Scanpix.
On Wednesday 20 October, the Royal Family marked the fact that it had been exactly 200 years to the day since the new heir to the Swedish throne, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, stepped ashore in Helsingborg.
The King and Queen, The Crown Princess Couple and Prince Carl Philip were met as they disembarked in Helsingborg by County Governor Göran Tunhammar, Mayor Carin Wredström and a large crowd of locals. A ceremony was held on Hamntorget Square, with contributions from Helsingborg City Theatre, Helsingborg Concert Hall and musicians from Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra. The King began the ceremony with a speech, saying: "On this very day, 20 October, 200 years ago, the French marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, the future Crown Prince Karl Johan, stepped ashore here in Helsingborg." The King also explained what the city of Helsingborg means to the Bernadotte family: "Helsingborg, where Karl Johan first stepped ashore, has become an important place to the Bernadottes. King Oscar II and Queen Sofia built their summer residence Sofiero here in the mid-1860s. King Oscar II's grandson — my grandfather, King Gustav VI Adolf — and his family also spent many summers at Sofiero, as have my family and I, as well as the Danish Royal Family. These visits have brought us great joy on many occasions over the years."
After the disembarkation ceremony, the Royal party walked along Helsingörkajen Quay to Dunkers Kulturhus to open the exhibition "The Art of Becoming King — from Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte to Karl XIV Johan".
Commemorative service at St Mary's Church
The Royal party also attended a commemorative service at St Mary's Church. This was the first congregation to greet the new heir to the throne, the future King Karl XIV Johan. The service was originally held in French, but was held in Swedish this time.
Banquet at Gamlegård
In the evening, a commemorative banquet was held at Gamlegård. In his after-dinner speech, The King thanked the people of Helsingborg: "Many thanks to all of you who have spent so long preparing and hosting this celebration. Many of you have no doubt heard tell that there was great rejoicing in the streets of Helsingborg when Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte stepped ashore at the harbour. We won't compare the celebrations of 200 years ago with today's celebrations, but I am sure that the festivities are just as grand today as they were then."