The King with Prince Carl Philip and County Governor Eva Eriksson. Photo: Sara Virkki Björnberg/Filipstad Municipality
On Wednesday 6 April, The King and Prince Carl Philip visited the town of Filipstad, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary. Filipstad was granted its town charter on 6 April 1611 by King Karl IX. The town was named after King Karl IX's son Karl Filip.
The visit to Filipstad began at Berg School. The school was founded in 1830, and today it trains engineers for the mining and steel industries. These industries were active in what is now Filipstad as early as the 14th century. During the 18th century, mining made great progress thanks to new technological advances. After lunch at Bergmästargården Manor House, The King and Prince Carl Philip visited crispbread manufacturer Wasabröd. The company was founded in 1919 by Karl Edvard Lundström, and is now the world's biggest producer of crispbread. Wasabröd was named Purveyor to the Royal Court as early as the 1930s. Since 1999, Wasabröd has been owned by Italian group Barilla. Anniversary celebrations were then held at Filipstad's Stora Torget Square. Richard Sjöberg was master of ceremonies, and County Governor Eva Eriksson gave a welcoming address. The King gave a speech in which he said that "...a royal decree does not guarantee an easy journey. On a number of occasions during Filipstad's 400 year long history, its inhabitants have had to fight for their town. For example, the young Filipstad suffered several major fires. A decision was even made after one of these fires that Filipstad should no longer be a town, and that its people should move to Karlstad or Kristinehamn. But the people of Filipstad refused to leave. Through the good times and the bad times, the rise and fall of mining, boom times and recession — the people of Filipstad never give up." After his speech, The King unveiled a bronze commemorative plate on Stora Torget Square. This was followed by performances from Jessica Andersson and the Slottsbron Band and Drill Corps. The day ended with a parade to Filipstad Church, where the celebrations continued and Priest Stefan Dalevi introduced the town charter.