The King and Queen visit the USA, day 2
The King and US Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew at a memorial ceremony for Raoul Wallenberg at the Treasury. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Scanpix
On Thursday 9 May, The King and Queen continued their visit to the USA. The day was spent in Washington, where The King and Queen met US Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew and took part in a seminar on the Arctic at The House of Sweden.
The King and Queen's morning in Washington began with a memorial ceremony for Raoul Wallenberg at the Treasury, which was attended by US Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY). On 26 July 2012, Raoul Wallenberg was posthumously presented with a Congressional Gold Medal by the US Congress in recognition of his actions.
The King gave a speech at the Treasury. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Scanpix
During the ceremony, The King gave a speech in which he said: "To fully understand Wallenberg's endeavour, it is important to remember that Wallenberg and the Swedish delegation were not primarily working on behalf of either Swedish or American state interests. They had been sent to Hungary to try to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe." You can read The King's speech in full here. The morning continued with a visit to the Library of Congress, the national library of the USA, in the Thomas Jefferson Building. The King and Queen saw the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Sweden and the USA, dated 1783. They then visited the United States Capitol, where The King and Queen were received by Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner. The Capitol is the seat of the US Congress. The Senate Chamber is located in the north wing of the building, while the assembly hall of the House of Representatives is located in the south wing.
The King and Queen with their hosts for lunch, Senator Johnny Isakson and Congressmen Randall M. Hultgren and Tim Walberg. Photo: Alex Wong/Scanpix
Lunch was then served. Lunch was hosted by Senator Johnny Isakson and Congressman Randall M. Hultgren, Chairman of the Swedish Caucus. The Swedish Caucus was founded by Randy Hultgren to preserve and promote the economic and cultural links between the USA and Sweden.
The King and Queen at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Photo: Kris Conner/Scanpix
After lunch, The King and Queen visited the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and were given a guided tour of the museum. During the afternoon, The King and Queen took part in a seminar on the Arctic. Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Eero Heinäluoma, Finland's ambassador in the USA Ritva Koukku-Ronde and Sweden's ambassador in the USA Jonas Hafström also took part in the seminar. The Arctic has been affected by both ongoing climate changes and increased levels of commercial activity. During the seminar, the current and future challenges faced by the Arctic and how these should be dealt with were discussed. The seminar was held at the House of Sweden, in Georgetown, Washington, which houses the Swedish and Icelandic embassies. The building was designed by architects Gert Wingårdh and Tomas Hansen, and features works by glass artist Ingegerd Råman. The King and Queen opened the House of Sweden on 23 October 2006. During the evening, The King and Queen visited the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to see the Washington Ballet's production of The Sun Also Rises, based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. The Kennedy Center is a cultural centre for stage art, situated by the Potomac River in Washington DC. Between 19 February and 17 March this year, the Nordic Cool festival was held here, in which over 700 Nordic artists participated. The festival opened with a concert by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and concluded with a performance by the dance company of the Gothenburg Opera. After the production, a reception was hosted by Director of the Kennedy Centre Michael M. Kaiser. The King gave a brief speech, in which he said: "Two months ago, the Washington metropolitan area enjoyed the results of a three-year project that was taken on by you and your staff. Together with the Nordic embassies in Washington, your team helped to create the largest Nordic art and cultural festival ever held outside Scandinavia: Nordic Cool 2013." You can read The King's speech in full here. The King and Queen made their visit in connection with the 375th anniversary of the Kalmar Nyckel's arrival in Delaware and the first Swedish settlement in the USA.