Sweden's National Day was celebrated on Friday 6 June.
The day began when Princess Madeleine, Mr Christopher O'Neill and Princess Leonore opened the doors for the Open Palace event at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. There was free entry to the Royal Palace of Stockholm until 17:00.
At the same time, The King and Queen arrived at Sundsvall Airport, where they were met by County Governor Bo Källstrand and his wife Eva, Municipal Commissioner for Ånge Sten-Ove Danielsson and his wife Åsa, singer from hard rock band Corroded Jens Westin, Gunnar Selling from the local forestry board and Elisabeth Blomberg, Head of Communications and project manager for the visit.
This year's National Day celebrations in Ånge Municipality commemorated the municipality's varied and vibrant associations, culture and music. The excellent opportunities for a prosperous future are one of the municipality's greatest competitive advantages.
During the coach journey to Ånge, The King and Queen learnt about Ånge which has 9,500 inhabitants. The municipality currently focuses sharply on creative industries and on education, with unity crossing party lines.
At the scene of the celebrations in Ånge, The King and Queen and all the other guests watched the ceremonial procession. All Ånge's associations were invited to take part, and the procession was set to music performed by a group of fiddlers. The programme began with The King's Song and a welcome by Municipal Commissioner Sten-Ove Danielsson. The King then gave his National Day speech, in which he said:
"On this day – Sweden's National Day – I hope to contribute towards us forging close links with our fellow men and women. No matter where we come from, and no matter where we are heading. I hope that everyone feels like part of the whole that is our nation. It is important that we are open in our thoughts and actions, particularly towards those who may feel that they stand on the sidelines."
The King's speech was followed by a musical programme featuring Göran Månsson and Jens Engelbrecht on flute and guitar, choral singing by Torp Choir and Viljan Choir, and opera singing by AnnLouice Lögdlund.
The Queen then presented Ånge Municipality's Cultural Scholarship to Göran Månsson, a folk music with his roots in Ånge.
The celebratory programme then concluded with music from Klara Li Andersson, Torp Youth Choir, actors and musicians from Teaterverkstan and students from Ålsta Folk High School's music programme, after which the national anthem was sung.
Tell us about the planning for the visit.
The County Governor wrote to the Royal Court last autumn, inviting The King and Queen to Västernorrland for Sweden's National Day. Our invitation was accepted at the beginning of the year, and we have been planning for today ever since.
How did the County Administrative Board decide on Ånge?
Ånge is an excellent representative of a Swedish municipality. The municipality has a declining population, but has been successful in combating this. Ånge has a very rich culture, and has succeeded well with integration. The location for today's celebrations was the site of mass housing construction in the mid-20th century, but many of the blocks have now been demolished. However, some buildings have been preserved, a there is now a cultural workshop as well as accommodation for young athletes, a call centre for the Swedish railways, accommodation for lone refugee children and a space for celebrations. And this is also a highly symbolic location – Ånge is the geographic centre of Sweden!
What was important when planning the programme?
That everyone in Ånge should feel included. There should be one programme for everyone, and we wanted to show Ånge's cultural breadth. And I think it went incredibly well!
At the same time, The Crown Princess Couple arrived at Confidencen in the grounds of Ulriksdal Palace, where the City of Solna arranged this year's citizenship ceremony. The Crown Princess Couple were met at Confidencen by Chairman of the Municipal Council Sven Kinnander, Signe Levin (1st Vice Chairman), Helene Ekegren (2nd Vice Chairman) and Per Granfalk (Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board).
The ceremony began with a performance by opera singer Paulina Pfeiffer, after which Chairman of the Municipal Council Sven Kinnander welcomed all those present. There then followed performances by Juvelerna from the Culture School. Kjerstin Dellert, Director of Ulriksdal Palace Theatre, spoke about the history of Confidencen. Welcome certificates were then issued to all the new Swedes, before the ceremony concluded with the national anthem.
Solna has held citizenship ceremonies since 2003, and this time 73 new Swedes were welcomed from Azerbaijan, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, the Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA.
At Skansen, Sweden's National Day was celebrated in keeping with tradition on the Solliden Stage with a celebratory programme. The entertainment was hosted by Micke Leijnegard, and featured performances by Lill Lindfors, Johnel, Medina, Loreen, Ingá-Marét Gaup Juuso, Rickard Söderberg and Darin.
After the celebrations at Skansen, The King and Queen invited representatives from the Swedish Parliament and Government, the public sector and the diplomatic corps to a reception at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.
The National Day celebrations ended with a tattoo at Logården.
Skansen's founder Artur Hazelius initiated Sweden's National Day on 6 June 1893, but it was not until more than twenty years later that the tradition spread to the whole of the country. Wholesaler Nils Ljunggren suggested holding a flag day in 1915. The following year, Swedish Flag Day was commemorated at Stockholm Olympic Stadium and at more than a hundred other locations throughout Sweden. It was on this occasion at Stockholm Olympic Stadium that 'Sweden's Flag', composed by Hugo Alfvén with words by K. G. Ossiannilsson, was first performed. The tradition of the monarch presenting standards to associations began in 1918, and has continued almost every year since then. King Carl XVI Gustaf first took part in the celebrations at Stockholm Olympic Stadium in 1949.
In 1963, the celebrations were moved to Skansen. Swedish Flag Day officially became Sweden's National Day in 1983, and 6 June has been a public holiday since 2005. The date was chosen because Gustav Vasa was elected King of Sweden on this date in 1523 by a parliament in Strängnäs, and the Constitution of Sweden was signed on this date in 1809.