On Thursday 27 March, The King and Queen continued their state visit to Latvia. They were accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and a business delegation.
19:00 The state visit concluded with The King and Queen's reciprocal dinner at Riga Bourse.
15:40 The King visited the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSER). He was received by Rector Anders Paalzow and Gunnar Ljungdahl, Director of SSER.
During the visit, The King took part in a seminar at which Torbjörn Becker, Director of SITE (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics), Baiba Rubesa, Chair of Citadele Banka, Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs and Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt held discussions on the subject of "What Can the Eastern Partnership Countries Learn from the Latvian Transition Experience?".
The Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSER) was founded in 1994 by the Stockholm School of Economics with support from the Swedish Government. In addition to providing education, SSER also carries out economic research of relevance to the Baltic States' economic and social development.
15:40 The Queen arrived at the Small Guild to watch the documentary play Seven. The performance takes the form of seven captivating voices reading powerful stories in which the need for democratic and human rights is addressed in a touching and personal manner.
Seven is based on interviews with seven contemporary internationally known women's rights activists from Guatemala, Northern Ireland, Russia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Cambodia. They are voiced by Lolita Čigāne, Member of the Saeima, Karina Pētersone, Director of the Latvian Institute, Mārcis Auziņš, Rector of the University of Latvia, Aleksandrs Cakste, CEO of Oriflame Cosmetics in the Baltic Region, Gļebs Panteļejevs, sculptor and professor at the Art Academy of Latvia, Elza Leimane, principal dancer with the Latvian National Opera, and journalist Aleksandra Fahretdinova.
14:58 At the Riga Bourse art museum, The King and Queen went through the plans for the evening's reciprocal dinner.
14:08 The Queen was shown around the premises and then met children and young people at the Patvērums day centre. The day centre is open every day, and offers children from vulnerable families help with their homework, provides lunch, arranges games and carries out other after-school activities. Parents are also able to wash clothes at the day centre. Around 12 to 15 children visit the day centre every day.
13:43 The Queen visited the Salvation Army's day centre in Riga. Major Christine Bailey, Regional Manager for the Salvation Army in Latvia, welcomed The Queen and described the changes that had taken place since 1992 when she last visited the centre. The Salvation Army has a number of operations around Latvia. The centre has around 70 employees, and works in close partnership with the Salvation Army in Norrköping, Riga's twin town.
The centre's staff carry out home visits to people who are less well-off and people with disabilities, and offers them practical help with things such as food and clothing, as well as arranging social activities. The soup kitchen is open two days a week, and is visited by between 60 and 100 people. In total, the centre helps around 800 families.
13:05 The King began lunch with Minister for Defence Raimonds Vējonis.
12:00 The King visited the army base in Ādaži, where he was welcomed by Minister for Defence Raimonds Vējonis and Supreme Commander Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube. The King was then given a presentation of the army brigade, the training area in Ādaži and the brigade's contribution to Nordic Battle Group 15.
11:55 The Queen arrived at Hotel Bergs for lunch with Minister for Culture Dace Melbārde, Rīga 2014 Foundation's Aiva Rozenberga, the Prime Minister's advisor on humanitarian support and EU subsidies Ints Dālderis, former Minister for Culture and Ambassador to Sweden Jānis Dripe and opera singer Inese Galante. The discussions revolved around the European Capital of Culture year, the significance of culture and the new cultural centres being built in the various regions of Latvia.
Riga and Umeå are the European Capitals of Culture for 2014. The European Capitals of Culture are appointed for a year by the EU's culture ministers. Stockholm was the European Capital of Culture in 1998. Vilnius and Tallinn were European Capitals of Culture in 2009 and 2011 respectively.
11:03 The Queen visited Arsenāls Exhibition Hall and was welcomed by Māra Lāce, Director of the Latvian National Museum of Art. The Queen was given a guided tour of the exhibition 1914 by the manager of the exhibition hall and exhibition project manager Ginta Gerharde-Upeniece.
The exhibition 1914 contains innovative works of art by artists from northern and central Europe. The exhibition examines how the First World War affected historical, social and cultural development in Europe during the 20th century, and is based on collaboration between the national museums of ten European countries. The exhibition runs until 20 April, and is part of the European Capital of Culture 2014 in Riga.
The exhibition hall is part of the Latvian National Museum of Art. Arsenāls is housed in an old customs warehouse, built in the early 19th century. Its collections include paintings, sculptures and graphic art from the mid-20th century onwards.
11:15 The King arrived at the company GroGlass and was welcomed by CEO Alexander Sasha Kelberg, who gave a presentation of the company. GroGlass produces anti-reflective surface coatings for various types of glass, which are used for solar panels, greenhouses, windows, display frames and computer screens. GroGlass' surface coating technology has been used for applications including works of art at the Louvre in Paris.
10:40 The King was welcomed to the company Plockmatic Riga by Minister for Economics Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis, CEO of Grimaldi Industri AB Salvatore Grimaldi, CEO of Plockmatic International AB Jan Marstorp and plant manager Martins Pikss. Plockmatic International AB develops, manufactures and markets document finishing equipment. Plockmatic International is part of the Grimaldi Industri Group, and was founded in 1974. The company began operating in Riga in 2001.
During the visit The King was given a technical tour of the company's work with digital three-dimensional drawings.
09:55 The King visited the Daugavgrīva water purification plant. Plant manager Māris Zviedris presented the plant and its environmental work during a walk along the rectangular basins.
The Daugavgrīva water purification plant is run by Riga Water (Rīgas ūdens), which is owned by the City of Riga, and deals with sewage from Riga and other nearby towns. Around 160,000 m³ of sewage is treated daily, and a total of approximately 54.4 million cubic metres of sewage was processed last year. The plant has 94 employees. A project was launched in 2011 to improve the processes for removing nitrogen and phosphorus.
09:50 The Queen met Magdalena Blad and Peter Lindström, who are in their third year of medical studies. They explained about their studies, and The Queen watched as Magdalena Blad learnt to carry out a gastroscopy and Peter Lindström learnt to remove an appendix.
Magdalena Blad, what is it like studying medicine here?
"I really like it. There are students here from many different countries, including lots of Swedes, and the fact that it's so international is great. I ended up studying here by chance. I wanted to study abroad, and I looked up medical schools online and saw that the courses here had good reviews."
09:40 The Queen arrived at Riga Stradiņš University, where she was welcomed by Rector Jānis Gardovskis who explained about the university and the courses it offers.
Riga Stradiņš University (RSU) offers courses within medicine and healthcare, social sciences and law. RSU has a relatively large proportion of international students (13.7 percent), with students from Sweden making up a fifth of these (around 170 students). Dace Seisuma, the President's wife, works as a physician at Riga Stradiņš University Hospital.
09:00 The King held a meeting with Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma.
08:21 The King and Queen met the Swedish business delegation. Chairman of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise Jens Spendrup welcomed The King and Queen and spoke about the visits carried out by the delegation during the visit so far. They had visited companies, held meetings with Latvian partners and met politicians.