The King and Queen visit Dalarna County
CEO of Clas Ohlson Klas Balkow shows The King and Queen the central warehouse in Insjön. Photo: royalcourt.se
On Tuesday 10 September, The King and Queen visited Dalarna County.
17:22 The King gave a speech, in which he said: "During today's visit to Dalarna, we've followed in the footsteps of our forefathers! We started at Koppardalen in Avesta. The 17th century industrial area is a fascinating place. And there are also many different businesses here with great faith in the future. Iron is — and has been for many years — one of Sweden's most important export assets. "Another example of a journey following in the footsteps of our forefathers is Clas Ohlson in Insjön. This former mail-order company now has thousands of employees and is even opening stores outside Sweden. Seeing their enormous warehouse in Insjön was truly impressive." 17:10 The King and Queen arrived at Stora Torget in Falun. County Governor Maria Norrfalk gave a speech. The Dala Sinfonietta choir performed. 16:46 Peter Berglund from Region Falu-Borlänge explained about the collaboration between the municipalities, which began in 1968. During the last decade, this partnership has promoted social development and created both jobs and a sense of faith in the future. 16:28 On the coach to Falun, Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board Jonny Gahnshag spoke about Falun. When the town was granted a town charter in 1641, Falun was Sweden's second largest town. Today, there are 5,000 businesses in the municipality, with the service sector dominating. The mining industry operated here for almost a thousand years until 1991. The municipality has approximately 56,500 inhabitants. The population is growing, but there is still room for more. 15:59 The King and Queen arrived at Karlfeldtgården Sångs. This well-preserved garden was laid out by Erik Axel Karlfeldt and Sweden's first landscape gardener, Ester Claesson, in 1925. 15:41 The coach continued towards Karlfeldtgården Sångs. Owner of the farm Gunbritt Berggren explained that it was purchased by Erik Axel Karlfeldt in 1921, and at that time was called Ollasgården i Leksandsbyn Sjugare. It was later renamed Sånggården, and is now known as Sångs. Karlfeldt was one of Dalarna's great writers, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1931. 15:06 The King and Queen were given a tour of the distribution department at Clas Ohlson's central warehouse.
The King visits the miniload warehouse, where smaller items for Clas Ohlson stores are packed. Photo: royalcourt.se
14:46 On the coach to Clas Ohlson's central warehouse, CEO Klas Balkow explained that Clas Ohlson from Insjön started the company in 1918. The first store outside Insjön was opened in 1989, at the Gallerian shopping centre in Stockholm. Today, the chain has 80 stores in Sweden, 60 in Norway and 25 in Finland. The first UK store opened in 2008, and the company now has its sights set on opening stores in the Gulf region. 300 people work at the central warehouse. During the Christmas shopping period, they are joined by approximately 100 more workers. 14:12 The King and Queen were given a tour of Leksand Folk High School, which was founded in 1954 by Gustaf Theodor Wallén to give young people the opportunity to become "skilled artisans and good people". The school has space for around 200 students, and offers training within subjects such as bookbinding, ceramic design, creative entrepreneurship and personal development. Find out more about Leksand Folk High School here.
In the workshop, metal design student Karolina Ahola demonstrates her work by interpreting a 3D object, in this case a butterfly. Photo: royalcourt.se
Åsa Åhlin, who is studying bookbinding, shows The King how she binds the spine of a book. Photo: royalcourt.se
13:17 The King and Queen arrived at Leksand Folk High School, located where the Siljan River meets the Österdal River.
The King and Queen arrive at Leksand Folk High School. Photo: royalcourt.se
12:40 Local Government Commissioner Ulrika Liljeberg welcomed The King and Queen to Leksand as the coach crosses from Borlänge and arrives "on the right side of the river". She explained that 15,000 people live in the municipality, and that Leksand consists of 94 villages. In 2010, Leksand Municipality was named the best municipality for young people to live in. The biggest topic of conversation at the moment is that Leksands IF has just been promoted to the top ice hockey game, with its first home game against Brynäs scheduled for Saturday. To commemorate the day, the municipality was treating all residents at its homes for the elderly to cakes. 12:13 The coach passed Säter, which has a cinema museum. Maria Norrfalk explained that the biggest challenge facing Dalarna County — other than job losses — is infrastructure. The county is rich in culture, including artists and musicians. For example, 15% of the members of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra are from Dalarna County. The county's people have always gone their own way. For example, the land parcelling law was never implemented here, so to this day there are still half a million hectares of undivided land. 11:57 The coach continued towards Leksand Folk High School. During the journey, County Governor Maria Norrfalk spoke about the county and its 277,000 inhabitants. Dalarna County has three nature reserves, and the county's scenery reflects the whole of Sweden. This includes the deciduous forests of southern Sweden and the pine forests of northern Sweden. The county is also home to the big four predators (wolf, bear, lynx and wolverine), including thirteen wolf territories and four hundred bears. In fact, Dalarna County has everything except the sea.
At Hedemora Gamla Theater, the Teaterfolket troop performs an extract from their performance "An Artistic Bagatelle". Photo: royalcourt.se
11:37 The Teaterfolket troop performed an extract from their performance "An Artistic Bagatelle". 11:16 The King and Queen arrived at Hedemora Gamla Theater. Chair Inger Eriksson and cashier Christine Winberg gave The King and Queen a guided tour of the theatre. The first performance took place in 1829, and in 1888 the Salvation Army took over the theatre, which was then used as a warehouse. Ahead of Hedemora's 500th anniversary in 1946, a number of local people decided to form a committee to restore the theatre. It was re-opened by Crown Prince Gustav Adolf and Crown Princess Louise. Reconstruction has also been carried out recently thanks to funding from the King Gustav VI Adolf Memorial Fund. 10:51 The coach continued towards Hedemora Municipality and Hedemora Gamla Theater. Local Government Commissioner Ulf Hansson explained about the municipality. The town of Hedemora is the oldest town in Dalarna, and was granted its town charter in 1446. Ulf explained that a decision has been made that the environment, integration and equality should be features of everything that takes place within the municipality. Hedemora has 15,000 inhabitants and 1,500 businesses. The town is also home to the 800-year-old Garpen Mine, Sweden's oldest operational mine.
The King and Queen are welcomed by the people of Hedemora. Photo: royalcourt.se
10:32 The King and Queen visited the Avesta Art exhibition at Verket, the former ironworks foundry. Here, international and contemporary art are displayed every year from May to September. Schools come here from around the municipality to visit the Bagdad learning room. To commemorate the royal visit, Verket offered free entry for the rest of the day. Find out more about Verket here. 10:15 The King and Queen arrived at the ironworks foundry in Koppardalen's industrial area, and were met by pupils from Avesta Music School who sang and performed music. The King and Queen were given a guided tour of the foundry by Lars-Åke Evebrand and Kenneth Linder.
The Dalahästen service area is home to the world's largest dala horse, which is 11 metres tall. Photo: royalcourt.se
09:50 The coach passed a memorial stone at the spot where King Gustav Vasa stopped the Danes in 1721. The Dalahästen service area is home to the world's largest dala horse, which is 11 metres tall. 09:45 The King and Queen travelled by coach to the Koppardalen industrial area. Local Government Commissioner Lars Isacsson welcomed The King and Queen to Avesta Municipality. He explained that Avesta Municipality has 21,500 inhabitants, and operates free public transport. This has resulted in an increase in bus travel and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. 09:42 The King and Queen arrived at Avesta Motor Stadium and Dalarna County. They were welcomed by County Governor Maria Norrfalk.
The programme for The King and Queen's visit on Tuesday 10 September.09:45 The King and Queen arrive in Avesta, and are welcomed to Dalarna County by County Governor Maria Norrfalk. 10:05 The King and Queen visit the Koppardalen industrial area. 11:20 The King and Queen visit Hedemora Gamla Theater. 13:15 The King and Queen arrive at Leksand Folk High School, where lunch is served. 14:50 The King and Queen visit Clas Ohlson's central warehouse in Insjön. 15:40 The King and Queen visit Sångs, Karlfeldtsgården. 16:45 The King and Queen arrive at Stora Torget in Falun. The King gives a speech. The day in Dalarna County concludes with dinner hosted by the County Governor at the County Governor's official residence.
County visits 2013In connection with The King's 40th jubilee, The King and Queen will be visiting all of Sweden's 21 counties during the year. Find out more about the county visits here.