The King and Queen visit Gotland County
On Saturday 7 September, The King and Queen visited Gotland County.
The King gives a speech on Stora Torget in Visby. Photo: royalcourt.se
16:33 The King gave a speech, in which he said: "Sweden has joined the EU, and agricultural competition has grown tougher. But the farmers of Gotland focus on quality, organic agriculture and cultivation. Truffles are a new product that we tried at the harvest festival today. I helped to support that project a little from the wings, which feels fantastic! And today's lunch at Hotell Fabriken in Furillen was also of a very high quality. Another aspect of contemporary Gotland is art and culture. Gotland's nature, cultural environments and light have drawn artists here for many decades." 16:31 After the King's Song, County Governor Cecilia Schelin Seidegård gave a speech.
At Stora Torget in Visby. Photo: royalcourt.se
16:26 The King and Queen arrived at Stora Torget in Visby.
16:05 Regional Council Commissioner Åke Svensson spoke about industry on Gotland. In contrast to other islands in the Baltic, the population of Gotland is not declining — in fact, it is growing slightly. This is partly due to the university, and partly due to the high-speed ferries that reach the mainland in three hours. Tourism in particular is showing growth every year. Gotland draws 850,000 visitors every summer, and efforts are currently underway to attract more visitors throughout the rest of the year. Interest in the Almedal Week political event is also growing every year. Last summer, there were 20,000 participants and more than 2,000 programme events.
Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson welcomes The King and Queen to Uppsala University Campus Gotland. Photo: royalcourt.se
15:55 Eva Åkesson, Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University, welcomed The King and Queen to Uppsala University Campus Gotland at the Almedal Library. Uppsala University merged with Gotland University on 1 July 2013, so students can now study at Uppsala University in Visby.
15:45 The King and Queen arrived in Visby.
14:36 The King and Queen arrived at the Bergman Estate on Fårö. Lennart Lindgren from Fårö Development Company briefly described Fårö, after which Kerstin Brunnberg, Chairwoman of the foundation, gave a speech and welcomed The King and Queen to the Bergman Centre. The centre is a meeting place rather than a Bergman museum. The King and Queen were given a tour of the centre by Elisabeth Edlund, Kerstin Karlström and Kerstin Blomberg.
The Bergman CentreThe Bergman Centre on Fårö is a foundation and a meeting place based on Ingmar Bergman's lifework and artistry. The centre arranges visits to Bergman's filming locations on Fårö and the annual Bergman Week.
The King arrives at Fabriken in Furillen. The former limestone factory now houses a hotel. Photo: royalcourt.se
12:43 The King and Queen arrived at Fabriken in Furillen, where lunch was served. Lunch was served in the exhibition hall. During the starter, which consisted of eggs from Furillen, Fabriken's founder Johan Hellström spoke about Furillen's evolution from quarrying and military operations to become a hotel and restaurant. The vision for the future involves new architecture, creative businesses, a modern town and growth in tourism.
The King and Queen visit the Swedish Coast Guard's ship KBV Triton at Slite Harbour. Photo: Karl Melander/TT Nyhetsbyrån
The King and Queen arrive at Slite Harbour. Photo: royalcourt.se
11:40 The King and Queen arrived at the ship KBV 002 Triton, where they were welcomed by Kenneth Neijnes, Regional Manager of the Swedish Coast Guard. On board, Kenneth spoke about the Swedish Coast Guard, which traces its roots back to 1638. The first patrol boat came into service in the early 18th century. He then jumped forward to 1973, by which time the organisation had become a civil authority. Since 1973, its work has included fishing controls and efforts to combat environmental emissions and smuggling. The ship is also used in emergency situations, sometimes together with other vessels and reconnaissance aircraft. The Swedish Coast Guard has also taken part in international operations, such as Operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia.
Artist Stina Lindholm shows The King and Queen her sculpture group Swedish Boys. The sculpture was made from clay and then cast in concrete. Photo: royalcourt.se
The King tries his hand at casting a candlestick in concrete. Photo: royalcourt.se
The King and Queen at the old Gotland farm Pilgårds, one of the oldest settlements in Boge, where Skulpturfabriken has its production premises. Photo: royalcourt.se
10:40 The King and Queen arrived at Skulpturfabriken in Boge, where they were welcomed by owner, designer and artist Stina Lindholm.
10:16 On board the coach to Boge, Chairwoman of the Federation of Swedish Farmers Anna Törnfelt spoke about farming on Gotland, which includes both high levels of production and a large processing industry. Milk production is a major industry on Gotland. There are fewer dairy farmers than before, but more milk than ever is being produced. There are also large growing areas for food and feeds. Anna-Lena Fritz, Unit Manager at Gotland County Administrative Board, then spoke about the environmental work taking place within the county. The island is home to one national park — Gotska Sandön, which was designated a national park in 1910, and 123 nature reserves. All protected areas require maintenance, and this is financed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
During the visit to Lövsta Rural Centre, The King and Queen watched a demonstration of the Swedish sheep shearing champion at work. Photo: royalcourt.se
09:33 The King and Queen arrived at Lövsta Rural Centre. Mats Pettersson, Director of the Swedish Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies, welcomed the royal visitors to Lövsta and the harvest festival. The King and Queen then spoke with representatives from Gotland's organic producers. During a tour of the harvest festival, The King and Queen met many producers and sampled local products.
Lövsta Rural CentreLövsta Rural Centre in Roma provides training for young people and adults within the green industries. The farm workers, grooms, animal keepers, farm foremen, agriculturists and rural entrepreneurs of the future are trained here. This year, a harvest festival and food fair is being held for the first time.
09:12 On the coach, County Governor Cecilia Schelin Seidegård wished The King and Queen a warm welcome to Gotland. Gotland is Sweden's largest island. At 3,000 km², it represents more than one percent of Sweden's surface area. The island is 176 km long and 50 km wide. 57,000 people live on the island, and the population level is stable with a slight increase. The largest town is Visby, with 23,000 inhabitants. In the summer, almost one million visitors come to Gotland. The largest employer is Region Gotland, which runs a large hospital with many specialists. The largest private company is Payex, which deals with payment processes. The gaming company Svenska Spel is another major employer within the county. The themes for the day were agriculture, design, culture and natural environments. Visby is the culinary capital, and The King and Queen had the opportunity to see examples during the day. 09:04 The King and Queen arrived in Visby and Gotland County.
The King and Queen begin their visit to Gotland County. Photo: royalcourt.se
The programme for The King and Queen's visit on Saturday 7 September.09:10 The King and Queen arrive in Visby, and are welcomed to Gotland County by County Governor Cecilia Schelin Seidegård. 09:40 The King and Queen visit Lövsta Rural Centre in Roma. 10:40 The King and Queen visit Skulpturfabriken in Boge. 11:30 The King and Queen arrive at Slite Harbour. 12:30 The King and Queen visit Fabriken in Furillen. Lunch is served in the exhibition hall. 14:10 The King and Queen visit the Bergman Centre on Fårö. 15:30 The King and Queen visit Almedal Library. 16:25 The King and Queen arrive at Stora Torget in Visby. The King gives a speech. The day in Gotland 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.