The King and Queen visit Västernorrland County
The Queen with sawmill manager Katarina Levin from SCA Timber Bollsta Sawmill, in the control room where the timber is sorted. Photo: royalcourt.se
On Wednesday 14 August, The King and Queen visited Västernorrland County.
17:11 The King and Queen arrived at Härnösand. There, the Härnösand Musicians' Society led The King and Queen to the County Governor's official residence.
Samples of food from Medelpad. Photo: royalcourt.se
16:24 During the coach journey to Härnösand, Culinary Ambassador Kenneth Sillman served samples of food from Medelpad: onion herring with creamed cheese, sea trout pastrami with pickled summer onions, mustard-marinated potatoes with smoked pike, lightly smoked elk pastrami and cheese panna cotta with port jelly.
An interview with County Governor Bo Källstrand during the coach journey to Härnösand.
Västernorrland is one of Sweden's biggest counties. How did you decide what The King and Queen would visit during a day?
Naturally, we took a geographic view. You have to start in the middle and then travel either north or south. The County Administrative Board reviewed The King's and The King and Queen's previous visits to the county. We noted that they had mostly visited the northern part of the county, so we arranged a programme heading down towards the Sundsvall area.
Then it was a case of what to show The King and Queen. Of course, that's not easy when there's so much to choose between. What really distinguishes our county is the forest industry. We are still Sweden's top county when it comes to forest raw materials, and a great deal has happened in recent years — not least in terms of technology. It's been a long time since The King visited a large sawmill in Västernorrland, so we decided it was time to show him the latest technological developments. It's also important to promote Västernorrland as a tourist destination, particularly in view of our culinary culture.
We're now two thirds of the way through the programme. Has everything gone to plan?
Yes, I think so. It's gone well, and we've shown The King and Queen what we wanted to show them. I'm also pleased at how many people came to Sundsvall. It shows just how much interest there's been in the visit, and I'm delighted about that.
During The King's speech in Sundsvall. Photo: royalcourt.se
15:54 The King gave a speech, in which he said: "The dramatic scenery of Västernorrland is characterised in particular by the High Coast World Heritage Site. I am very fond of this landscape. In fact, in 2009 I invited some of the world's leading climate researchers to this beautiful area to discuss the climatic challenges we face."
Thousands of well-wishers had gathered on Stora Torget. Photo: royalcourt.se
15:44 The ceremony on Stora Torget began with The King's Song. The folk music group Mittfolk then performed, after which County Governor Bo Källstrand gave a speech and presented The King with a guide book about Västernorrland that had been produced by school children.
15:39 The King and Queen arrived at Stora Torget.
The King and Queen are guided through Sundsvall by Frida Stenhoff and Gustav G Hermansson – historic characters depicted by Tina Johansson and Hans Thörn. Photo: royalcourt.se
15:20 The King and Queen arrived at Storgatan in Sundsvall, where they were met by actors Tina Johansson and Hans Thörn who spoke about the rebuilding of Sundsvall following the great fire of Midsummer Day 1888, when the entire city burnt down in the space of just six hours. Architects were brought to Sundsvall to rebuild the town, drawing influences from the cities of Europe. 15:06 During the coach journey to Sundsvall, Chairman of the Municipal Council Rodney Engström spoke about Sundsvall and the municipality, including the large-scale integration project being carried out to attract more people to come and live in Sundsvall. Ingemar Frej, Regional Manager of the Swedish Transport Administration, then spoke about the major infrastructure investments currently taking place in Västernorrland. Transport links to and from industry are via road, rail and boat. Since 2011, 20 km of the E4 has been built, including five motorway junctions and 33 bridges. The bridge over Sundsvall Bay is 2,109 metres long. Construction is expected to be complete in 2015, at a cost of around SEK 4.5 billion.
The King and Queen listen to Margareta Bergvall speaking about the Meet Me project. Photo: royalcourt.se
14:17 The King and Queen arrived at the vicarage, where Margareta Bergvall spoke about the Meet Me project being carried out there. The project began in 2007, when Margareta noticed how her mother — who suffered from dementia — became more lively when visiting old buildings. This is referred to as reminiscence therapy, and is described as a large-scale box of memories.
Murberget, Västernorrland County MuseumMurberget is an open-air museum with buildings and environments from the 19th and 20th centuries. One of these buildings, where a 1940s environment has been preserved, is used to develop methods for stimulating the memories of elderly dementia sufferers. The initiative is part of the national Meet Me project, funded by the Swedish Alzheimer's Foundation. The project was launched by The Queen on 28 January this year, and Murberget is one of many museums around the country taking part in the project.
Find out more about Murberget here.
The King with County Museum Director Lillian Rathje and County Governor Bo Källstrand at Murberget, an open-air museum with buildings and environments from the 19th and 20th centuries. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/Scanpix
12:55 Lunch was served at the county museum's restaurant. Over coffee, Peter Holmqvist, Head of Growth for Örnsköldsvik Municipality, and Sigge Jungell, Project Manager of The Ten Draws, spoke about the work to attract tourists to the High Coast. One of the aims is to bring together the four municipalities in the area. 12:49 The King and Queen arrived at Murberget, Västernorrland County Museum. 12:31 Culinary Ambassador Kerstin Kårén spoke about the focus on local food within the county and the local businesses that had produced the food served during the lunch at Murberget.
Culinary AmbassadorsMinister for Agriculture Eskil Erlandsson has appointed 26 Culinary Ambassadors throughout the length and breadth of Sweden, to spread and win support for the vision of Sweden as a new culinary nation. The Culinary Ambassadors for Ångermanland and Medelpad, Kerstin Kårén and Kenneth Sillman, work to promote the food and nature of Västernorrland.
12:21 The coach crossed the border into Härnösand Municipality, and Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board Fred Nilsson spoke about the municipality. New figures on immigration had been released that day, and almost 200 new inhabitants had moved to the municipality during the past year. At the beginning of the twentieth century Härnösand was the centre of the European forest industry, and this industrial heritage is still important today.
12:00 Back on the coach, the party headed towards Murberget. The County Governor explained that the county has just eleven inhabitants per square kilometre. The national average is 28. Bo Källstrand also spoke about the companies that are currently investing in the county, research and education, Sweden's youngest university — Mid Sweden University — and infrastructure investments.
The King and Queen at the sawmill. Photo: royalcourt.se
The King and Queen listen to sawmill manager Katarina Levin, who spoke about SCA Timber Bollsta Sawmill, Sweden's biggest sawmill, which combines high-tech, climate-smart production with a good working environment. During their visit, The King and Queen gained an insight into how forest raw materials are refined in the most resource-efficient manner. This involves using the right log for the right product, and ensuring the maximum return through x-raying and image scanning. Photo: royalcourt.se
11:34 The King and Queen arrived at Bollsta Sawmill.
En route to Bollsta Sawmill. Photo: royalcourt.se
11:15 On the coach to Bollsta Sawmill, County Governor Ann Järneström spoke about the forest, ancient tales about the mythical Vittra people, and how she has gathered stories from around the Kramfors area. Katarina Levin, manager of Bollsta Sawmill, then spoke about wood and raw wood materials, and about Bollsta Sawmill and the significant investments being carried out. For example, SEK 500 million is being invested in new technology.
11:03 The King and Queen listened to Per-Anders Bjuggstam, CEO of El-forest AB, who spoke about the electric motors developed in the country that result in a significant reduction in fuel consumption. The machines were then started, and The King and Queen saw the felling process.
The King and Queen at Västansjö felling site. Photo: royalcourt.se
10:48 Björn Lyngfelt, Vice President Communications at SCA Forest Products, welcomes The King and Queen and speaks about felling. 450 employees carry out felling here, and a number of subcontractors are also employed. Björn spoke about the future prospects for forestry and felling, with a forecast extending for at least the next century. The King and Queen then learnt about the felling process, and how harvesters and forest tractors are used to help fell and gather the timber.
Västansjö felling site in Bollstabruk. Photo: royalcourt.se
10:47 The King and Queen arrived at Västansjö felling site in Bollstabruk.
10:35 Ulf Larsson, CEO of SCA Forest Products, provided a summary of the forest industry's history in Kramfors.
10:19 On the coach, County Governor Bo Källstrand welcomed The King and Queen to Västernorrland and spoke about the landscape, which is dominated by forest and rivers. He then handed over to Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board Micael Melander, who described Kramfors as "a small municipality with a big heart". The municipality's first settlers were the huntsmen and fishermen who came to the area 10,000 years ago. The glory days of the municipality were during the period of industrialism. Today, there are fewer hunters, farmers and industries. Infrastructure has come to play a leading role, with both railways and airports being important to the region.
The King and Queen are welcomed to Västernorrland County. Photo: royalcourt.se
10:11 The King and Queen arrived at Kramfors and Höga Kusten Airport.
The programme for The King and Queen's visit on Wednesday 14 August.09:30 The King and Queen arrive at Höga Kusten Airport, Gistgårdsön, and are welcomed to Västernorrland County by County Governor Bo Källstrand.10:25 The King and Queen visit Västansjö felling site in Bollstabruk.11:15 The King and Queen visit Bollsta Sawmill.12:35 The King and Queen arrive at Murberget, Västernorrland County Museum, Härnösand.12:55 Lunch at the county museum's restaurant.14:00 Walk to the vicarage.15:25 The King and Queen arrive in Sundsvall and walk to Stora Torget. The King gives a speech. 16:55 The King and Queen arrive at Trädgårdsgatan/Storgatan in Härnösand and walk with the Härnösand Musicians' Society to the County Governor's official residence.
The day in Västernorrland 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.