The King and Queen visit Jönköping County — watch films here
The King and Queen with County Governor Minoo Akhtarzand and Axtorp Sunhouse's founders Karin and Tommy Abrahamsson on a sunny indoor beach. Photo: royalcourt.se
On Thursday 7 March, The King and Queen visited Jönköping County.
After their visit to Jönköping County, The King and Queen summed up the first three county visits: "Our lasting impression is of all the many people who have come to meet us over the course of these three days, for which we are extremely grateful. The county governors have put together highly varied programmes, like a kaleidoscope of different parts of the counties. During our journeys, we have learnt about the municipalities and places we have visited, and the people who live and work there. Many people have told us about the challenges they have faced, and it has been encouraging to hear how they have dealt with these difficulties with a sense of optimism and firm faith in the future. We are already looking forward to the next three county visits to Halland, Skåne and Blekinge."
18:17 On the coach after The King and Queen's visit to Jönköping County had ended, County Governor Minoo Akhtarzand spoke about the day: How did today go? "It was a fantastic experience. We had waited for this visit for a long time, and emotions were high wherever we went today. I really hope that all the people from our county who wanted to see and meet The King and Queen today were able to do so." How did you decide which parts of the county to show The King and Queen? "Just like all the other counties, we had one day to showcase the county. I wanted to show how Jönköping County is a real asset for Sweden, and how the county has developed over the past 40 years. It was a busy programme, but I hope The King and Queen found it rewarding. "I asked the chairmen of all our municipal executive boards for ideas about what we should show The King and Queen, and then I made my choices based on their suggestions. The theme for the visit was the four areas that I wanted to show them, and that distinguish Jönköping County: environmental awareness, cooperation, entrepreneurship and innovation."
Guide Daniel Carlsson shows The King and Queen Habo Church, which gained its current appearance when it was rebuilt in 1723. Photo: royalcourt.se
The King and Queen are welcomed to Habo Church. Photo: royalcourt.se
17:13 The King and Queen arrived at Habo Church. 16:17 The King and Queen arrived at Axtorp Sunhouse in Sandhem. Axtorp Sunhouse Karin and Tommy Abrahamsson are farmers who have thought along slightly different lines. At their farm near Sandhem, they — like most farmers — carry out various different activities such as drain digging, forestry and snow clearing. In November 2011 they started their most original project to date: a sunny indoor beach, complete with a beach bar. Here, visitors can enjoy 35°C warmth, accompanied by the sound of breaking waves. 16:02 To mark The King and Queen's visit to Mullsjö Municipality, desserts were served today with lunch at all schools and preschools. At all homes for the elderly, cake was served with afternoon coffee. 15:41 The coach continued towards Sandhem. Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board Henrik Jansson and Chairman of the Municipal Council Ingemar Eriksson spoke about Mullsjö Municipality.
The King and Queen with the Waldemarsson family and the Söderlind family in Långhult. They have been recognised for their joint focus on biogas for heating greenhouses where vegetables are grown. Photo: royalcourt.se
The King and Queen in the Söderlind family's energy-efficient greenhouse in Långhult, Habo Municipality. Photo: royalcourt.se
15:22 The King and Queen visited the Söderlind family's tomato growing business. Marcus Söderlind explained about the organic tomato cultivation and the work involved throughout the lifecycle of the plants. 14:55 At Långhult, farmer Dan Waldermarsson spoke about the Långhult family farm where there is a focus on biogas. 14:29 Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board Thomas Werthén spoke about Habo Municipality. He presented The King and Queen with a blanket and bags of sweets from Toms-Webes, which produces sweets in Habo. Habo has twice been named Sweden's best municipality to live in, in 2010 and 2012.
14:05 The King gave his speech at Rådhus Park.
An extract from The King's speech:
"On our journey through Jönköping County we have experienced some of the county's unique features. This is clearly an entrepreneurial county, with its manufacturing industry and its people who are known for their wealth of ideas and their strength of will."
14:03 County Governor Minoo Akhtarzand welcomed The King and Queen to Jönköping: "Today it is our turn to have the pleasure and the honour of a visit from The King and Queen, and to show them our fantastic county."
Fifteen minutes before The King's speech at Rådhus Park. Photo: royalcourt.se
12:37 Lunch began at the County Governor's official residence at Rådhus Park in Jönköping. 11:54 Chairman of Jönköping Municipal Executive Board Mats Green spoke about the municipality, which is the tenth largest in Sweden.
The King and Queen with Joel Enhörning at the Aluna sculpture, which was placed at Vaggeryd Centre to commemorate their visit. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/Scanpix
11:46 Joel Enhörning handed over Aluna, a work of art which was placed at Vaggeryd Centre to commemorate The King and Queen's visit. Aluna was created by the artist Ann Wolff.
CEO of Byarum Foundry Joel Enhörning explains to The King and County Governor Minoo Akhtarzand about production at the foundry. Photo: royalcourt.se
11:22 Joel Enhörning, CEO of Byarum Foundry, explained to The King and Queen about some of the company's products, including a large pot that Byarum produces based on a clay original at Sofiero Palace. The vessel was designed by Gustaf VI Adolf. 11:18 The King and Queen arrived at Byarum Foundry. At the entrance is a photograph from 1982 of the Royal Family sitting on a bench from Byarum. Byarum Foundry The company began operations in 1947, and was something of a pioneer, casting products in aluminium. Byarum Foundry's cast park benches can be seen in almost every municipality in Sweden. The company won the Design Strategy of the Year award in 2013. 11:08 A film about Byarum Foundry was shown on the coach. 10:45 The coach headed off for Vaggeryd. Chairman of Vaggeryd's Municipal Executive Board Berry Lilja spoke about the municipality. 10:32 Maria Johansson, Chair of the Citizen's Committee, explained about the municipality's integration work and the aim of making Värnamo Sweden's best municipality for lone refugee children. 10:28 The King and Queen were offered what Bruno Mathsson always ate during the working day: peppermint rock and hot water.
Chairman of the Board Håkan Sjöman shows Bruno Mathsson's Jetson seat and the Superellips table, which Mathsson designed in partnership with Piet Hein in 1964. Photo: royalcourt.se
10:10 The King and Queen were welcomed to the Bruno Mathsson Center by Chairman of the Board Håkan Sjöman.
The Bruno Mathsson Center
Bruno Mathsson, who would one day become the internationally best-known Swedish furniture designer of the 20th century, started his creative career in his father Karl's carpentry workshop in the house on Tånnögatan where the family lived. Today, the house forms the core of the Bruno Mathsson Center.
Find out more about Bruno Mathsson here.
Värnamo Scout Group presents a gift. Photo: royalcourt.se
10:04 The King and Queen met Scouts from Värnamo Scout Group, who presented them with a book.
10:01 The King and Queen left the Skattkistan Preschool and walked to Bruno Mathsson's house.
The children sing for The King and Queen. Photo: royalcourt.se
09:51 Children aged 1½ sang for The King and Queen. 09:45 Preschool head teacher Karin Persson spoke about the teaching methods at Skattkistan Preschool, which are inspired by the pedagogy of Reggio Emilio. The preschool has 51 pupils aged between one and six.
The King and Queen are welcomed to Skattkistan Preschool. Photo: royalcourt.se
09:37 The King and Queen arrived at Skattkistan Preschool in Apladalen, Värnamo.
09:24 Chairman of Värnamo Municipal Executive Board Hans-Göran Johansson spoke about the municipality, which is home to 33,000 people and 400 manufacturing businesses.
09:14 During the coach journey, County Governor Minoo Akhtarzand welcomed The King and Queen to Jönköping County, and spoke about the county and the many small businesses creating growth within the county.
09:11 The King and Queen arrived at Rydaholm, which marks the border between Kronoberg County and Jönköping County. County Governor Kristina Alsér handed over hosting duties to County Governor Minoo Akhtarzand.
08:43 County Governor Kristina Alsér prepared to hand over hosting duties to County Governor of Jönköping Minoo Akhtarzand. During the coach journey, Kristina spoke about the previous day.
How did yesterday go?
"It was a fantastic day. Both my husband and I thought so, as did everyone we spoke to who was involved in the visit. I wanted as many of the county's residents as possible to take part in the visit, and I think I succeeded in that. The dinner at the County Governor's official residence was inspired by the Sweden Dinner hosted by The King and Queen in February, so we invited a large number of guests."
Did everything go to plan?
"We had thought through all the elements carefully, but things actually went even better than expected. We hadn't been able to count on such beautiful weather, and it was extremely pleasing that so many people turned up everywhere we went."
What was the process involved in drawing up the programme?
"I've been in close contact with the Royal Court, and we've tried to bear in mind that this shouldn't just be an event for one day; instead, The King and Queen's visit should inspire ongoing activities. So the places we've visited have been energised, which may perhaps have sped up certain processes. The King and Queen's visit will leave a lasting legacy."
What was it important to show in the county?
"The 'soft' aspects, our faith in the future. We've been hit incredibly hard by job cuts during the autumn, but it's important to show that we are a county with our feet firmly on the ground and our roots in our history, but still with a desire to look to the future."
The programme for The King and Queen's visit on Thursday 7 March09:00 The King and Queen arrive at Rydaholm, where they are welcomed by County Governor Minoo Akhtarzand and her husband. 09:45 The King and Queen visit Skattkistan Preschool and the Bruno Mathsson Center in Värnamo. 11:00 The King and Queen visit Byarum Foundry. 12:30 Lunch at the County Governor's official residence. 14:00 The King gives a speech at Rådhus Park. 15:00 The King and Queen visit the biogas plant in Långhult, Habo. 16:00 The King and Queen visit Axtorp Sunhouse in Sandhem. The day ended with a visit to Habo Church.
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.
After the three county visits, The King and Queen said: "Our lasting impression is of all the many people who have come to meet us over the course of these three days, for which we are extremely grateful. The county governors have put together highly varied programmes, like a kaleidoscope of different parts of the counties. During our journeys, we have learnt about the municipalities and places we have visited, and the people who live and work there. Many people have told us about the challenges they have faced, and it has been encouraging to hear how they have dealt with these difficulties with a sense of optimism and firm faith in the future. We are already looking forward to the next three county visits to Halland, Skåne and Blekinge."