State visit from Germany – day 1
On Tuesday 7 September, President of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier began a three-day state visit to Sweden at the invitation of His Majesty The King. The President was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Elke Büdenbender.
The aim of the state visit was to promote the excellent relations between Sweden and Germany, and to further strengthen the countries' long-term political, economic, social and cultural links. The visit also aimed to encourage deeper cooperation within areas such as the climate, energy and digitalisation, with a focus on innovative, sustainable solutions.
The theme for the visit, which took place in Stockholm and Kiruna, was innovation, sustainability and democracy.
The Crown Princess and Prince Daniel welcomed President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Mrs Elke Büdenbender at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport.
At the Royal Stables, The King and Queen welcomed the Presidential couple before travelling in a horse-drawn cortège through Stockholm to the Royal Palace.
Welcoming ceremony at the Royal Palace
During the welcoming ceremony in the Inner Courtyard, His Excellency and His Majesty inspected a guard of honour from the Life Guards and the national anthems were played.
The Presidential couple were presented to the Speaker, the deputy speakers, the Prime Minister and the Government, the County Governor of Stockholm, the Supreme Commander and other representatives from the Swedish Armed Forces. The King and Queen were then introduced to the German delegation.
In the Victoria Salon, the Presidential couple greeted The Crown Princess, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia.
Press statements from The King and the President
The King and President Steinmeier then gave statements to the media in Queen Lovisa Ulrika's Dining Hall.
Visit to the German Church and the Riksdag building
The state visit from the Federal Republic of Germany continued during the afternoon with a visit to the German Church in Stockholm's Gamla Stan. The church was founded by King Johan III 450 years ago, and is the oldest German-language church outside Germany. At the church, the guests saw the king's gallery from 1762, the pulpit from 1660 and the retable from 1659.
The visit continued at the Riksdag building, where President Steinmeier and The King were welcomed by Speaker of the Riksdag Andreas Norlén. The President gave an address in the Second Chamber. He then met and spoke with the Prime Minister at the Adelcrantz Palace.
The Children's Ombudsman and Stockholm Child Advocacy Centre
During the afternoon, Mrs Büdenbender and The Queen visited the Children's Ombudsman with Minister Märta Stenevi. At the Children's Ombudsman, they learnt about the agency which works to represent the rights and interests of children and young people, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. They were joined during the visit by representatives from the World Childhood Foundation and Netclean, with whom they spoke about how children have been affected by the ongoing pandemic.
The Queen and Mrs Büdenbender then visited Stockholm Child Advocacy Centre. At child advocacy centres, child victims of sexual assaults can receive support and protection under a single roof. A multiprofessional team of police officers, social workers, paediatricians and psychologists work together so that children can avoid telling their story several times and being passed from agency to agency. Stockholm Child Advocacy Centre was established by the World Childhood Foundation, which was founded by The Queen.
Gala dinner at the Royal Palace
The first day of the state visit concluded with The King and Queen's gala dinner for the Presidential couple at the Royal Palace. The guests were welcomed in Queen Lovisa Ulrika's Dining Hall. The dinner was then served in the Vita Havet Assembly Rooms.
The King escorted Mrs Elke Büdenbender to the table, and The Queen was escorted to the table by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The state visit was adapted in view of the ongoing pandemic, and was carried out in accordance with the Public Health Agency of Sweden's recommendations.
State visits are the highest form of visit between two countries, and take place at head of state level. In Sweden, it is therefore The King who invites dignitaries on state visits to Sweden and who carries out state visits abroad.
The previous state visit between Sweden and Germany took place in October 2016, when The King and Queen visited Germany Opens in new window..