State visit from Finland
A two-day state visit from Finland began on 17 May. President Sauli Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio visited Sweden at the invitation of HM The King. The President was accompanied by a delegation including representatives from the Finnish Government and industry.
The aim of the state visit was to confirm the excellent relations between Sweden and Finland, and to promote the two countries' extensive ongoing cooperation, which can be developed further. This applies within emergency preparedness and civil defence, as well as cooperation between the countries' armed forces, and between businesses working with innovation and the green transition. Culture and its re-start following the pandemic was also observed in connection with the visit.
The visit took place over the course of two days, in Stockholm and its surroundings.
Reception at the Royal Stables
In keeping with tradition, The King and Queen welcomed the Presidential couple at the Royal Stables. The King and Queen and the Presidential couple then travelled by horse and carriage from the Royal Stables to the Royal Palace.
Welcome ceremony at the Royal Palace
The Finnish state visit began with the traditional cortège through the streets of Stockholm. In the Inner Courtyard of the Royal Palace, The King and the President inspected the Grenadier Company from the Life Guard, and the national anthems were played.
Representatives from the Riksdag and the Government were also present to welcome the Finnish guests. In the Victoria Salon, Finland's Presidential couple were welcomed to Sweden by The Crown Princess, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia.
In Queen Lovisa Ulrika's Dining Hall, The King and President Niinistö gave press statements. In his statement, The King said:
The proximity between Finland and Sweden is not only geographic. We also share history, culture and values. We are colleagues and partners. Friends and family."
HM The King
The Bernadotte Library and the Riksdag
The Queen and Mrs Haukio were given a tour of the Bernadotte Library at the Royal Palace. They then visited the Riksdag together with The King, where President Niinistö gave an address.
Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde
In the afternoon, the state visit from Finland continued with The Queen and Mrs Haukio visiting Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde. There, they saw the exhibition 'Light over Sea and Land – The Önningeby Colony on Åland'.
At Kulturhuset, The King and Queen and the Presidential couple attended the event 'The past, the present and the future: How can Swedish-Finnish cultural cooperation be developed?'. There, representatives from the culture industry spoke about the cultural links between Finland and Sweden, and visions for the future.
Gala dinner at the Royal Palace
In the evening, The King and Queen hosted a gala dinner for the Finnish Presidential couple. The dinner was served in Karl XI's Gallery in the State Apartments at the Royal Palace. The invited guests included the Finnish delegation, representatives of official Sweden and Swedes with a particular connection to Finland.
The table linen was a gift to The King from the Riksdag and the Swedish Government on his twentieth jubilee. The tablecloths were woven in linen at Klässbols Väveri by master weaver Hans Thomsson. The pattern was designed by Karin Björquist. The King and Queen's monogram is featured at the centre.
The porcelain used for the first course and the dessert was a gift to The King from the Riksdag and the Swedish Government on his 50th birthday in 1996. The porcelain used for the fish course belonged to Queen Josefina and dates from the late 19th century. The porcelain used for the meat course belonged to Grand Duchess Louise of Baden, and dates from the 1850s.
Charred mackerel from Bohuslän,
iced consommé of cucumber and gooseberry
with aromatic herbs and flowers
Confit of rainbow trout from Åland with asparagus from Gotland,
buttered asparagus juice and trout roe
Fillet of veal 'Oscar II' with langoustines from Fjällbacka,
spring vegetables with tarragon and truffled veal gravy
Vanilla-infused forced rhubarb with rhubarb mousse, almonds,
sorrel sorbet and wild chamomile
During the banquet, The King gave a speech in which he said:
Our countries have a Nordic identity that involves more than just geographic proximity – it also involves shared values."
HM The King
The Finnish Institute in Stockholm
The second day of the state visit began with The King and President Niinistö taking part in a discussion at the Finnish Institute in Stockholm with representatives from Swedish and Finnish industry.
The theme for the discussion was the two countries' cooperation to reinforce their resilience and their innovation cooperation, and to hasten the green transition.
Berga Naval Base
At Berga Naval Base, The King, President Niinistö and Prince Carl Philip were given a preview of the Amphibious Regiment's and the Fourth Naval Warfare Flotilla's vessels and equipment.
There then followed a review of Swedish-Finnish defence cooperation and discussions with security and defence policy experts.
The Swedish Academy
Earlier in the day, The Queen and Mrs Haukio visited the Swedish Academy, where Permanent Secretary Mats Malm spoke about the Academy's work with dictionaries, scholarships, the Nobel Prize in Literature and publishing books. They also saw an exhibition of archive items.
At Nordiska Museet, The Queen and Mrs Haukio visited an activity centre for Ukrainian children which is being run in partnership with a non-profit organisation, the Boost for Preparedness.
The centre opened in mid-April, and aims to offer children who have fled from Ukraine a safe environment with routines and socialisation.
Lunch at Stockholm City Hall
In keeping with tradition, the City of Stockholm hosted lunch at Stockholm City Hall. There, the Swedish Royal Family and Finland's Presidential couple were welcomed by Chair of the Municipal Council Cecilia Brinck and Finance Commissioner Anna König Jerlmyr. Lunch was served in the Golden Hall.
The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
In the afternoon, The King and Queen and Mrs Haukio visited the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency where they were given a presentation of Swedish-Finnish cooperation within emergency preparedness and civil defence.
Reciprocal reception and departure
The Finnish state visit concluded with the Presidential couple holding a reception for their Swedish hosts at the Finnish ambassador's official residence.
Later that evening, the Royal Family and the Presidential couple gathered at the Royal Palace to wish each other farewell.
A state visit is the highest form of visit between two countries, and involves two heads of state meeting in a ceremonial form to strengthen relations between the two countries.
State visits aim to lay the foundation for strong personal contact and greater political, trade and cultural exchanges between the countries. Government ministers and an industry delegation also take part in state visits.