State visit from the Netherlands
At the invitation of HM The King, Their Majesties The King and Queen of the Netherlands paid a state visit to Sweden on 11–13 October 2022.
The state visit began with The Crown Princess Couple welcoming the Dutch King and Queen at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport.
The Dutch guests were then received by The King and Queen at the Royal Stables, after which the Kings and Queens travelled by horse and carriage through the streets of Stockholm.
A traditional welcoming ceremony for the King and Queen of the Netherlands took place in the Inner Courtyard of the Royal Palace. The Kings then inspected a Grenadier Company from the Life Guard, and the national anthems were played. The Speaker of the Riksdag, the Deputy Speakers, the Prime Minister and ministers from the transitional government were also present to welcome the Dutch guests.
The state visit begins
A welcoming ceremony marked the beginning of a three-day state visit programme. The aim of the state visit was to strengthen and promote the excellent relations between Sweden and the Netherlands, which stretch back to the 17th century. The two countries are working together to make Europe greener, more resilient and stronger economically. The state visit focused on issues relating to green innovation, an inclusive energy transition and life sciences, maritime relations and gender equality.
The royal families of Sweden and the Netherlands are extremely close. The King, The Crown Princess and Princess Estelle have – or have had – godparents from the Dutch royal family. The families have met on many occasions during state visits and official visits, as well as during private gatherings.
State visit, 11–13 October
Tuesday 11 October
After the welcoming ceremony, the Dutch King and Queen were welcomed to Sweden in the Grand Guest Apartment at the Royal Palace by The Crown Princess, Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia.
Exchange of orders
During the state visit, orders were exchanged between the two royal families. The King of the Netherlands, who was named a Knight of the Seraphim as Prince of Orange in 1993, was awarded the Chain of the Royal Order of the Seraphim – a special honour. The Queen of the Netherlands was also made a foreign member of the Order of the Seraphim. The Queen has been a Knight Commander with Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Polar Star since 2009.
In connection with the state visit, the King of the Netherlands also awarded orders to the Swedish Royal Family. The Crown Princess was awarded the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Netherlands Lion, while Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia were all awarded the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Crown.
In Queen Lovisa Ulrika's Dining Hall at the Royal Palace, The King of Sweden and the King of the Netherlands gave press statements in connection with the beginning of the state visit from Netherlands.
Dutch-Swedish cooperation spans more than four centuries, beginning in 1614, when our nations signed a treaty to join forces on defence, trade and maritime affairs. I am pleased that during this state visit, steps will be taken to further strengthen our partnership on defence and security, as well as on life science and sustainable transportation.”
HM The King
The King and Queen then hosted lunch for their guests at the Royal Palace.
The Vasa Museum
At the Vasa Museum, the Kings and Queens of Sweden and the Netherlands were given a tour of the Vasa ship.
The visit concluded with representatives from the Netherlands returning a valuable ship's bell from the warship Sophia Albertina, which sank off the Dutch coast in 1781. The Netherlands and Sweden share a special relationship with the sea and naval history, with ports and shipping having laid the foundations for the countries' relations in a 1614 shipping treaty.
Gala dinner at the Royal Palace
In the evening, The King and Queen hosted a gala dinner for the Dutch King and Queen. The dinner was served in Karl XI's Gallery in the State Apartments at the Royal Palace. The invited guests included the Dutch delegation, representatives of official Sweden and Swedes with a particular connection to the Netherlands.
During the dinner, The King gave a speech in which he said:
In times like these, close friendships and strong partnerships are more important than ever. Your Majesties: This state visit manifests the close bond between our countries, and lays the ground for further cooperation and progress. Once again, it is my great joy to extend to you a very warm welcome to Sweden.”
HM The King
Wednesday 12 October
Round-table discussions on industry issues
The second day of the Dutch King and Queen's state visit to Sweden began with the Kings and Queens attending round-table industry discussions, addressing how to build a sustainable, resilient and economically stronger Europe. The focus was on the green energy transition, changing delivery chains and opportunities for closer cooperation. Government representatives and delegates from Dutch and Swedish industry organisations and businesses took part in the round-table discussions.
Lunch at Stockholm City Hall
In keeping with tradition, the City of Stockholm hosted lunch at Stockholm City Hall. The Kings and Queens, The Crown Princess Couple and The Prince Couple were welcomed to Stockholm City Hall by Chair of the Municipal Council Cecilia Brinck and Finance Commissioner Anna König Jerlmyr. Lunch was then served in the Golden Hall.
In the afternoon, the Kings and Queens were given a demonstration of the electric hydrofoil Candela, which glides over the water. The vessel operates using battery power, and a larger model is expected to become part of clean public ferry transport in association with Region Stockholm from 2023 onwards.
The Kings and Queens then travelled from Värta Harbour to Stockholm Exergi and Värta Power Station. The company works to ensure access to heat, electricity, cooling and waste services for the Stockholm region.
At Stockholm Exergi, the royal visitors learnt about the company's plans to build Europe's first large-scale negative emissions plant, which involves storing carbon dioxide instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. Stockholm's district heating will be produced using 100 percent renewable or recycled energy by 2030.
At the Karolinska Institutet, the Kings and Queens visited SciLifeLab – the Science for Life Laboratory – in Solna. SciLifeLab is a Swedish national science centre for large-scale research within bioscience, medicine and the environment.
In the evening, the Dutch King and Queen hosted a Tim Kliphuis Ensemble concert at Stockholm Concert Hall for their Swedish hosts and invited guests.
Thursday 13 October
The third day of the Dutch state visit took place in Gothenburg. The day began with a visit to Lindholmen Science Park, an international business park with a focus on mobile internet, intelligent vehicles and transport systems, and modern media and design.
From Lindholmen, the Kings and Queens took the ferry Eloise to the official residence of County Governor of Västra Götaland Sten Tolgfors, who hosted lunch.
In the afternoon, the Kings and Queens were given a presentation of the work carried out by the Port of Gothenburg to achieve greener shipping within the EU. The Port of Gothenburg is the Nordic region's largest harbour, with over 11,000 vessels from more than 140 destinations around the world calling each year.
Finally, the Kings and Queens visited Volvo AB where they were given a presentation of the group's green transition, which includes every aspect from production to end-product. The visit concluded with a practical demonstration of electric trucks and electric excavators.
Departure ceremony at Landvetter Airport
The state visit concluded with The King and Queen saying farewell to the Dutch King and Queen during a departure ceremony at Landvetter Airport.
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 the two countries took place in 1983, when The King and Queen visited Spain.