State visit from France

HE President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Mrs Brigitte Macron paid a state visit to Sweden on 30–31 January 2024 at the invitation of HM The King.

The King and Queen and the Presidential couple welcomed the guests to the Vita Havet Assembly Rooms before Tuesday evening's gala dinner.

The King and Queen and the Presidential couple welcomed the guests to the Vita Havet Assembly Rooms before Tuesday evening's gala dinner. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The aim of the state visit was to further strengthen and promote the long-standing, broad and excellent relations between Sweden and France. It also aimed to encourage deeper cooperation within areas such as innovation and the green transition, as well as defence and security in the surrounding area.

Tuesday 30 January

Welcoming ceremony

The state visit began with The King and Queen welcoming President and Mrs Macron at the West Gate of the Royal Palace. A traditional welcoming ceremony was then held for the Presidential couple.

The King welcomes President Macron as the Presidential couple arrive at the Royal Palace.

The King welcomes President Macron as the Presidential couple arrive at the Royal Palace. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and Queen with the Presidential couple at the West Gate of the Royal Palace.

The King and Queen with the Presidential couple at the West Gate of the Royal Palace. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Welcoming ceremony in the Inner Courtyard.

Welcoming ceremony in the Inner Courtyard. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and President Macron in front of the Grenadier Company.

The King and President Macron in front of the Grenadier Company. Photo: Henrik Garlöv/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and President Macron inspected a Grenadier Company from the Life Guard, and the national anthems were played.

The King and President Macron inspect a Grenadier Company from the Life Guard.

The King and President Macron inspect a Grenadier Company from the Life Guard. Photo: Henrik Garlöv/The Royal Court of Sweden

Many well-wishers had gathered in the Inner Courtyard to welcome the Presidential couple.

Many well-wishers had gathered in the Inner Courtyard to welcome the Presidential couple. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

In the Hall of State, the French guests were presented to the Speaker, the deputy speakers, the Prime Minister and ministers. The King and Queen also greeted the French delegation.

The welcoming ceremony in the Hall of State.

The welcoming ceremony in the Hall of State. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and President Macron during the welcoming ceremony.

The King and President Macron during the welcoming ceremony. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

After the welcoming ceremony, France's Presidential couple were welcomed to Sweden by The Crown Princess, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia in the Bernadotte Apartments. An exchange of state orders between the two countries also took place.

The Royal Family and the Presidential couple.

The Royal Family and the Presidential couple. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Exchange of orders

In connection with the state visit, HM The King has appointed HE President Emanuel Macron a Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim. The Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Polar Star has also been conferred upon Mrs Brigitte Macron.

Before the French state visit to Sweden, the President of France had appointed The Crown Princess a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour. The Crown Princess already holds the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit.

Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Prince Daniel Sofia were also appointed Grand Officers of the Legion of Honour in connection with the state visit.

The King and Queen already hold the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour.

Find out more about orders

The King and President Macron gave press statements in Queen Lovisa Ulrika's Dining Hall.

In his press statement, The King said:

During these days, let us work together to deepen and develop the friendship and cooperation between our countries in the best possible way.

HM The King

The King gave a press statement in Lovisa Ulrika's Dining Hall at the Royal Palace.

The King gave a press statement in Lovisa Ulrika's Dining Hall at the Royal Palace. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and Queen then hosted lunch for their guests at the Royal Palace.

The Queen and Mrs Macron during their visit to Rinkeby School.

The Queen and Mrs Macron during their visit to Rinkeby School. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Rinkeby School and Moderna Museet

After lunch, The Queen and Brigitte Macron visited Rinkeby School, where they were given presentations of the school, the student health team and the student council. There then followed a discussion and a classroom visit.

The Queen and Mrs Macron speak with students at Rinkeby School.

The Queen and Mrs Macron speak with students at Rinkeby School. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The Queen and Mrs Macron also visited Moderna Museet. There, a seminar was held on how exchanges within visual and preforming arts can be strengthened, with a particular focus on regional development and how to reach a younger audience. The Queen and Mrs Macron saw parts of the museum's collections, and also met a group of young creatives from Botkyrka.

Moderna Museet's Director Gitte Ørskou gave a tour to The Queen, First Lady Brigitte Macron and Minister for Culture Parisa Liljestrand.

Moderna Museet's Director Gitte Ørskou gave a tour to The Queen, First Lady Brigitte Macron and Minister for Culture Parisa Liljestrand. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The Queen and Mrs Macron met a group of young creatives from Botkyrka.

The Queen and Mrs Macron met a group of young creatives from Botkyrka. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The Queen with one of the young people from Botkyrka.

The Queen with one of the young people from Botkyrka. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Round-table discussion and address on security policy

At Karlberg Castle, The King, President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minster Ulf Kristersson took part in a round-table discussion on the future of European security, together with security policy experts from Sweden and France.

The King gave a speech during the security seminar at Karlberg Castle.

The King gave a speech during the security seminar at Karlberg Castle. Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden

Following the discussion, which also included Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström, Minister for Defence Pål Jonson and National Security Advisor Henrik Landerholm, President Macron gave a longer address to cadets from the Swedish Defence University and other invited guests. The King and the Prime Minister also spoke.

Gala dinner at the Royal Palace

In the evening, The King and Queen hosted a gala dinner for the French Presidential couple. The dinner was served in Karl XI's Gallery in the State Apartments at the Royal Palace.

The invited guests included the French delegation, representatives of official Sweden and Swedes with a particular connection to France.

The King and President Macron arrive for the gala dinner.

The King and President Macron arrive for the gala dinner. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The Queen and Mrs Brigitte Macron.

The Queen and Mrs Brigitte Macron. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The Crown Princess and Prince Daniel.

The Crown Princess and Prince Daniel. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia.

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and Queen and the Presidential couple in the Vita Havet Assembly Rooms.

The King and Queen and the Presidential couple in the Vita Havet Assembly Rooms. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The gala dinner was held in Karl XI's Gallery.

The gala dinner was held in Karl XI's Gallery. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and Mrs Brigitte Macron during the dinner.

The King and Mrs Brigitte Macron during the dinner. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The Queen and President Macron.

The Queen and President Macron. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

One of the courses during the evening's gala dinner.

One of the courses during the evening's gala dinner. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Princess Christina, Mrs Magnuson speaks with France's Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu.

Princess Christina, Mrs Magnuson speaks with France's Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

During the dinner, The King gave a speech in which he said:

Historically, Sweden and France have been part of the same military alliance on several occasions. We will soon do so again.

The war in Ukraine has been a turning point for European security. It has also led to Sweden's decision to apply for membership of NATO.

France has shown strong support for us in this matter, for which we are very grateful.

HM The King

The King gave a speech during the gala dinner.

The King gave a speech during the gala dinner. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Wednesday 31 January

The second day of the French Presidential couple's state visit to Sweden began with The King, The Crown Princess Couple and President Macron taking part in an industry seminar – Accelerating Europe's Competitiveness – arranged by Business Sweden at Stockholm City Hall. Around 200 representatives from Swedish and French industry took part.

Stockholm City Hall.

Stockholm City Hall. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and President Macron were welcomed to Stockholm City Hall by Chair of the Municipal Executive Board Karin Wanngård and Chair of the Municipal Council Olle Burell.

The King and President Macron were welcomed to Stockholm City Hall by Chair of the Municipal Executive Board Karin Wanngård and Chair of the Municipal Council Olle Burell. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The Crown Princess Couple took part in the industry seminar at Stockholm City Hall.

The Crown Princess Couple took part in the industry seminar at Stockholm City Hall. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The interior of Stockholm City Hall, decorated with flags.

The interior of Stockholm City Hall, decorated with flags. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

During the seminar, The King gave a speech.

The King gives a speech during the seminar.

The King gives a speech during the seminar. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

President Macron signs Stockholm City Hall's guest book.

President Macron signs Stockholm City Hall's guest book. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and The Crown Princess Couple with President Macron at Stockholm City Hall.

The King and The Crown Princess Couple with President Macron at Stockholm City Hall. Photo: Margareta Thorgren/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and Queen and the Presidential couple board the plane for Skåne.

The King and Queen and the Presidential couple board the plane for Skåne. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King with the Presidential couple on board the plane.

The King with the Presidential couple on board the plane. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

European Spallation Source

During the afternoon, the state visit continued in Skåne at the European Spallation Source (ESS) collaboration project in Lund. A presentation of operations at the multidisciplinary research facility was followed by a visit to an accelerator tunnel. When ESS is complete, it will be the world’s most powerful accelerator-based neutron source for studying the structure and behaviour of materials at atomic level.

The King and President Macron are welcomed to the ESS research facility in Lund.

The King and President Macron are welcomed to the ESS research facility in Lund. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Visit to an accelerator tunnel.

Visit to an accelerator tunnel. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Alfa Laval

The King and the President then visited Alfa Laval in Lund. After a presentation of Alfa Laval's green transition work, they were given a presentation of various energy chain innovations, including fossil-free steel heat exchangers and heat pumps. Alfa Laval's hydrogen and nuclear power operations were also demonstrated.

The King and President Macron during the visit to Alfa Laval.

The King and President Macron during the visit to Alfa Laval. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

A declaration of intent on cooperation between Sweden and France on nuclear technology research was signed during a special ceremony. This was followed by a visit to the factory where the company's products are manufactured.

Signing the declaration of intent.

Signing the declaration of intent. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Tour of Alfa Laval's factory in Lund.

Tour of Alfa Laval's factory in Lund. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Malmö Child Advocacy Centre

During the afternoon, The Queen and Brigitte Macron visited Malmö Child Advocacy Centre. Here, children who are thought to have been victims of crime can tell their story to specially trained staff in a safe and specially adapted environment. Instead of being passed from authority to authority, they meet police officers, prosecutors, social services, paediatricians, and child and adolescent psychiatrists in one place.

The Queen and Mrs Brigitte Macron speak with staff at Malmö Child Advocacy Centre.

The Queen and Mrs Brigitte Macron speak with staff at Malmö Child Advocacy Centre. Photo: Sarah Steck/Presidency of the Republic

Friends Foundation

The Queen and Brigitte Macron then met representatives from the Friends Foundation for a presentation of their work to combat bullying. Friends was established in 1997, with the vision of a world where no child is bullied. The foundation works with schools and sports associations, and to create a safe digital environment.

The King and President Macron arrive at Lund University.

The King and President Macron arrive at Lund University. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Studentafton debate forum at Lund University

President Emmanuel Macron was then a guest at Studentafton, in the presence of The King and Queen and Brigitte Macron. Studentafton is a forum for speech and debate, and is run by students at Lund University. Since it began, Studentafton has arranged many evenings featuring politicians, royalty, Nobel Prize winners, scientists, musicians and writers.

The Presidential couple then hosted a reception in Lund in honour of The King and Queen.

Studentafton is a forum for speech and debate, and is run by students.

Studentafton is a forum for speech and debate, and is run by students. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The Presidential couple hosted a reception in honour of The King and Queen.

The Presidential couple hosted a reception in honour of The King and Queen. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The Presidential couple hosted a reception in Lund in honour of The King and Queen.

The Presidential couple hosted a reception in Lund in honour of The King and Queen. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

Departure ceremony at Malmö Airport

The state visit concluded with The King and Queen wishing President and Mrs Macron farewell during a departure ceremony at Malmö Airport.

The departure ceremony at Malmö Airport.

The departure ceremony at Malmö Airport. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and Queen wish President Macron and Mrs Brigitte Macron farewell.

The King and Queen wish President Macron and Mrs Brigitte Macron farewell. Photo: Clément Morin/The Royal Court of Sweden

State visits

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 foundations for strong personal contact and greater political, trade and cultural exchanges between the countries. Government ministers and a business delegation also take part in state visits.

Read more about state visits

Images from previous state visits

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