HM The King's speech at the luncheon with HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall
Royal Palace, Stockholm
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Your Royal Highnesses,
Mr Speaker of the Riksdag,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Queen and I are delighted to have this opportunity to wish Your Royal Highnesses a warm welcome to Sweden. We are very happy that you are here in connection with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee.
The ties and relationships between our families go way back. Prince Charles, you are a fifth-generation descendant of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. I am a fourth-generation descendant, on both my father's and mother's side. This is counting back to two of Queen Victoria's sons: Arthur of Connaught on my father's side, and Albert of Albany on my mother's.
Over the years we have had several occasions to meet with Your Royal Highnesses and the Royal Family. Each time we have been warmly received, and, perhaps needless to say, we have many dear memories from our stays. The most recent one was when Queen Silvia visited You at Highgrove on a very spontaneous stopover at the end of last year. I know that You then talked about coming here today.
I am pleased that we could pay a visit together to the Stockholm Resilience Centre this morning. Its goal is to bring about change for sustainable development by bridging science and policy to provide integrated analysis that can support decision makers.
Tomorrow we will see the Swedish warship Vasa. The ship sank after sailing less than a nautical mile into its maiden voyage in August 1628. The Vasa was almost forgotten, when located again in the late 1950s, just outside the Stockholm harbour. An extensive operation to elevate the ship from the deep waters began. At last, in 1987, the Vasa Museum could open its doors to the public.
During a visit like this, the various topics our countries have in common become quite obvious. Also our mutual membership of the European Union links us together, allowing us to work towards meeting some of the greatest challenges of our time, such as environmental and climate change issues. I find it gratifying that we both have a personal interest in these issues.
Membership of the European Union has made it easier to travel between our countries as well. Many people have benefited from these opportunities and our countries have moved closer together in the process.
The UK is now the third largest export market for Swedish companies, representing more than 7 per cent of Sweden's total exports, and it is the fifth largest import market for Sweden. Our dynamic trade relations with the UK have no doubt contributed to Sweden's strong economic growth, but equally, our companies employ a large number of British people and in this way contribute to the UK economy. Both governments are committed to free trade as well as an open trading environment.
The UK-Nordic-Baltic summit in Stockholm, earlier this year, shows us how much we can learn from each other's experiences of tackling common challenges in our societies. The Olympic Games are another good example of events that bring people from different countries together; a shared interest in sports link people in a positive way.
My family and I are always happy to attend the Olympic Games and follow competitions around the world.
Before the Olympic Games though, the Queen and I look very much forward to travelling to London in May. We are naturally very pleased to join You in the celebration of Her Majesty The Queen's 60 years on the throne.
Until we see each other again later on this spring, the Queen and I kindly ask you to convey our very best wishes to Her Majesty The Queen and to the other members of the Royal Family.