State visit from Iceland – day 1

From Wednesday 17 to Friday 19 January, Iceland's President Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson visited Sweden at the invitation of The King. The state visit focused on Iceland and Sweden's shared history, values and culture, as well as sustainability, home building and medical research cooperation.

President Jóhannesson came to Sweden with his wife, Eliza Jean Reid. The accompanying delegation included Minister for Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson and representatives from Icelandic businesses and organisations.

The three-day visit took in the cities of Stockholm and Uppsala.

During the ceremony in the Inner Courtyard. Photo: royalcourt.se

The King and Queen welcomed President Guðni Jóhannesson and Eliza Reid at the Royal Stables. The King and Queen and the Presidential couple then travelled by cortège, accompanied by escort troops and standard bearers from the Royal Life Guards, to the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

The welcoming ceremony was held in the Inner Courtyard. After the national anthems had been played, The King and the President inspected the Guard of Honour. The ceremony continued in the Hall of State, where representatives from the Riksdag and the Swedish Government had gathered to welcome the Presidential couple.

Gifts were exchanged in the Pillared Hall. Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia and Prince Daniel also attended.

Princess Sofia, Prince Carl Philip, Eliza Reid, President Guðni Jóhannesson, The King, The Queen and Prince Daniel in the Pillared Hall at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

The King and President Jóhannesson then gave a statement to the media in Queen Lovisa Ulrika's Dining Hall.

The King said: "An exciting programme awaits us over the next few days, with a particular focus on our shared history, culture and values, medical research cooperation, sustainability and home building. The issues are important for the future, and we have a lot to learn from each other in these areas.

"To mention just a couple of examples, Iceland enjoys international success within nature tourism – an industry with great potential for growth in Sweden. And here in Sweden, we are pioneers within sustainable construction, while Iceland is planning to build many new homes over the next few years.

"A state visit such as this involves confirming the relationship between two countries. However, it is also an opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas."

Watch The King's and President Jóhannesson's speeches. Video: Kaffegruppen/royalcourt.se

The King and Queen then hosted lunch for the Presidential couple.

During the afternoon, President Jóhannesson met Urban Ahlin at the Riksdag building. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven then received the President at Rosenbad for discussions.

At the same time, The Queen and Eliza Reid visited the Treasury and the Bernadotte Library at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, followed by a visit to Stockholm City Library. At the library, a seminar was held, Found in Translation, to address promoting literature abroad and the role of translations and translators in society. Eliza Reid gave an opening address on how books build bridges.

Moderator Harald Hultqvist, Helen Sigeland, Svante Weyler, John Swedenmark and Eliza Reid during the seminar Found in Translation at Stockholm City Library. Photo: royalcourt.se

The first day of the state visit concluded with The King and Queen's gala dinner for the Presidential couple at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

The guests were welcomed in the Vita Havet Assembly Rooms. The dinner was then held in Karl XI's Gallery.

The guests are welcomed in the Vita Havet Assembly Rooms. Photo: royalcourt.se

The King accompanied Eliza Reid to the table. Jenni Ahlin, wife of the Speaker, was seated to his left.

The Queen was accompanied to the table by President Jóhannesson. Speaker Urban Ahlin was seated to her right.

Prince Carl Philip accompanied the Speaker's wife, Jenni Ahlin, to the table. Minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson was seated to his left.

Princess Sofia was accompanied to the table by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. President Jóhannesson was seated to her right.

Prince Daniel accompanied Ágústa Johnson, wife of Iceland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the table. Eliza Reid was seated to his left.

The Queen and President Guðni Jóhannesson. Photo: royalcourt.se

During the evening, The King gave a speech in which he said: "Sweden and Iceland enjoy exceptionally good relations. Our sense of community stretches a long way back in history, and now takes different forms of expression.

"Firstly, we help each other. We cooperate both bilaterally and at Nordic, European and international levels. We also have far-reaching agreement on many key issues, not least when it comes to human rights, equality and the environment.

"Secondly, there is cultural solidarity between our peoples and our countries. A mutual interest, you might say. […]

"And thirdly, and perhaps most strongly, our sense of community is expressed through personal links. Many Swedes choose to live, work and study in Iceland. And I'm not just talking about football team captains! Many Icelanders also do the same in Sweden."

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Confit of char with herbs, pickled spruce shoots,
trout roe vinaigrette and chive oil

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Butter-baked fillet of cod with smoked cod cheeks,
brandade and horseradish butter sauce

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Roasted fillet of venison with fried duck liver, potato fondant,
game jus with black Périgord truffle and spinach leaves

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Lemon mousse with yoghurt ice cream and meringues

The dinner in Karl XI's Gallery. Photo: Raphael Stecksén

State visits

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. One or more ministers always represent their country on state visits.

Find out more hereopens in new window.