On 22-24 May, The King and Queen visited Ireland at the invitation of Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins. The state visit focused on digitalisation, sustainability, healthcare, culture and cooperation within the EU and the UN.
The three-day visit took place in Dublin, Athlone, Galway and Burren. The Swedish Government was represented by Minister Margot Wallström, Minister Anders Ygeman and State Secretary Maja Fjaestad.
At the official presidential residence Áras an Uachtaráin, The King and Queen were welcomed by President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina Higgins. The countries' national anthems were played during the ceremony.
The King inspected the guard of honour and then planted a sessile oak, the national tree of the Republic of Ireland. The previous state visit to Ireland took place in 1992, when The King also planted a tree.
In the Garden of Remembrance, The King laid a memorial wreath from The King and Queen dedicated to the Irish who gave their lives during the Irish War of Independence.
Find out more about the Garden of Remembrance here.
Croke Park is home to Ireland's largest voluntary association for culture and traditional sports, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). At the association's museum, The King and Queen and the Swedish delegation saw an exhibition about traditional Irish sports. Next to the museum is the Croke Park stadium, where hurling and Gaelic football were demonstrated.
Hurling is a team sport in which the players use a wooden stick called a hurl to hit a small ball over or under the opponents' crossbar. The sport has been played in Ireland for more than 4,000 years.
In Gaelic football, the players can use both their hands and their feet to score goals with the football, which is smaller and heavier than a regular football. The rules of the game were devised in the 16th century.
Fun & Run is a specially designed programme that focuses on the integration and inclusion of people with disabilities into Gaelic games, while also giving participants the chance to take part in 60 minutes of moderate to powerful activity.
The state visit included an industry delegation from Business Sweden, with representatives from 15 Swedish businesses that have links to Ireland. During a lunch hosted by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, The King and Queen met the various businesses and learnt about their work.
Find out more about the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Ireland here.
The King and Queen and the Swedish delegation were welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Dublin (the Ardmhéara), Nial Ring, for a reception at Mansion House.
During the reception, The King and Queen met Irish citizens with links to Sweden.
During the reception, The King gave a speech in which he thanked the Lord Mayor for his hospitality and the warm welcome.
Read the speech in full here.
Find out more about the Lord Mayor of Dublin here.
At Ireland's parliament, The King and Queen were welcomed by Speaker of the Lower House Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Speaker of the Upper House Denis O'Donovan for a meeting. Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström and State Secretary Maja Fjaestad also took part in the meeting.
Find out more about the Houses of the Oireachtas here.
On the first evening of the state visit, President Michael D. Higgins and Mrs Sabina Higgins hosted a dinner at the official presidential residence in honour of The King and Queen.
During the evening, The King gave a speech to the guests in which he said:
"It is my hope and conviction that this state visit will contribute to even stronger bonds and cooperation between our two countries."
Read the speech in full here.
Download high-resolution images from the press room.
» Find out about the second day of the state visit here.
» Find out about the third day of the state visit here.