Sweden's National Day was celebrated on Wednesday 6 June. This year, the Royal Family celebrated the day in Stockholm and at Strömsholm. The evening was rounded off with the traditional celebrations at Skansen and the National Day reception, followed by a military tattoo at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.
The National Day celebrations began with The King welcoming visitors to the Open Palace event in the Outer Courtyard. The King and Queen then invited the visitors to enter through the West Gate. There was free entry to the Royal Palace of Stockholm on Sweden's National Day:
The Crown Princess and Prince Daniel celebrated National Day by visiting Strömsholm Palace and Strömsholm Riding School in Hallstahammar Municipality.
This year marks the centenary of the riding competitions at the palace, and the riding school is celebrating its 150th anniversary.
The Crown Princess gave a speech, in which she said:
"Today, Sweden is a country that offers peace, prosperity and democracy. A country where everyone has access to nature. A country where basic freedoms and rights are respected. All these things have characterised Sweden for many years. They have shaped those of us who live here, and it is not perhaps surprising if we take them for granted. But the fact remains that living here and now is a great privilege. Let us value this privilege! Let us celebrate it. Today – and every day."
In the evening, the Royal Family travelled by cortège from the Royal Palace of Stockholm to Skansen.
Darin, Henrik Phung, Marianne Mörck, David Lindgren, Maria Misgeld, Åsa Larsson, John Lundvik, Elin Rombo and Kulturama, as well as the Army Music Corps under the direction of Mats Janhagen, all performed on the Solliden Stage. Anne Lundberg was the compère for the evening.
At Solliden, The King gave a speech in which he said:
"My Sweden. Your Sweden. Yes, there are just as many stories about our country as there are inhabitants. More than ten million. And together we make up our Sweden.
"Our Sweden is hay barns and skyscrapers.
Our Sweden is busy town squares and peaceful forest glades.
Our Sweden is all the places in our country where we feel at home. Where we remember our history and build our future.
"Yes, our Sweden offers much to be proud of! And we have much to celebrate on Sweden's National Day!"
After the celebrations at Skansen, The King and Queen invited representatives from the Swedish Parliament and Government, the public sector and the diplomatic corps to a reception at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.
National Day ended with a tattoo by the Army Music Corps at Logården.
Skansen's founder Artur Hazelius initiated Sweden's National Day on 6 June 1893, but it was not until more than twenty years later that the tradition spread to the whole of the country.
Wholesaler Nils Ljunggren suggested holding a flag day in 1915. The following year, Swedish Flag Day was commemorated at Stockholm Olympic Stadium and at more than a hundred other locations throughout Sweden. It was on this occasion at Stockholm Olympic Stadium that 'Sweden's Flag', composed by Hugo Alfvén with words by K. G. Ossiannilsson, was first performed.
The tradition of the monarch presenting standards to associations began in 1918, and has continued almost every year since then. King Carl XVI Gustaf first took part in the celebrations at Stockholm Olympic Stadium in 1949.
In 1963, the celebrations were moved to Skansen. Swedish Flag Day officially became Sweden's National Day in 1983, and 6 June has been a public holiday since 2005. The date was chosen because Gustav Vasa was elected King of Sweden on this date in 1523 by a parliament in Strängnäs, and the Instrument of Government was signed on this date in 1809.