Sweden's National Day was celebrated on Thursday 6 June. This year, the Royal Family celebrated the day in Borlänge, Ludvika, Solna and Stockholm. 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.
The King and Queen began Sweden's National Day by visiting Borlänge and Ludvika.
The King gave a speech in Ludvika, in which he said:
"Today is also Swedish Flag Day. Seeing the colours of the Swedish flag, and presenting flags and standards, fills me with both joy and pride.
"I am proud to live in a country where respect for others is written into the constitution.
"I am proud to part of a community based on inclusion.
"I am proud of Sweden."
Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden
The National Day celebrations began with Prince Carl Philip welcoming visitors to the Royal Palace for Sweden's National Day.
The Prince Couple invited the visitors to enter through the South Gate. There was free entry to the Royal Palace on Sweden's National Day.
In the afternoon, The Crown Princess Couple took part in the National Day celebrations in Haga Park.
Soloists from the Royal Swedish Opera and the Royal Court Orchestra, the choir of the Royal Swedish Opera and dancers from the Royal Swedish Ballet performed a selection of ballet and opera pieces, together with Swedish early summer music and a sing-along session. The children's choir from Solna Cultural School performed together with the Royal Court Orchestra.
The Crown Princess gave a speech, in which she said:
"We have an obligation to defend and protect everything that makes our ancient, free nation a wonderful country in which to live. With respect for previous generations and consideration for future generations. And we will do so together!"
In the evening, the Royal Family travelled by cortège from the Royal Palace to Skansen.
On the Solliden Stage, Speaker of the Riksdag Anders Norlén gave a speech and The King presented flags and standards to associations and organisations.
The artists who performed were Carola Häggkvist, Bishara Morad, Lisa Nilsson, Nino Ramsby, Monica Dominique, the Army Music Corps, Semmy Stahlhammer and Maele Sabuni.
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.
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.