The King and Queen visit Västernorrland County

The Queen at Koltrasten care home in Härnösand.

The Queen at Koltrasten care home in Härnösand. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

On Tuesday 24 August, The King and Queen visited Västernorrland County to highlight initiatives being carried out in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The King and Queen were welcomed to the county and to the County Governor's official residence in Härnösand by County Governor Berit Högman. At the official residence, the County Governor, together with County Director Daniel Gustafsson, Director of Region Västernorrland Åsa Bellander and Director of Härnösand Municipality Lars Liljedahl, spoke about how the pandemic has affected Västernorrland, and about the resulting challenges and valuable lessons.

The King and Queen with County Governor Berit Högman.

The King and Queen with County Governor Berit Högman. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Care home visit

After the introductory meeting at the official residence, The King and Queen visited Koltrasten care home where they were welcomed by Unit Manager Frida Norberg.

Staff at the care home spoke about operations and how the challenges of the pandemic have affected their work and the residents.

The King and Queen spoke with some of the residents in Koltrasten's courtyard.

The King and Queen spoke with some of the residents in Koltrasten's courtyard. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The cultural industry

One of the subjects discussed during the visit was how the pandemic has affected the county's cultural organisations. Norrland's dance company Norrdans described how they have adapted during the pandemic and have offered cultural events in formats that are as Covid-safe as possible, including performances at homes for the elderly.

The King and Queen, the County Governor and the residents watched two short dance performances in Koltrasten's courtyard.

The King and Queen, the County Governor and the residents watched two short dance performances in Koltrasten's courtyard. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

School visit

The King and Queen then visited the Castor restaurant, where they were welcomed by Stellan Jakobsson, vocational programme director at Härnösand Upper Secondary School.

Lunch began with the programme director, teachers and students describing how the pandemic has affected the school, student health work during the pandemic and ensuring that the students have a positive outlook.

Lunch was then served, having been prepared by students from year 3 of the food programme.

Industry

After lunch, The King and Queen visited Härnösand's industry unit where Director of Härnösand Municipality Lars Liljedahl, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise's Regional Manager Anna Hedensjö Johansson and Härnösand Municipality's Head of Business Development Petra Forsström talked about how the pandemic has affected the county's industry and the municipality's various support initiatives for businesses.

Representatives from three companies and three industries then shared their perspectives on the pandemic. The following took part:

  • Marketing Manager Sofie Indevall and CEO Mikael Fränckel from SEKAB, Örnsköldsvik
  • Rikard and Jenny Horn, Jeansbolaget, Härnösand
  • Per Johansson, Ljud & Ljus, Sundsvall

Integration

The day concluded at Y:et, near Midlanda Airport in Timrå Municipality. The visit began with a discussion between Christina Thonman (Operational Manager at Söråker Folkets Hus), Anders Fällström (Chancellor of Mid Sweden University) and Annelie Ringbro (Unit Manager at Timrå Competence Centre) about the consequences of the pandemic in terms of integration, skills development and job creation.

The King and Queen at Y:et in Timrå Municipality.

The King and Queen at Y:et in Timrå Municipality. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The King and Queen then visited an exhibition about the significance of having a job, at which six of the people presented in the exhibition shared their stories. The participants were:

  • Mekdes 'Mimmi' Yohannes, job coach at Taktik
  • Ayan Dalal, midwife at Uppsala University Hospital
  • Reza Moossavi, project manager at Bron Innovation
  • Zulmai Hotak, owner of Namos restaurant in Timrå
  • Patrik Åkerlund, CEO of Åkerlunds Entreprenad
  • Johan Boqvist, Manager at Byberg Nordin

Chair of the Social Services Committee Maritza Villanueva Contreras and Chair of Timrå Municipal Executive Board Stefan Dahlin concluded by thanking The King and Queen for their visit.

The King and Queen at an exhibition about the significance of having a job.

The King and Queen at an exhibition about the significance of having a job. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Y:et

Y:et is an enormous sculpture by artist Bengt Lindström. It was unveiled on 3 September 1995 and represents the letter Y, the county letter for Västernorrland County. It is made from 80 millimetre thick sprayed concrete, stands 30.5 metres tall and weighs 700 tonnes. The paint alone weighs 3,000 kg.

Y:et is located in Timrå Municipality, near the E4 motorway and Midlanda Airport.

The space in front of Y:et currently features an outdoor exhibition about the significance of having a job, the result of an integration project in Timrå Municipality. The exhibition features interviews with and portraits of 12 people from around the world who now live and work in Timrå.

The Royal Family visit Sweden's counties

In connection with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, members of the Royal Family will be visiting Sweden's 21 counties at the initiative of HM The King.

The first four visits took place in autumn 2020, but subsequent visits were postponed due to the second wave of the pandemic. The visit to Kalmar marked the resumption of visits to Sweden's counties during autumn 2021.

Through these visits, The King hopes to show the Royal Family's solidarity with those who have been affected and to highlight local initiatives within different sectors of society.

The following future visits to Sweden's counties have been planned:

August

  • Wednesday 25 August: The Crown Princess Couple will visit Västra Götaland County

September

  • Thursday 2 September: The Crown Princess Couple will visit Västerbotten County
  • Monday 13 September: Prince Carl Philip will visit Blekinge County
  • Wednesday 22 September: The Crown Princess Couple will visit Gävleborg County
  • Thursday 23 September: The King and Queen will visit Uppsala County
  • Monday 27 September: The King and Queen will visit Norrbotten County

October

  • Wednesday 6 October: The Crown Princess Couple will visit Örebro County
  • Thursday 7 October: Prince Carl Philip will visit Gotland County
  • Tuesday 12 October: Prince Carl Philip will visit Östergötland County
  • Thursday 14 October: The King and Queen will visit Jönköping County
  • Friday 15 October: The Crown Princess Couple will visit Kronoberg County
  • Wednesday 20 October: The Crown Princess Couple will visit Skåne County
  • Thursday 28 October: The King and Queen will visit Halland County

November

  • Thursday 11 November: The Crown Princess Couple will visit Dalarna County
  • Monday 29 November: The King and Queen will visit Jämtland County

Find out more about previous visits in autumn 2020:

All visits will be adapted in view of the ongoing pandemic, and will be carried out in accordance with the Public Health Agency of Sweden's recommendations.