Photo: Sara Friberg / Kungl. The Court States
The German presidential visit by Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender’s three-day state visit ended on Thursday after the German leader had seen the best Sweden has to offer with the royals by his side. The visit took place in Stockholm and Kiruna under the themes of innovation, sustainability and democracy.
Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel were at Arlanda Airport to welcome the German couple before heading to Hovstallet to meet the royal couple.
King Carl XVI Gustaf and his German-born wife, Queen Silvia, welcomed the presidential couple on September 7 at Hovstallet and accompanied them in a carriage procession through the streets of Stockholm on the way to the Royal Palace. The king and president then inspected the court of honor in the courtyard during the welcome ceremony. Inside the palace, the German couple met government representatives, the Crown Prince Couple and Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, along with the King and Queen. The president and the king later spoke to the media before visiting the German church and parliament.
The Queen and Mrs Büdenbender traveled to the Ombudsman for Children to learn more about children’s rights based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. They also visited the Orphanage in Stockholm.
The evening ended with a state dinner at the Royal Palace with the King, Queen, Crown Princess, Prince Daniel and Prince Carl Philip present. Princess Sofia is still on maternity leave, and it is believed that Princess Madeleine and her family have now returned to the United States.
On day two, the German president and his wife visited the king and queen at home at Drottningholm’s castle to get a tour of the castle and its grounds – the castle is on the UNESCO World Heritage List – before having lunch at Stockholm City Hall next to prime ministers. The King and President also took the time to visit Scania (a world leader in transport solutions), Karolinska Hospital (to see how they handle the pandemic) and ArkDes (Sweden’s national center for architecture and design).
Queen Silvia and Mrs. Büdenbender, on the other hand, visited the Silvia Home (founded by the Queen and helps spread awareness about dementia to help those with the highest quality of life disease), the German School (the oldest German school outside Germany) and the Goethe-Institut to discuss the language exchange between German and Swedish.
The presidential couple ended the day by hosting the royal couple at the Royal Academy of Music for a reception in the evening.
On the last day, the visit took place in Kiruna, where the royal and German couple visited the Esrange Space Center before attending a lunch at Kiruna City Hall hosted by the Governor of Norrbotten County, Lotta Finstorp. The king, queen, president and wife Büdenbender later traveled to LKAB and the iron ore mine in Kiruna to learn about the restructuring of iron and steel.
The visit then ended at Kiruna Airport, where a farewell ceremony was held, and King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia saw them leave with the Guard of Honor.