King Carl XVI Gustaf and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden were in Stockholm yesterday to attend the National Veteran’s Memorial at Kungl Djurgården and mark the first time Veterans Day was also recognised as a general flag day.
Veterans Day on 29 May was instituted as a nationally recognised day of remembrance by the Swedish government in 2010 and received official state status in 2012. Sweden has contributed civil, military and military personnel to worldwide United Nation’s efforts for more than 60 years and Veterans Day honours all those who have served.
Upon arrival at the memorial, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Prince Carl Philip were greeted by Chief Commander Micael Bydén before marching to their places during the great salute of the fan castle. As the two royals took their seats, a JAS Gripen undertook a flyover of the proceedings.
Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and Defence Committee Chairman Allan Widman both gave speeches to the assembled royals, troops and veterans before the military band played a hymn. The King, the commander, the defence minister, the chairman of the defence committee and Sverker Göransson, chairman of the Swedish Veterans Association all then paid their respects by placing wreaths at the base of the National Veterans Monument.
The ceremony concluded with a speech by the commander, the distribution of merit medals – undertaken by King Carl XVI Gustaf at the Monument – and the singing of the national anthem.
King Carl XVI Gustaf passed his Naval Officer Examination in 1968 and went on to complete a command course at the Swedish National Defence College. He put his training into practice when he undertook officer’s duties on board Swedish Navy ships.
Prince Carl Philip completed his military service with the Amphibious Battalion of Vaxholm’s Coast Artillery Regiment. He is trained as a combat boat commander and completed a one-year Naval Officer training course in 2002, becoming a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Swedish Navy in December of that year. He went on to achieve the ranks of Lieutenant in 2007 and Major in 2014.