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Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl Philip honour Swedish soldiers from the Winter War

Her Royal Highness, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her brother, His Royal Highness Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, participated in a memorial ceremony in Stockholm for the Swedish non-governmental forces who fought on the Finnish side during the Finnish-Russian Winter War earlier today. When the Crown Princess and her brother arrived at the ceremony, they were received by the head of the Memorial Association of Swedish volunteers during the Winter War, Bengt Nylander.

The President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, was also present to lay down flowers at the monument dedicated to the Swedes who helped the Finns in their war against the Soviet Union. Photo: Kungahuset.se

The ceremony took place in the “Finland Park” in Stockholm, in the capital of Sweden. The park is named after Finland in commemoration of the close political bond between the Kingdom of Swedish and the Republic of Finland. Finland was, for centuries, part of the Swedish Empire and later the Kingdom of Sweden. From 1808-1918, Finland was a part of the Russian Empire, and after 1918, the nation gained its independence.

In total, three flower wreaths were laid down. The wreath that was laid down on behalf of the Swedish Royal Family had a ribbon with the words, “In memory of the volunteers whose struggles for the freedom of Finland –  The Swedish kingdom.” The President of Finland also laid down a wreath of flowers; on this ribbon was written, “For Finland’s freedom and Sweden’s honour.”

Swedish patrol at the Salla Front in Finland during the Winter War. Photo: Saxon & Lindström via Wikimedia Commons.

After the ceremony had been completed, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl Philip attended a reception at the Finnish Embassy in Stockholm.

Also during the events, flowers were laid down at the Memorial Monument to the Swedish fallen soldiers, and a variety of military marches were performed with ties to the Winter War. The Winter War lasted from 1939 to 1940. It began with the Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939 and ended with the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940. The League of Nations deemed the attack illegal and expelled the Soviet Union from the League due to the war.  A total of over 8,000 Swedes took part in battles on the Finnish side.

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