Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel have visited Latvia to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the country’s independence. The pair will also be travelling to Lithuania and Estonia later this year.
On Friday morning the Crown Princess Couple was welcomed by Latvia’s president Raimonds Vējonis and his wife Iveta Vējone at Riga Castle. An official welcoming ceremony was held for the Swedish Crown Princess Couple. Then Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel had a private meeting with Latvia’s presidential couple.
After the private meeting, Crown Princess Victoria was asked to unveil a portrait of Erik Dahlbergh. Erik Dahlbergh was Governor-General of Livonia (with residence in Riga) between 1696-1702 and was known for, among other things, Riga’s fortification, of which there are still traces in the urban environment.
At noon Victoria and Daniel joined the President and the First Lady for lunch. Crown Princess Victoria gave a speech in which she stressed the strong ties between Sweden and Latvia. Crown Princess Victoria also congratulated the country on its anniversary as she said:
“Prince Daniel and I are honoured to be here today, taking part in the Centennial celebrations. It is always a pleasure to visit your beautiful country, with its fascinating history. A history shaped by the courage and perseverance of the Latvian people in their struggle for freedom and independence.”
After lunch, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel headed to the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga where they talked with students from the Future Leaders Academy, a leadership programme for young aspiring politicians and community leaders. As Crown Princess Victoria is Special Advocate for the SDG’s of the UN, she also talked about the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Stockholm School of Economics in Riga was founded in 1993.
Then it was time to take a look at a collection of more than 200,000 written Latvian folk songs and other rare manuscripts at the National Library of Latvia, also known as the Castle of Light. There Crown Princess Victoria gave her second speech of the day. In her remarks, she once again focused on the close ties between Sweden and Latvia. She also talked about the importance of libraries as she said:
“A library is so much more than a house filled with books. It is a site of knowledge and information, open and accessible to all; a cornerstone of democracy.”
The day ended with a visit to Latvia’s National Museum where the Crown Princess and Prince Daniel attended the opening of the exhibition “Portable Landscapes”, an international art project with exhibitions in Riga, New York, Gotland and Berlin. The display tracks the Latvian and Baltic art in exile and emigration from the 1900 century to today.
On 19 August, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel will visit Estonia to mark the 100th anniversary of the country’s independence. The couple will also visit Lithuania later this year; although a concrete date hasn’t been announced yet.