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King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia visit Germany for Official State Visit

From 5 October to 8 October, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden made an official State Visit to Germany. German-born Queen Silvia seemed happy to return again to her home country when they arrived at Berlin’s Tegel Airport on the morning of 5 October. They were received by  German Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Head of Protocol Jürgen Christian Mertens and Sweden’s ambassador to Germany Lars Danielsson.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the welcome reception at  Bellevue Palace with German President, Joachim Gauck and Mrs Daniela Schadt. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer, Royal Court, Sweden.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the welcome reception at Bellevue Palace with German President, Joachim Gauck and Mrs Daniela Schadt. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer, Royal Court, Sweden.

German-born Queen Silvia seemed happy to return again to her home country when they arrived at Berlin’s Tegel Airport on the morning of 5 October. They were received by  German Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Head of Protocol Jürgen Christian Mertens and Sweden’s ambassador to Germany Lars Danielsson at the airport, which is eight kilometres northwest of Berlin. The German President, Joachim Gauck and Mrs Daniela Schadt met the King and Queen at a reception ceremony at Bellevue Palace.

The couple also met German and Swedish school children. Their Royal Highnesses also visited the Humboldt Forum and the German Parliament, Bundestag. Later, they met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. That evening, a state banquet was held in their honour at Bellevue Palace, where His Majesty said, “The Queen and I would like to thank you and the people of Germany for the warm welcome we have received today, and for your kind words. In recent times, Europe has faced many major challenges. It is in difficult times that our unity is put to the test.” He further spoke on how Germany and Sweden belong to a small group of countries who have taken in refugees fleeing their war-torn countries.

Their Majesties at the state banquet. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer, Royal Court, Sweden.

Their Majesties at the state banquet. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer, Royal Court, Sweden.

The next day, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia spent time in Hamburg, where they learnt about the Hafen City urban planning project and attended meetings on sustainable mobility. In the evening, they attended the reciprocal dinner at Charlottenburg Palace.

On Friday, Their Majesties spent the day in Berlin. They were able to participate in the inclusion initiative “give something back to Berlin” and held meetings on topics ranging from inclusion to sustainable fashion. During the latter meeting, Queen Silvia spoke to inaugurate the exhibition “Everything you can imagine is real”. Her Majesty told the assembled audience,  “Nobody can do everything, but each and every one of us can do a little. ”

Queen Silvia giving a speech to inaugurate the exhibition "Everything you can imagine is real". Photo: Jonas Ekströmer, Royal Court, Sweden.

Queen Silvia giving a speech to inaugurate the exhibition “Everything you can imagine is real”. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer, Royal Court, Sweden.

The King and Queen met with refugee children in the city who were helped by Refugio, which was created to provide homes and jobs for those who fled their homelands. This donation is run solely on donations. Before the day concluded, Carl Gustaf and Silvia went to a concert at Berlin Philharmonic.

The final day of their four-day trip was on Saturday, 8 October, where Their Majesties were in Wittenberg. There they visited the Castle Church where Martin Luther is buried and signed the guest book.

On 31 October of this year, there will celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. This is important to the Swedish King and Queen as they are members of the Church of Sweden, which is part of the Lutheran church. Also, His Majesty planted a tree behind the church. Five hundred trees will be planted in honour of the 500th anniversary. They then travelled to Saxony – which is a major location of trading routes and one of Europe’s largest railway stations.

Their Majesties at the reception at Charlottenburg Palace on 7 October. Photo: Jonas  Ekströmer, Royal Court, Sweden.

Their Majesties at the reciprocal dinner at Charlottenburg Palace on 7 October. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer, Royal Court, Sweden.

While in Saxony, they met with Saxon government Stanislaw Tillich and Leipzig’s mayor Burkhard Jung and attended a luncheon hosted by Tillich and Jung. They then visited the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. The World Childhood Foundation organised a seminar where they were in attendance. More, they visited the Nikolai Church in Leipzig. This was a city in the centre of peaceful protests that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification of Germany. This is celebrated every year on 9 October.

Their Majesties then held a press conference after the visit to the church with Åsa Regnér – the Swedish Minister for Children and the Elderly and Minister for Gender Equality. They have since returned to Sweden.

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