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Sweden’s Royal Family welcomes Italy’s President on State Visit

The King and Queen of Sweden have welcomed the President of Italy to their country at the start of a three day State Visit. Sergio Mattarella and his daughter, Laura, will be accompanied by the Royal Family throughout much of their tour which will take them to Stockholm and Skane, in the south of Sweden.

The visitors were given a welcome filled with pageantry as they arrived on November 13th 2018. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia accompanied them on a carriage procession to the Royal Palace in Stockholm where the national anthems of Sweden and Italy were played. The Swedish king and the Italian president also inspected a guard of honour.

The official welcome continued inside the Royal Palace where the guests were greeted by members of Sweden’s parliament and government. King Carl XVI Gustaf gave a short speech as the State Visit got under way, underlining the importance of the links between the two countries and talking about his own family’s love of Italy.

Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia joined the royal party as the traditional exchange of gifts took place followed by a private lunch. Sergio and Laura Mattarella were then given a tour of the Gustav III Museum at the Royal Palace which houses some of that king’s collection of Italian art. The Italian President then headed to meetings with several politicians including Sweden’s Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven.

The first day concluded with a State Banquet which began with a reception in the White Sea Gallery at Stockholm’s Royal Palace before the guests moved in to Karl XI’s Gallery for the gala dinner where the menu included salmon, cheeses and salted caramel mousse. King Carl XVI Gustaf accompanied Laura Mattarella while Queen Silvia walked in with Sergio Mattarella. Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel also attended as did Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia.

During the dinner, King Carl XVI Gustaf spoke again of the long standing bonds between Sweden and Italy and discussed the particular aims of this State Visit which will focus on digitization, sustainability and European co-operation and culture. The Swedish king concluded by raising a toast to the people of Italy and ”the enduring friendship between Italy and Sweden”.

Day two of the Italian State Visit will include a lunch at Stockholm’s Town Hall and a visit to Sweden’s National Museum. The tour is set to end on November 15th 2018.

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