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Governor General of Canada on State Visit to Sweden

Today marks the first day of the four-day State Visit to Sweden of the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston and his wife, Dr Sharon Johnston. HM King Carl XVI Gustaf officially invited the Governor General and his wife to Sweden. On Sunday evening, the Johnstons and the Canadian delegation arrived in Stockholm.

On Monday morning King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia welcomed the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston and his wife at the Royal Mews in Stockholm. Their Majesties and the Governor General couple travelled by carriage ride, escorted by the Royal Life Guards, to the Royal Palace of Stockholm.  In the Inner Courtyard, the welcoming ceremony was held. During this short ceremony, the national anthems of Sweden and Canada were played, and the King and David Johnston inspected the guards. Then the King and Queen invited the Governor General couple inside the Palace were the gift exchange ceremony was held. Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia, Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill were also present. At noon the members of the Swedish Royal Family and David & Sharon Johnston enjoyed lunch at the Palace.

Stockholm, 20 February 2017. H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf & Canadian Governor General David Johnston. (P: H Garlöv/Kungahuset.se)

In the afternoon of the first day of the State Visit, the Governor General of Canada and members of the Canadian delegation met with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven while the Queen and Dr Sharon Johnston visited Fryshuset. Fryhuset is the largest youth centre in the world and mainly a meeting place for young people. During their visit, representatives from Fryshuset talked about their experiences of including young people in the social structure and about how to combat exclusion. The first day of the State Visit from Canada to Sweden concluded with a banquet.

Stockholm, 20 February 2017 H.M. the Queen and Sharon Johnston visit the Fryshuset. (P: H Garlöv/Kungahuset.se)

On Tuesday morning, the King and Governor General Johnston will take part in a panel discussion on Swedish-Canadian business opportunities under CETA (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada). In the meantime, the Queen and Dr Sharon Johnston will kick off the second day of the State Visit by visiting the National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Illness at the Karolinska Institute. Afterwards, the King and Governor General will join their wives to visit the Karolinska Institute where they will visit a lab and join in panel discussions. At noon the Governor General, his wife, the King and Queen will have lunch at the City Hall. Also, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia will attend the lunch. In the afternoon, King Carl XVI Gustaf and David Johnston will visit the Royal Academy of Science while their wives will visit the ageing Research Centre (ARC). In the evening, the Governor General and Dr Sharon Johnston will host a reception for ‘Friends of Canada’.

For the third day of the Canadian visit to Sweden, the King and Queen will travel with their guests from Stockholm to Malmö and Lund. The day starts with a visit to Malmö University where they will join in panel discussions on diversity and integration in cities and a programme on home-based support to vulnerable families with small children. In the afternoon, the couples will split up as the Queen and Dr Sharon Johnston will visit Återskapa in Malmö, a creative reuse, design and education centre. They will meet the founder and project leader. In the meantime, the King and Mr Johnston will pay a visit to the European Spallation Source in Lund. There will be a presentation and roundtable discussions on the benefits and opportunities for enhanced cross-sectoral linkages on innovation and research between Canada and Sweden. A memorandum of cooperation will also be signed. 

On the last day of the State Visit, Prince Carl Philip will join the King and Governor General for a visit to the Lindholmen Science Park for talks about Gothenburg’s development. The programme continues with a discussion of sustainable shipping, “Sustainable Shipping, the Future of Transportation and CETA.” In the afternoon, they will visit Westport Sweden AB in Torslanda, followed by a visit to the Volvo Truck Experience Centre. The last day and the four-day visit will end with a farewell ceremony at Landvetter Airport.

The Crown Princess Family of Sweden: Prince Daniel, Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar. Photo: Anna-Lena Ahlström/Royal Court, Sweden

It is remarkable that Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel are absent from the State Visit from Canada to Sweden. It has been revealed by the court that the Crown Princess family is currently abroad as they wish to spend more time together as a family. Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill have travelled to Sweden to fill in for Madeleine’s older sister Victoria.

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