Crown Princess Mary has returned back to Denmark following a two day diplomatic visit to Lithuania in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Danish and Lithuanian relations.
The visit took place from September 30 to October 1, with activities taking place in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius to optimise the short time Her Royal Highness had available.
The first day of the visit began with Crown Princess Mary being officially welcomed to Lithuania at the Presidential Palace by President Gitanas Nausėda and First Lady Diana Nausėdienė. After the official welcome and the photo op, the Crown Princess signed the Guest Book.
Her Royal Highness and the Presidential Couple then stepped outside to watch a flypast of F-16 Fighter Jets, a Danish plane that is currently part of NATO’s program of surveillance over the Baltic nations.
A luncheon was hosted by the Presidential couple shortly after, which was attended by members of the Danish and Lithuanian diplomatic, cultural and business sectors that operate between the two countries.
Following the meal, Her Royal Highness met with the President of the Lithuanian Parliament, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, as well as travelling to the Lithuanian Government House for a meeting with Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė.
Throughout these events, Her Royal Highness was accompanied by the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and the Minister for Nordic Cooperation Flemming Møller Mortensen.
After the institutional portion of the visit was concluded, Crown Princess Mary and First Lady Diana Nausėdienė opened the exhibition ‘Awakening of Nations’ at Vytautas Kasiulis Art Museum, where more than 40 art pieces from Denmark’s Golden Age can be visible by the public.
Her Royal Highness then travelled to the Vilnius National Museum of Art to attend a seminar on Danish-Lithuanian art. Both the exhibition and the conference are the product of collaborations between the respective entities and the Danish Cultural Institute.
Crown Princess Mary closed the afternoon with some historic site visits, by travelling to Huset Signatarų namai, the location where Lithuania’s declaration of independence was signed in 1918, and to the Antakalnis Cemetery, where, accompanied by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, she laid a wreath in memory of the victims of the independence fight.
In the evening, Her Royal Highness and First Lady Diana Nausėdienė attended a concert arranged by the Danish Cultural institute, that saw performances from Danish, Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian artists.
On the second day of her trip, Crown Princess Mary began her agenda with a visit to the University of Vilnius, to take part in a conference that marked the publication of a book on the 100th anniversary of Danish-Lithuanian diplomatic relations. After her speech, the Crown Princess was given a tour of the University, which is one of the oldest institutions in Northern Europe, having been founded in 1579.
The Crown Princess and the First Lady then visited Ruta Kindergarten and the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee, which hold a collaboration for the Committee to give the kindergarten tools to better deal with physical activity for children.
Her Royal Highness then embarked in the final two events of her itinerary: first, the inauguration of Senators’s Passage, a gallery that will host restaurants and shops, as well as offices and apartments; and second, which was the last activity for the trip, Crown Princess Mary took part in a cooking event, organised by the Danish Embassy and the Danish Cultural Institute, that focussed on cutting food waste and promoting circular production in the food supply chain.
As noted above, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of Danish-Lithuanian diplomatic relations, and also the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of those relations, as Lithuania seceded from the Soviet Union in 1991.
The three Baltic countries all celebrated their 100th independence anniversaries in recent years, and the Danish Royals have visited those countries to mark the occasion; specifically, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary visited Latvia in 2018, Queen Margarethe visited Estonia in 2019 and this marks the last of the celebrations. In addition, the Crown Prince Couple also hosted a reception at Amalienborg Palace on the 3rd of June to celebrate those anniversaries.