King Harald and Queen Sonja have continued their state visit to Chile on Wednesday having arrived in the country on Tuesday when they were met by the Honorary Secretary and Foreign Minister of Chile, Roberto Ampuero.
At the start of their visit, the royal couple laid a wreath at the Bernardo O’Higgins Monument. The Bernardo O’Higgins Monument is an great sculpture of the Chilean independence leader of the same name. O’Higgins was a Chilean independence leader who freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence. After the ceremony, the King and Queen visited the crypt where Bernardo O’Higgins is buried. The crypt is located under the Plaza de la Ciudadania in an area where many of Chile’s main institutions are located.
Following the ceremony at the monument, the royals were officially welcomed by the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera Echenique and Chile’s first lady, Mrs Cecilia Morel de Piñera. King Harald inspected the honorary guard before both countries’ national anthem was played. The royals then held talks with the President and his wife, followed by meetings between the Norwegian and Chilean delegations.
Following the political conversation, the President hosted an official lunch in the Presidential Palace “La Moneda” for the Norwegian king and queen. The Presidential Palace “Palacio de La Moneda” is the seat of the President of the Republic of Chile and the cabinet ministers of Interior, General Secretariat of the Presidency and General Secretariat of the Government. The Palace was originally a colonial plantation house built in 1784. In June 1845, the palace became the seat of government and presidential residence. During the military coup d’état on September 11, 1973, the Chilean Air Force bombed the palace at the request of the army.
After lunch, the royals went on to visit the Supreme Court of Chile. This was followed by a visit to Chile’s Parliament, Congreso Nacional de Chile. The busy day was concluded with a big dinner that the Norwegian delegation hosted. Norwegian food was on the menu, and four Norwegian chefs prepared and presented the food for the guests.
During the lunch His Majesty the King held a speech, the King said:
“We have been looking forward to this state visit, the first Norwegian state visit to Chile since the one made by my father, the late King Olav V in 1967. Chile and Norway are nations living by the ocean and living from what we can harvest from the sea. Our countries understand the importance of managing these vital resources wisely.”
The state visit started on the 26th and will conclude on Sunday of this week. The tour marks 100 years of diplomatic relations between Norway and Chile. The visit will continue in the coming days in and around the capital before the King and Queen travel to Punta Arenas and Puerto Williams, located in Chile’s southernmost region, Patagonia.
Royal Central will keep you updated on the state visit the following days.