The Swedish Royal Family has cancelled a grand reception dinner due to the coronavirus outbreak. The dinner was due to take place on Wednesday evening, with 150 guests in attendance.
A statement from the Royal Court read: “For the sake of invited guests, the representation dinner scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, will be postponed. In recent days, a number of cases of infection from the new coronavirus have been discovered in Sweden.
“The public health authority estimates that the risk of detecting cases of covid-19 in Sweden is high, but that the risk of general dissemination in the country is low.
“In anticipation of the continued development of events, Their Majesties, as hosts, choose to postpone the planned representation dinner at the royal palace on Wednesday 4 March. This is done with regard to invited guests.”
The King & Queen’s representation dinners are large and very formal events. Invitations to the 150 guests were sent out six weeks ago.
The representation dinners are usually attended by representatives from the diplomatic corps, the Swedish parliament, the government, as well as representatives from the world of science, culture, sports and business. The dinner is usually held in the gallery of Karl XI at the royal palace in Stockholm. Previous menus have consisted of lightly smoked duck breast with shallot crisp, and roasted Swedish pork tenderloin with broken duck.
The coronavirus outbreak was confirmed to have spread to Sweden when the first COVID-19 case was confirmed on 31 January 2020. A woman in her 20s who had recently visited Wuhan in China tested positive for the disease.
On 26 February, following the large COVID-19 outbreak in Italy and Iran, multiple infection clusters originating from these two countries arrived in Sweden. A number of individuals in Västra Götaland, Jönköping, Stockholm, Uppsala tested positive and were admitted to the infectious disease units in the respective counties. As of 1 March 2020, there have been 14 confirmed cases in Sweden.