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European RoyalsSweden

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia visit UK ahead of Platinum Jubilee


Photo: The Royal Court of Sweden

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden have made a two-day visit to the United Kingdom as both countries prepare to celebrate. 

The visit, which took place between Thursday, 26 and Friday, 27 May, was centred around many topics, including education and culture, and the royal couple was accompanied on the occasion by Swedish Education Minister Anna Ekström. 

The King and Queen began their visit in Cambridge, where they were given a tour of the Astra Zeneca Discovery Centre, a research facility that works on the development of new pharmaceuticals. 

Since its inauguration in November 2021, the structure has been working on developing the COVID-19 vaccine, thanks to Swedish cooperation. 

But the structure is also working on “sustainability, innovation, research and life science,” according to the Swedish Royal Court’s press release, and the royals got a tour of those structures. 

Throughout their visit, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia got the opportunity to chat with the more than 2000 employees that work in the drug development sector alone. 

In the evening, the two royals had moved to London, where they attended the gala premiere of Abba Voyage at the Abba Arena in Queen Elizabeth’s Park. The arena was built especially for the Swedish quartet’s reunion performances, which will happen almost every day until 28 May 2023. 

The following day began with the attendance at Impact’s Sustainability Conference, organised annually by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in London under the supervision of its CEO Peter Sandberg. 

For this edition, the conference revolved around sustainable business models, with interventions in panel discussions by representatives of Swedish and British businesses. 

And finally, the last event of the day was the signing of a bilateral cooperation agreement, or Memorandum of Understanding, about life sciences. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were both present for the ceremony, but the accords were signed by Swedish Education Minister Anna Ekström and Lord Kamall, British Minister for Life Sciences and Innovation. 

The Swedish King and Queen were rumoured to have plans to meet Queen Elizabeth, but it seems like the 96-year-old British monarch preferred to rest ahead of the big celebrations that await her next week for her Platinum Jubilee. 

The Swedes will also be celebrating the following week, as 6 June will mark the country’s National Day. This festivity sees all members of the Royal Family front and centre in the various events organised to mark the occasion.