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Norwegian and Swedish heirs unite in Kenya

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden undertook a joint visit to Kenya as part of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The royals undertook various field visits to see the UNDP’s work in the area.

The visit began on 21 November when Crown Princess Victoria toured her country’s embassy in Nairobi. She united with Crown Prince Haakon the following day to launch the UN headquarters in the Kenyan capital. Afterwards, they visited Kitengela’s waste disposal facility outside Nairobi, where the UNDP is working to reduce plastic pollution. The day concluded with the pair attending an evening reception arranged by the UNDP.

The Norweigan and Swedish heirs then travelled to Kwale on 23 November to learn more about how the UNDP is working with local government officials on developing democracy. They then visited a mangrove forest and the Mikoko Pamoja project, which works to conserve and replant mangrove forests.

According to the Norwegian Royal Court, “The mangrove forests are an important part of the ecosystem and contribute to biological diversity. The local fishermen notice the positive effects of the mangroves on the catch they get, at the same time that the project can provide employment in planting and protection and also in ecotourism.”

Their Royal Highnesses concluded their day with an official UNDP dinner.

On 24 November, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Victoria attended a bilateral meeting with Kenya’s Vice President Rigathi Gachagua before attending a business seminar organised by Business Sweden and Innovation Norge. They later opened a joint office for Business Sweden and Innovation Norge in the One Africa Place building.

The heirs to the throne then separated for different agendas. Crown Princess Victoria visited the Health Care Global (HCG) Cancer Center at MP Shah Hospital, while Crown Prince Haakon participated in a tree planting with Norwegian and Kenyan children and visited farms to see how the drought has affected them.

Their Royal Highnesses reunited for a reception at the Swedish ambassador’s residence in Nairobi.

For the Swedish heir, the tour ended in Lewa on 25 November, where Crown Princess Victoria toured the nature reserve; the area is currently in its worst drought in 40 years, drastically affecting the people and wildlife. She later visited her patronage of the Gundua foundation in Lewa to see their work in schools.

While there, she opened a new home for schoolgirls and said: “What I want for you is that this new dormitory – your new dormitory – will be a place where every girl can feel safe, included and supported by her friends. A place where you will take care of each other so that friendship and knowledge can grow together.”

Crown Prince Haakon returned to Norway as scheduled and had to step in for his father, who was suffering from a cold.

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About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.