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Overshadowed by controversy – Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel make an important trip to the UK

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel have made their way back to Sweden just in time to spend the first weekend of Advent with their children, after a whirlwind visit to the United Kingdom. 

Landing in the British capital on 29th November, the couple travelled with a high-profile delegation, which included, among others, Defence Minister Pål Johnson and Infrastructure Minister Andreas Carlson. 

The first stop of the day was a meeting with Ukrainian soldiers in eastern England, where the fighters are being trained by Swedish officers under UK supervision, in the context of Operation Interflex. Sweden applied a little more than a year ago to officially become a member of NATO (two countries are still holding up the confirmation) but has cooperated closely with the Alliance for decades, and it has been a strong supporter of Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion of its territory. 

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Next, the Crown Princess and the Prince had lunch in a pub, where they chatted to locals about what the pub culture means for them, before visiting the Innovation Hub at Imperial College in London, where they visited the White City Campus. Still under construction, the structure will house DIANA, the NATO project to accelerate innovation in defence and security. 

A reception followed at the residence of the Swedish Ambassador to London; the couple was supporting Sweden’s candidature to hold the Presidency of the International Maritime Organisation Council. 

Finally, the day ended with a sustainability-themed dinner, which was hosted at the National History Museum by Business Sweden, which brings together companies from both countries to achieve better results in the collective fight for a more sustainable future. 

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On Thursday, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel began their day with breakfast at the headquarters of Mindler, a Swedish start-up that has recently set up headquarters in London. 

Then came the moment everyone was waiting for – a meeting with the Prince and Princess of Wales at Windsor Castle. Neither Royal House was very forthcoming with the topics discussed during the meeting; however, speaking later to the press, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel were asked if they had enjoyed their meeting, to which the Crown Princess replied: “It’s always fun. We share a lot, and it feels very natural and easy to meet. They are very nice people who do a lot for their country. We exchange thoughts and ideas and share many interests.”

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After visiting Kew Gardens (one of the world’s leading powers in biodiversity research) and an attendance at Outer Thinking (a conference about Swedish and British businesses), the Crown Princess Couple joined the Prince and Princess of Wales once again to watch the Royal Variety Performance. 

The four royals arrived at the Royal Albert Hall as it was getting dark and sat in the spot annually reserved for the members of the Royal Family who attend the event. The performance is held every year and the profits made benefit people in the entertainment industry. 

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The last day of their visit began once again in the countryside with a visit to Cranfield University, in Bedfordshire, to see first-hand how Swedish and British academia are collaborating to move towards the green transition and to innovate the transport sector. 

They then made their way back to London, where they attended a lunch to highlight the cooperation that was created by the signing of the bilateral memorandum of understanding of life science in 2022. With a visit to the Swedish Church in London, where they met with members of the Swedish community residing in the UK, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel officially closed their trip. 

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This was a trip undoubtedly overshadowed by the controversy sparked by the publication of Omid Scobie’s newest book, Endgame, and the events surrounding the Dutch translation of it. However, the Swedish royals seemed unbothered by the noise that accompanied them throughout the three days that they spent in the UK, and all planned events with the Prince and Princess of Wales were carried out as scheduled.