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Swedish Royal Court invites public to participate in Finnish State Visit

Photo: Linda Broström/The Royal Court of Sweden

Ahead of the beginning of the Finnish presidential couple’s state visit to Sweden, the Royal Court has published an open invitation to members of the population to take part in it. 

As is tradition, the visit will begin with a carriage ride from the Royal Stables to the Royal Palace through the streets of Stockholm. At the Royal Palace, the Finnish President will receive the official welcome and the two heads of state will inspect the Grenadier Company of the Life Guards, after listening to the national anthems. 

This latter portion of the day will take place in the Inner Courtyard of the Royal Palace, and it is there that the public is invited. 

The estimated time is 10am, but the press release recommends those who wish to be present to arrive early, as they will have to go through security checks, and the Royal Court would like to avoid long queues as much as possible. For that reason, the gates for the public will open at 8:30am. 

Although it is never openly mentioned in the Swedish Royal Court’s release, it’s highly possible that the visit will be mainly focused on the possibility that both countries join NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, before the end of the year. 

Finland announced their intention to apply for membership last week, which has already generated many comments about potential timelines for its admission and has worried some analysts because of the potential repercussions of such a decision on Russia’s foreign and war policies. 

The Kremlin has already commented on the news, threatening another “special military operation” if the deal goes through, as President Putin feels surrounded by NATO countries, and Finland’s entrance in the treaty would mean that another 800 miles of its border would be shared with a NATO member. 

Sweden has not made a final decision, but the Royal Court’s statement that the visit will be focussed on highlighting “the extensive collaborations that are ongoing and that can be further developed,” including “crisis preparedness and civil defence, cooperation between the countries’ defence forces,” seems to indicate that they are not far behind in the process. 

This state visit will also focus on another relevant issue: green energy, which has gained even more prominence since Russia threatened an energy embargo on Finland if it goes through with its entrance in NATO. 

All in all, a crucially important state visit that will be remembered in history as a turning point in the stories of both Sweden and Finland.