On 10 September, the Swedish Royal Family attended the annual Opening of Parliament in Stockholm. Only Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill were absent as they stayed in Florida where they currently live. Traditionally, the Royal Family wears black and white outfits to honour the black and white court dresses that the ladies used to wear to the opening session.
The family first attended a church service at Stockholm Cathedral. Following the service, they took horse-drawn carriages to go to the Government Building where they attended the official opening ceremony with members of Parliament. They were welcomed by Speaker Andreas Norlén. During the ceremony, King Carl XVI Gustaf made a speech to declare the 2019/2020 session open, and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven read the Statement of Government Policy. This year, the ceremony honoured five Swedish provinces: Härjedalen, Medelpad, Hälsingland, Dalarna, and Gästrikland.
During his speech, King Carl XVI Gustaf said: “Sweden’s future is not only shaped in this chamber but as much of the development in our world. But the decisions made here affect everyone in our country. Not infrequently for generations to come. They are threads in the fabric that make up our future. “ He also reflected on the speech he made to open the 1989/1990 Parliamentary session just a month before the fall of the Berlin Wall: “It was a time of relaxation between the world’s superpowers countries. And of closer European cooperation. […] Today, three decades later, developments have progressed in many respects. But in other areas, the challenges have rather grown.”
The King also talked about another important Parliamentary decision made in 1919: “A hundred years ago, the Swedish Parliament made a number of decisive decisions, which together led to equal and universal suffrage. The anniversary reminds us of the importance of thinking and acting long term, for the good of our country.”
In the evening, King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia attended the traditional concert at Stockholm Concert Hall. This year’s concert was hosted by Concert Manager Stefan Forsberg, and the Royal Philharmonic was conducted by Mika Eichenholz.