The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge kicked off their Scandinavian tour today, by carrying out a series of engagements in Stockholm, Sweden, accompanied by the Swedish heir to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel.
William and Catherine landed in Stockholm yesterday, and got some rest at the official residence of the British Ambassador, where William’s official standard was raised, before attending their first engagement of the four day visit to Sweden and Norway earlier today: a bandy hockey match.
The game originated in Cambridgeshire in 1813, and has since spread to Scandinavia and North America. After watching the 11-player game, the Duke and Duchess attempted to score a goal. William scored two, compared to Catherine’s one; the Duchess was a keen hockey player at school.
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Before the shootout, Anna Widing, an international bandy player, coached the couple and said, “I could see that maybe they like to beat each other! It was a privilege for us to show our sport to them.”
The royal couple seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, despite the sub-zero temperatures. The future King and Queen enjoyed a drink of ‘Glogg’, which is usually mulled wine or coffee with alcohol, and a biscuit to warm up. The Duchess opted for the non-alcoholic option, of course, as she’s expecting her third child later this year.
The Duke and Duchess then travelled to the Royal Palace for a luncheon with The King and Queen of Sweden, and the heir to the Swedish throne; Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel. 11 other members of the royal court were present for the meal.
William and Catherine then posed for photos inside the palace, marking one of the first times they have met European Royalty outside of the UK.
They will also meet the Norwegian Royal Family on the second leg of their tour this week.
After lunch, William and Catherine were joined by Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, on a walk to Stockholm’s oldest public square, Stortorget. Many members of the public wanted to meet the Royals, despite the cold weather.
Princess Victoria and Catherine were given flowers, while Prince William was handed a special glove to wipe his dog’s paws with; Lupo must be very happy!
The four young Royals then entered Stockholm’s Nobel Museum, where they heard about innovations in science, and were introduced to some Nobel Laureates.
Inside, Prince William was told by a former recipient that ‘you don’t have to be a genius’ to win the award!
For their next engagement, the Duke and Duchess visited ArkDes, Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design, to attend an event celebrating the best of Swedish design and architectural collaboration. The royal couple met with representatives of Sweden’s most iconic and global furniture brands, including IKEA, and some of the nation’s up-and-coming home-ware designers.
The Duke of Cambridge reportedly revealed that there is IKEA furniture in Prince George and Prince Charlotte’s rooms during the visit.
IKEA’s head of design, Marcus Engman responded: “I’m proud that we can suit everybody. That’s what we want IKEA to be – for the many people of the world, both Royalty and ordinary people.”
Mr Engman also said that William and Catherine were very interested in the design process of IKEA’s products. The Swedish founder of the global business Ingvar Kamprad died at the weekend aged 91.
To conclude a busy first day of the tour, William and Catherine attended a black-tie dinner at the residence of the British Ambassador. The Crown Princess Couple, members of the Swedish government, civil society and creative industries were also present.
Before the dinner, the Duke and Duchess sat down with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his wife Sulla Löfven.