Canberra has added another string to its bow of royal visits but, this time, not from Britain.
Crown Princess Victoria is the heir to the throne of Sweden, and she and her husband, Prince Daniel, arrived in Canberra on Sunday (12 February) as part of a whirlwind tour of Australia and New Zealand.
The royal entourage kicked off two packed days in Canberra at the National Museum of Australia this morning (13 February), surrounded by paparazzi from Australia and overseas.
First Nations leaders welcomed Her Royal Highness and Prince Daniel with a smoking ceremony and performance on the digeridoo before museum director Mathew Trinca and other staff provided a guided tour of the new environment-themed exhibition ‘Great Southern Land’.
It’s the first visit to Canberra for the Crown Princess. Aged 45, she is the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia and heir apparent. This year is King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 50th year as head of state.
The royal couple is also joined by Johan Forssell, the Swedish minister for international development cooperation and foreign trade.
According to the Swedish embassy in Canberra, the purpose of the tour is to “promote and deepen Sweden’s bilateral relations with Australia and New Zealand”. It was originally planned for before COVID in 2020.
The royal couple will be in Canberra tomorrow before the entourage heads to Sydney for more engagements over two days and then to New Zealand for a further two days.
The museum was followed by a visit to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (in a new Volvo electric truck) to learn about the effects of the 2020 bushfires, meet members of the ACT emergency services and, of course, see a koala.
Government House will host a dinner for the royals this evening.
On 14 February, the Crown Princess will also plant a tree at the National Arboretum and open an ‘Electrification in Sweden and Australia’ event at the Australian National University (ANU).
Mr Forssell is scheduled to meet with his Australian counterparts, International Development Minister Pat Conroy and Trade Minister Don Farrell.
In Sydney, the royals will attend a sustainable mining summit, visit the Opera House, Botanic Gardens and St Vincent’s Hospital, and meet members of the Australian women’s soccer team, the Matildas, whose head coach, Tony Gustavsson, is from Sweden.