Swedish royals underline Danish links

Sweden's royals have started a three-day state visit to neighbouring Denmark, in a trip that it is hoped will highlight cooperation between the two Scandinavian countries, particularly between the Danish capital and the Skåne region of southern Sweden.

King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria arrived in Copenhagen just before 10am to start the first state visit to Denmark for 32 years.

The royal party arrived on the Swedish navy mine layer HMS Visborg in Copenhagen port, close to the famous Little Mermaid and the Amalienborg Palace, where they were greeted by an 84-gun salute.

As well as being a state occasion, the trip is something of a family reunion. Carl Gustaf was welcomed by his cousin, Danish Queen Margrethe, wearing a light grey ensemble and a plume in her hat, and her husband Prince Henrik.

The Swedish king and Danish queen then inspected the Royal Life Guard, wearing their traditional read coats and bearskin hats.

Crown Princess Victoria was greeted by her second cousin and Danish opposite number, Crown Prince Frederik.

The welcoming party also included Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Queen Margrethe’s second son prince Joakim, and her sister Princess Benedikte with her husband Prince Richard.

The visit has attracted great interest from the international press, and journalists from the United States, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany and the UK were present. Crowds of flag-waving Danes and a number of Swedes were there to greet the royals.

The royal party then made its way to the Fredenborg Palace, home of Crown Prince Fredrik and his Australian-born wife Crown Princess Mary, who gave birth to a princess on April 21st.

The Swedish royals know Denmark well, having visited in both private and official capacities many times since the last state visit in 1975. The current visit is the first state visit since the opening of the Öresund Bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö, which has led to a deepening of connections between Denmark and southern Sweden.