King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden began their State Visit to Ireland. This was the second State Visit to Ireland by the King, after his visit in April 1992.
The State Visit served to highlight the historic and modern links between our peoples, which have contributed to shaping the two countries’ European identities, and to further strengthen the bonds of friendship between Sweden and Ireland.
The King and Queen were greeted by President and Sabina Higgins, after which the national anthems of both countries were played. The King then inspected a special Guard of Honour and planted an Irish Oak tree in the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin.
State Visits take place at the invitation of the President of Ireland, and they all begin with a formal welcome ceremony at Áras an Uachtaráin.
Since being elected in November 2011, President Higgins has received a number of Heads of State on State Visits. They are:
· H.E. Armando Emílio Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique, June 2014
· H.E. Mr. Heinz Fischer, President of the Republic of Austria, October 2014
· H.E. Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, July 2015
· H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, October 2016
· H.E. Kolinda Graber-Kitarovic, President of the Republic of Croatia, April 2017
· H.E. Mr. Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy, February 2018