By: CHRIS GRAEME
KING CARL XVI and Queen Silvia of Sweden were in Lisbon for a two-day official state visit.
It was the first time that the monarch had stepped on Portuguese soil since 1987.
The royal party brought representatives of more than 20 Swedish businesses in renewable, alternative and sustainable energy sources, including companies specialising in solar, wave and wind energy.
Cutting an elegant figure in a smart red two-piece tailored suit, Queen Silvia, the half Brazilian, half Swedish former air hostess chatted amiably with Portuguese first lady Maria Cavaco Silva while Aníbal Cavaco Silva and King Carl XVI reviewed a number of guards of honour at Praça do Império on Monday.
The King and Queen were then taken on a guided tour of the Monastery of Jerónimos where the King laid a wreath at the foot of the tomb of Luís Vaz de Camões, before the couple went on to meet a group of school children from the Swedish community in Lisbon.
It was 120 years ago that the King of Sweden, Oscar, first visited the Kingdom of Portugal and relations have been described as “excellent ever since”.
President Cavaco Silva said that he hoped that the royal visit would contribute towards strengthening economic ties and information exchange between the two countries in alternative energy sources, both of which, along with the UK, lead the way in Europe.
During a lunch at the Belém Palace, Cavaco Silva underscored the common interests between Lisbon and Stockholm in building the European Union project, while King Carl said the visit was an opportunity to “build new bridges between the two countries”.
In the afternoon, the King and Queen visited parliament, the National Institute for Engineering, Technology and Innovation, and presided as guests of honour at a state banquet at the Ajuda Palace.
On Tuesday, the King opened a symposium dedicated to renewable energy sources in Lisbon’s Museum of Electricity.
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