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Scandinavian royalty set to grace Yeosu and Seoul

Royals from Denmark, Norway and Sweden are all gracing Korea this month, each with a packed diplomatic schedule, including meetings with Lee Myung-bak and trips to the DMZ.

The Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary were the first Scandinavian royals to arrive on May 10 and will stay until May 15. 
Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary (Steen Evald)
Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary (Steen Evald)

The Crown Prince Frederik attended the Global Green Growth Summit at Seoul’s Lotte Hotel on Friday, while Crown Princess Mary visited Samsung Medical Center to tour the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatric Cancer Center there.

They also attended the opening ceremony of the Danish Pavilion at the Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea on Saturday, and visited Daewoo Shipyard in Okpo.

On Sunday, their schedule included watching an attempt by Korean children to create a record-breaking LEGO World Tower.

The royal couple was also to participate in business seminars and several ministerial-level meetings during their stay. 

These were to include Frederik’s signing of agreements at the opening of the second meeting of the Korea-Denmark Green Growth Alliance on Tuesday which he was to attend along with Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik.

Meanwhile, Mary will meet unwed mothers and their children in Seoul to hear their personal stories.

Danish Minister for Business Affairs and Growth Ole Sohn and Minister for Trade and Investment Pia Olsen Dyhr are accompanying the royals along with a 76-company business delegation.

“The purpose of this visit is to increase economic relations and trade between our two countries, that is why we are bringing so many companies,” said Danish Ambassador Peter Lysholt Hansen.

“This is the biggest business delegation we have ever had to Asia. No other country has ever had so many people coming in one delegation.

“We are glad that Korea is on the map and we are hoping that Denmark is on Korea’s map too.”
Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon (Norwegian Embassy)
Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon (Norwegian Embassy)

On May 14, Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon will arrive in Korea to attend his country’s national day at the Yeosu Expo. He will view the simulated interactive journey along the 25,148 kilometers of Norwegian coastline that the pavilion is offering visitors.

Prince Haakon will then participate in the opening of a business seminar in Seoul, as well as exploring how Norwegian seafood is brought to the Korean market.

The Norwegian delegation will also include Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske and State Secretary in the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Kristine Gramstad along with business representatives.

Next to arrive will be King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, who will also visit the DMZ during their state visit from May 29 to June 1. The royal couple will pay their respects to the five-member Swedish Delegation to the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission at Panmunjeom.
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden (Kungahuset.se)
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden (Kungahuset.se)

The King will participate in a Sweden-Korea business forum at Shilla Hotel on May 31, while Queen Silvia will attend a joint seminar on dementia at Bucheon Geriatric Medical Center on the same day.

The couple is visiting Korea at the invitation of President Lee Myung-bak and first lady Kim Yoon-ok, who visited Sweden in 2009. It will be the first visit to Korea of a Swedish head of state.

Maria Larsson Minister for Children and the Elderly and Annie Loof Minister for Enterprise will accompany the Swedish royals on their trip along with business and research delegations.

Swedish delegation members will also attend a forum for political leaders at Ewha Womans University.

Swedish Ambassador Lars Danielsson said his country was keen to tackle gender inequality both at home and abroad.

“This is one of the issues that the king and queen and ministers would like to discuss while here ― not to preach that we have solved every problem, but to discuss this very global problem that we all need to tackle. We need to discuss how we can allow both men and women to influence our societies,” he added.

The Swedish royal couple will also visit their country’s pavilion at the Expo on June 1.

Monaco’s Prince Albert II will also be in Korea from June 2-6 to attend the Expo, where he will hold a Monaco Blue Initiative conference on June 4, and attend a Sustainable Ocean Initiative High Level Meeting on June 5.

By Kirsty Taylor  (kirstyt@heraldcorp.com)
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