Sweden's National Day 2020

The King and Queen photographed at Logården below the Royal Palace during the evening on Sweden's National Day.

The King and Queen photographed at Logården below the Royal Palace during the evening on Sweden's National Day. Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

Saturday 6 June was Sweden's National Day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's National Day celebrations were limited. However, the Royal Family marked the day in the customary way, celebrating Sweden and the Swedish flag.

At 08:00, the flags were raised at Stenhammar Palace, Haga Palace and Villa Solbacken.

At the same time, a list of the people to whom HM The King has decided to award medals this National Day was published.

Digital tour of the Royal Palace

At 10:00, The Crown Princess welcomed online visitors to a digital tour of the Royal Palace's rooms.

Every year on Sweden's National Day, a large number of visitors usually visit the Royal Palace, where there are extended opening hours and various activities. This year, the Royal Palace is closed to visitors.

Watch the guided tours hereopens in new window.

The Crown Princess during the guided tour of the Royal Palace.

The Crown Princess during the guided tour of the Royal Palace. Photo: The Royal Court of Sweden

Salutes

At 12:00, the Swedish Armed Forces fired salutes from Sweden's salute stations.

Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar were photographed on Lejonbacken outside the Royal Palace.

Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar were photographed on Lejonbacken outside the Royal Palace. Photo: Linda Broström/The Royal Court of Sweden

The King and Queen travel to the Royal Palace

On Sweden's National Day, The King and Queen temporarily returned to Stockholm from Stenhammar Palace. At the Royal Palace, The King gave a speech during the evening which was broadcast as part of SVT's National Day broadcast. The speech was given without an audience.

In his speech, The King said: "Today we fly the flag for Sweden, but around the country flags have been flown at half-mast more often than usual this year.

"This has been a difficult time for many people. Thousands have lost relatives and friends. Others have lost their livelihoods. Christenings, weddings and funerals – important ceremonies in our lives – have been cancelled. And the future may feel uncertain. Not least for those students who will now be taking their first steps into adult life.

"Admirable, heroic efforts have been made by many individuals, from various sections of our society. Thank you all!"

The Army's Grand Tattoo

A popular and traditional TV broadcast during the evening on Sweden's National Day is the Army Music Corps' performance of the Grand Tattoo from Logården at the Royal Palace.

The tattoo was performed this year at Logården, in the presence of The King and Queen, the Speaker of the Riksdag and the Prime Minister.

The tattoo traditionally concludes SVT's National Day broadcast.

Sweden's National Day

Skansen's founder Artur Hazelius initiated Sweden's National Day on 6 June 1893, but it was not until more than twenty years later that the tradition spread to the whole of the country.

Wholesaler Nils Ljunggren suggested holding a flag day in 1915. The following year, Swedish Flag Day was commemorated at Stockholm Olympic Stadium and at more than a hundred other locations throughout Sweden. It was on this occasion at Stockholm Olympic Stadium that 'Sweden's Flag', composed by Hugo Alfvén with words by K. G. Ossiannilsson, was first performed.

The tradition of the monarch presenting standards to associations began in 1918, and has continued almost every year since then. King Carl XVI Gustaf first took part in the celebrations at Stockholm Olympic Stadium in 1949.

In 1963, the celebrations were moved to Skansen. Swedish Flag Day officially became Sweden's National Day in 1983, and 6 June has been a public holiday since 2005. The date was chosen because Gustav Vasa was elected King of Sweden on this date in 1523 by a parliament in Strängnäs, and the Instrument of Government was signed on this date in 1809.