The King opens the Parliamentary Session

The King gave a speech and opened the 2020/2021 Parliamentary Session.

The King gave a speech and opened the 2020/2021 Parliamentary Session. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

On Tuesday 8 September, The King opened the 2020/2021 Parliamentary Session. The new parliamentary year has thus begun. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony in the Riksdag's chamber was held on a smaller scale.

In the afternoon, The King and Queen arrived at the Riksdag by car and were welcomed by Speaker of the Riksdag Andreas Norlén on the steps. A small troop from the Life Guards paraded outside the Riksdag building. Standard bearers from the Dementia Association in Sollentuna and the Volunteer Friend Service stood on the steps of the Riksdag building.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Opening of the Parliamentary Session was held on a smaller scale. Only The King and The Queen attended from the Royal Court. Fewer members of the Riksdag and invitees were present in the assembly hall. The Government was represented by half the ministers.

The King and Queen were welcomed by Speaker of the Riksdag Andreas Norlén.

The King and Queen were welcomed by Speaker of the Riksdag Andreas Norlén. Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

The King opens the Parliamentary Session

When The King and Queen entered the chamber together with the Speaker, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Speakers, the Marshal of the Realm and the Secretary General of the Riksdag, the King's Song was sung.

The speaker then requested that His Majesty should declare the Parliamentary Session open.

In his speech to the members of the Riksdag, The King said: "Yesterday afternoon, 5,837 Swedish inhabitants had died with COVID-19. This was a source of great sorrow to their loved ones, and a loss to our nation."

The King also said: "This Pandemic has put Sweden and the world in a position that places demands on all of us. We need to adapt, think differently, and find new ways forwards.

"Sweden has always done so, and we continue to do so today."

The King concluded by declaring the 2020/2021 Parliamentary Session open.

The Prime Minister then read the Statement of Government Policy.

Once the national anthem had been sung and the ceremony was concluded, the King and Queen processed out to the accompaniment of the Grand Marche.

Additional music during the ceremony was performed by the vocal group Kraja from Umeå.

Church service in connection with the Opening of the Parliamentary Session

Before the ceremony at the Riksdag building, The King and Queen, the Speaker of the Riksdag and the Prime Minister attended a church service in connection with the Opening of the Parliamentary Session in Stockholm Cathedral.

The King and Queen arrive at Stockholm Cathedral together with Speaker of the Riksdag Andreas Norlén, Dean Hans Ulfvebrand and Cathedral Chaplain Kristina Ljunggren.

The King and Queen arrive at Stockholm Cathedral together with Speaker of the Riksdag Andreas Norlén, Dean Hans Ulfvebrand and Cathedral Chaplain Kristina Ljunggren. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The tradition of holding a church service before the Opening of the Parliamentary Session dates back hundreds of years. Due to the ongoing pandemic, there were fewer than 50 attendees.

The service was led by Dean Hans Ulfvebrand and Cathedral Chaplain Kristina Ljunggren. The Dean also gave this year's speech. During the service, music was performed by a choral ensemble conducted by Cathedral Chaplain Gary Graden and Cathedral Organist Mattias Wager.

The King and Queen sit on the royal chairs, which date from the 1670s and the time of King Karl XI.

The King and Queen sit on the royal chairs, which date from the 1670s and the time of King Karl XI. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT