Thursday, 8 September 2016

Norwegian State Visit to Finland, Day Two

Queen Sonja of Norway discovers the joy of mobile phone games on day two of her State Visit to Finland

State Visits usually include a healthy dose of business talk, economic debate and opportunities to develop trade between the countries involved. On day two of the State Visit to Finland by the King and Queen of Norway, they also involved mobile phone games. Queen Sonja was challenged to a round of tech fun during a business seminar and by the look on her face, she had discovered a whole new world. 

King Harald forces a smile as he realises his wife may have developed a whole new hobby

Sonja headed to a business forum with Harald and their hosts, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and his wife Jenni Haukio, where they heard presentations on trade and the economy. They also got the chance to visit a gaming workshop - the industry is currently flourishing in Finland with Norwegian firms catching up. She was challenged to play a round of a game by Norwegian developers with Jenni Haukio as her opponent. And King Harald seemed to enjoy it just as much as his wife. 

But after the fun, Sonja made a speech at the lunch held at the event where she underlined the importance of gender equality and told her audience that making sure men and women were treated fairly and the same would help productivity.

King Harald and Queen Sonja arriving at Biomedicum on day two of their State Visit to Finland

Later, Harald and Sonja visited Biomedicum, part of Helsinki University, to hear about its work as an educational institution for medical sciences. Then it was time for a roundtable discussion involving representatives from several industries including defence, maritime and mining.

The evening saw King Harald and Queen Sonja join their hosts at a reception given by the Norwegian ambassador to Finland.

The royal couple and the Finnish president and his wife were treated to jazz music at the event. Day three of the State Visit will see Harald and Sonja head to northern Finland for their final day of engagements.

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