HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William visited Finland on 29-30 November 2017. The visit was hosted by the President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö.
President Niinistö received the Duke of Cambridge at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday, 29 November 2017. The Duke brought a message from HRH Queen Elisabeth II, in which the Queen congratulates Finland on its 100 years of independence.
“It is a great honour to receive a letter from Her Majesty The Queen. We are a nation that is proud of its past and ready to face our future,” said President Niinistö as he received the message. The programme at the Presidential Palace also includes private talks between President Niinistö and the Duke of Cambridge.
Following the meeting, The Duke visited an ice rink in Helsinki, where he learned about the activities of Icehearts. Icehearts is an operating model providing long-term professional growth support through team sport for children needing it. In addition, His Royal Highness attended a reception hosted by Sarah Price, British Ambassador to Finland. The day ended with a dinner held by President Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio at the official residence in Mäntyniemi.
On Thursday 30 November, The Duke visited the Slush startup and technology event, where he attended the opening ceremony and visited Finnish and British companies’ stalls. In addition, The Duke visited a primary school in Helsinki, where accompanied by Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen and Head of the Helsinki Education Division Sector Liisa Pohjolainen, he was introduced to innovative learning environments and methods and learned about the KiVa Koulu anti-bullying programme.
The general public had an opportunity to greet The Duke on 30 November in Esplanadi Park, where His Royal Highness visited the winter fair Manta's Market accompanied by Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori and chair of Helsinki City Tuuli Kousa. Following his visit to the Christmas Market, The Duke proceeded to the City Hall, where he attended a luncheon offered by the City of Helsinki. The Duke’s visit to Finland ended with a presentation of the Finnish Air Force at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
Prince Philip and I send our warmest good wishes to you and to the people of Finland on the occasion of its 100th Anniversary.
We have fond memories of our State visit to Finland in 1976, when we experienced the warm hospitality of Helsinki, Turku and Jyväskylä.
In 1976, I spoke about how we in Britain had long associated friendliness with Finland, an association that is no less true 41 years later. Over the past four decades our two nations have worked together in many ways – on security, on commerce, on our people-to-people Iinks – always aided by that spirit of friendship. I have no doubt that we will continue to build our relationship in this way in the years to come.
Your good friend,