On the 20th of October, it will be 200 years to the day since the first Bernadotte set foot in Helsingborg and the realm where he would be King. The Bicentennial will be celebrated with much pomp and circumstance. There will be festivities in the streets and squares and visits from the Royal Houses on both sides of the Sound.
The Bicentennial in Helsingborg is now approaching its zenith – Bicentennial Day. The city is being dressed for a party and there will be drama and entertainment in the streets and squares. King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden will be joining in the celebration. Queen Margrethe II and Princess Benedikte of Denmark will also be here.
In Bernadotte’s wake
The Royals’ day will begin in Helsingör with a visit to what was the Swedish Consulate in 1810. Here, they will be given an historical review of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte’s final hours before setting sail for Sweden. After lunching together, the Royals will make the same journey across the Sound their ancestor once made. When they step ashore, the people of Helsingborg will greet them at Hamntorget with a splendid landing ceremony. The programme will include a performance by the Helsingborg City Theatre. The play was written in honour of the day and is about the ascending king. Jörgen Düberg plays Karl Johan Bernadotte. There will also be music performed by the Helsingborg Concert Hall Choir and musicians from the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, who will play pieces including the popular “Music for a Royal Wedding”. A sign on the monument to the landing will be unveiled during the ceremony and His Majesty the King of Sweden and County Governor Göran Tunhammar will give speeches.
An exhibition on the art of becoming a king
After the landing ceremony, the celebration will move to Sundstorget and the Dunkers Culture Centre. While the Royals open the exhibition The Art of Becoming King – From Jean Baptiste Bernadotte to Karl XIV Johan, the public will be treated to entertainment, music, folk dance, theatre and more. The exhibition will open to the public at 4:30 in the afternoon. It tells the story of an ordinary man’s path to the Swedish throne and how he managed to stay there. The exhibition is structured like a manual in the art of becoming a King in reality. In 14 steps, visitors will learn what it takes, at least according to Karl XIV Johan.
Celebrants celebrate the celebrants
The Church of Saint Mary is celebrating its 60oth anniversary this year and was also the first parish to welcome the new successor to the throne. Back then, the service was held in French. This year, it will be in Swedish and will be performed by Bishop Antje Jackelén and Vicar Gudrun Erlanson.
The Die Magnifi-Katze choir will also perform. The Royal guests will attend services and seats and tickets have been reserved for parishioners alongside the invited guests.
Light on history
People who would like another glimpse of the Royals and the festive atmosphere can take themselves to the city centre in the evening. That is when the transparencies will be illuminated. These screens tell the story of Jean Baptiste’s journey from military man in France to Crown Prince of Sweden. The façades will be flooded in light and actors and folk dancers in historical costume will stroll around and declaim humorous speeches to the people. At 7:30 in the evening, the Royals will arrive at the venerable Gamlegård to enjoy their dinner – at the very place where Jean Baptiste spent his first night in his new kingdom.
For more information about the Royals’ programme, kindly allow us to get back to you on 29 September with more details and registration procedures for the press.
For more information about the Bicentennial Day programme and activities during the week, please visit us online at:
Helen von Platen
Project Manager, Helsingborg Bernadotte Bicentennial Celebrations
Office of the City Executive Board, City of Helsingborg
Tel: +46 (0)42-10 60 69, (0)70-354 60 69