NEW DELHI: India has royalty in its midst.
Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf Folke Hubertus and Queen Silvia Renate Sommerlath, who are in the country, began their visit after a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan from President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife Savita Kovind, and a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House.
Fittingly as royals from the land of Greta Thunberg, they are also slated to take part in a programme on 'Tackling emissions and air pollution' at the India Habitat Centre on Tuesday.
The King, it could be said, managed to grab headlines right on his arrival on Monday morning in an Air India flight.
An Air India employee who was in the flight tweeted: "The Royal Couple were very appreciative of our inflight hospitality!"
After courtesy, it was time for humility.
King Gustaf insisted on carrying his own luggage, doing away with VIP treatment on landing.
#FlyAI : Very Proud moment of Air India when we had a Special Guest onboard. His Majesty Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus , King of Sweden and Her Majesty Silvia Renate Sommerlath travelled AI168 Stockholm to Delhi. Ms. Sangeeta Sanyal Country Manager Sweden greeted the Royal guests. pic.twitter.com/LXrLeEoDqd— Air India (@airindiain) December 2, 2019
This was not just within the airport, but he carried it right till the car that had arrived to pick him up.
This video is proof:
Swedish royals King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia arrive in New Delhi on 5 day India visit pic.twitter.com/cpRAzkRyF6
— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) December 2, 2019
During their stay, the King and Queen are also slated to visit Maximum City Mumbai and meet the Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhawan on Wednesday.
They will also be visiting Dehradun the next day and go to the Ram Jhula Bridge and the Bathing Ghat in Uttarakhand.
They will also inaugurate the Sarai Sewage Treatment Plant in Haridwar the same day.
Their visit will end with a return visit to New Delhi on Friday from where they will leave for Stockholm.
This is King Gustaf's third visit to India. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, several agreements on furthering bilateral engagement are likely to be signed during the visit.
India and Sweden had a bilateral trade turnover of USD 3.37 billion in 2018 and cumulative investments of about USD 2.5 billion since 2000.
Bilateral relations between India and Sweden are friendly and based on principles of democracy and transparency, right to freedom, and rule of law.