King and Queen of Sweden to Hop a Ride on the Tren Maya

Swedish royalty will ride the Mayan Train in March. Photo: Getty

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife Queen Silvia will ride the Tren Maya as part of a state visit to Mexico next month. They will be the first royal passengers on the newly inaugurated rail line.  

The royal event will take place from March 12 to 14 at the invitation of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The first day of the visit will begin with a wreath-laying and official welcome ceremony, in which President López Obrador and his wife, Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, will receive the monarchs at the National Palace. 

The second day of the trip will focus on business issues and children’s rights. López Obrador and King Carl Gustav will also inaugurate the Mexico-Sweden Business Forum.

Afterward, they will visit SOS Children’s Villages and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). After a business lunch, they will meet with Swedes residing in the country. The day will conclude with a show of traditional Mexican dances at the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

On Day 3, the royal couple will visit Yucatán, traveling the Tren Maya, or Mayan Train, to the famous Uxmal archaeological site. 

There, they will have a meeting with representatives of the Maya and Yaqui indigenous peoples. That same day, they will attend a meeting with Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila.

This is the king and queen’s third official trip to Mexico, following state visits in 1982 and 2002. On this occasion, they will be accompanied by the Minister of International Cooperation for Development and Foreign Trade of Sweden, Johan Forssell, in addition to representatives from more than 25 Swedish companies that will participate in the business delegation organized by Business Sweden.

Sweden is an important trading partner with Mexico. Mexico exports paper goods and alcohol to Sweden and imports the nation’s automobiles and pharmaceuticals. Over 200 Swedish companies operate in Mexico today including AstraZeneca, Ericsson, Svenska Cellulosa AB and Volvo.

Carl Gustaf was born during the reign of his great-grandfather, King Gustaf V. His father died in a plane crash in 1947 when Carl Gustaf was nine months old. Carl Gustaf became crown prince and heir apparent to the Swedish throne at the age of four when his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf, ascended the throne in 1950. Carl Gustaf has been king of Sweden since his grandfather’s death on Sept. 15, 1973. The Swedish king also has ties to the British royal family as a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria.

But his role is largely ceremonial. Royalty in Sweden holds no political power. 

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