Since yesterday, the Swedish royal couple, his Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and her Majesty Queen Silvia, have been guests in Aachen on the invitation of the organisers of the CHIO Aachen. Sweden is this year’s partner country of the World Equestrian Festival. In the evening, the royal couple visited the “Media Night” gala evening, before the Queen officially opened the show. We talked to Queen Silvia of Sweden shortly before the Opening Ceremony.
What is your first impression of the CHIO Aachen?
Queen Silvia: This is a magical day for me. I lived in Düsseldorf for a long time, in other words close by and have always dreamed of visiting the CHIO Aachen. Now, I have finally succeeded in doing so (laughs). This year is a great opportunity for Sweden to present itself here as an hospitable and versatile country.
Which message have you brought to Aachen with you?
Queen Silvia: An event like this one is very important in such times of unrest. So many nations come together here to take part in fair competitions together. It is wonderful that something like this exists. And this encourages the people! I am very impressed at how well organised everything is here, everything is tiptop and so harmonious. I almost feel like I am at the Olympic Games. My huge compliments to Aachen! I am also told that this is the best horse hotel in the world here.
What is your relationship to horses?
Queen Silvia: I love horses. They are wonderful animals, but at the same time also so friendly and sensitive. That it is a special gift!
Who is the most talented rider among the Swedish royal family?
Queen Silvia: My father-in-law was definitely the best rider among the Swedish royal family to-date. I believe my daughter, Princess Madeleine, has inherited his talent and his love for horses.
And what about your grandchildren?
Queen Silvia: Estelle loves horses and also the individual rituals that go hand in hand with them: Feeding, cleaning and grooming. At the age of just two, little Leonore has an incredible confidence in horses.
A welcome reception was already held for you yesterday at the market square in Aachen. What was it like?
Queen Silvia: It was fantastic. There were so many totally enthusiastic people there. Together with the many Swedish show performances, it was a wonderful experience.
Do you ride yourself?
Queen Silvia: I used to ride when I was a young girl. But I don’t ride now.
And your favourite discipline?
Queen Silvia: Not falling off (laughs).
For more information visit www.chioaachen.de