William and Kate to visit Sweden and Norway in four-day tour

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to celebrate the culture and people of Sweden - from an unusual form of ice hockey to furniture retailer Ikea - during a tour of the nation.

The two-day visit to the Scandinavian country begins on Tuesday when William and Kate, travelling at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, attend events in the capital Stockholm.

An event celebrating Scandinavian design, featuring the famous brand Ikea, will have added significance as the Swedish founder of the global business Ingvar Kamprad died at the weekend aged 91.

The couple, who will move on to Norway on Thursday for a two-day visit, are making their first official visits to the countries, and in Sweden will be joined for much of their trip by the country's popular Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel.

Jason Knauf, the Cambridges' communications secretary, said: "The duke and duchess have asked, as with previous overseas visits, that this tour allow them opportunities to meet as many Swedes and Norwegians as possible.

"Their royal highnesses will meet a wide variety of people, including children and young people, those working in the mental health sector, and leaders in business, academia and scientific research, government, civil society and the creative industries."

It is thought the four-day tour may have originally been planned for late last year but was moved after Kate became pregnant and again suffered severe morning sickness.

The duchess, who is carrying her third child, is around six months pregnant but is expected to take full part in the trip which features a number of events outside despite the freezing conditions.

Alicia Vikander is expected to meet the couple (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Alicia Vikander is expected to meet the couple (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The first engagement of the trip will see them learn about a game called Bandy hockey, which is similar to the sport played on ice but features a small ball rather than a puck.

Later on Tuesday they will attend an event celebrating architectural collaboration and the best of Swedish design, where the global furniture brand Ikea will be represented.

In the evening, Swedish celebrities such as Pirates Of The Caribbean and Thor actor Stellan Skarsgard and Ex Machina actress Alicia Vikander will join the royal couple at a black-tie dinner at the residence of the British ambassador.

The British royal family are related to their counterparts in Sweden and Norway, and William and Kate will be joined by members of the foreign monarchy during their visit.

They will also meet a number of nobel laureates with Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel at the Nobel Museum, and the royal foursome will also meet academics to hear about the countries' approach to managing mental health challenges.