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Official visit to Chile

His Royal Highness The Crown Prince’s official visit to Chile commenced on Wednesday. The Crown Prince is visiting Chile 23 – 26 January at the invitation of President Michelle Bachelet.

25.01.2008

Crown Prince Haakon arrived in Santiago Wednesday morning. The Chilean capital is situated on a plain between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, with a population of six million.

Wreath-laying ceremony

First on the Crown Prince’s official programme was the wreath-laying ceremony at the Bernardo O’Higgins monument. Bernardo O’Higgins led the Chilean struggle for independence from Spanish rule and is considered to be Chile’s liberator and father of the nation. When Chile declared its independence in 1818, O’Higgins became the country’s first head of state. The Crown Prince also visited the crypt were Bernardo O’Higgins is buried.

President Michelle Bachelet

Following the wreath-laying ceremony, the Crown Prince went to La Moneda for a meeting with the Chilean president, Her Excellency Ms Michelle Bachelet. President Bachelet, a physician by education, has been the president of Chile since 2006. The meeting took place in the presidential palace, La Moneda, which has been the residence of Chile’s head of state since 1845. The building was taken into use in 1805 and served as a mint from 1814 to 1929, giving the building it’s name (“moneda” meaning “coin”)

In the evening, President Bachelet hosted an official dinner at La Moneda in honour of Crown Prince Haakon.

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