Music at the Royal Palace, Stockholm
For one week every January since 1970, when it started with King Gustav VI Adolf, the Swedish Royal Court has invited young musicians from around the world to play a concert at Kungahuset, the Royal Palace in Stockholm. A week each September also features concerts by established musicians. This year, the student festival runs January 16 to 24. The week started with the King, H.R.H. Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen listening to a concert by students from the Music Conservatory of Falun and Södra Latin music classes. During the week, the audience will also hear music by Operahögskolan (Opera High School) & Junior Academy of young instrumentalists, the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale for choirs and soloists from Spoleto, Italy, a dance performance by The Academy of Music & Drama in Gothenburg and the Austria Baroque Akademie will play music from around the world.

Royal family on the move
In early January the Royal Court announced that Princess Madeleine and her royal family was moving from New York. They are now based in Stockholm for a while, discussing where in Europe they should live in the long term. According to royal sources they are considering London, Paris and Gstaad, Switzerland. London may be their top choice as Princess Madeleine’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law both live in the British capital. It is widely expected that Princess Madeleine will have her baby in Sweden this summer, around the same time as Prince Carl Philip's wedding to Sofia Hellqvist. Madeleine is pregnant with her second child with American husband Chris O’Neill. Their first child, Leonore, was born in March of last year.

Suspicious substances in Swedish post
In recent weeks, a number of letters with suspicious substances have been sent through the Swedish post to several companies and authorities in different cities. Major investigative efforts by the police and emergency services — and cost to society — proved that the content wasn’t dangerous in any incident. The two 2001 cases of anthrax getting mailed within the U.S. and another case of anthrax in a letter addressed to the prime minister of Pakistan in 2011 raise fears to this day, but there has never been anything dangerous in similar threatening letters in Sweden. “It requires a special expertise to turn them into powder. Such knowledge and technology can be found at research facilities ... where it is hoped there is a culture of safety,” says Magnus Normark of the Swedish Defense Research Agency. He believes the probability of such threats is extremely low but they must be taken seriously.

New royal stamps
Two new stamps featuring T.R.H. King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia were released in January. The stamps, designed by Daniel Bjugård, are a contemporary interpretation of the first stamps of the King produced after his coronation in 1973 and bear similarities to the first-ever stamps that depicted a Swedish monarch's portrait, when King Oskar II was shown in classic profile in 1885.