Queen Silvia was all smiles as she visited a Ho Chi Minh City primary school
Photo: © AFP

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium and his wife were enjoying an unofficial visit to the UK
Photo: © AFP

SWEDISH ROYALS EXPLORE VIETNAM

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King Carl Gustaf of Sweden and his wife Queen Silvia began a six-day visit to Vietnam on Monday, as the two countries prepare to celebrate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties between them next week.

The Swedish royals, who are in Vietnam at the invitation of President Tran Duc Luong, took in the scenery in Hanoi, where they toured a red lantern-adorned Temple of Literature. Dressed in a bright pink skirt and jacket, accessorised with pearls, the queen, accompanied by the monarch, also got an in-depth look at the making of Vietnam's traditional conical hats as they visited the capital's museum of ethnology.

After Hanoi, the royal couple are expected travel to the former imperial capital of Hue, and then on to Ho Chi Minh City in the south.

While King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia were exploring Vietnamese culture, another of Europe's royal couples was on a trip a bit closer to home. Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium and his spouse Crown Princess Mathilde jetted into London for a brief unofficial excursion over the weekend. The pair, who were spotted clutching flowers from well-wishers at Waterloo Station, also checked out the Illuminating The Renaissance exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts during their two-day stay.

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