The Earl and Countess of Wessex visit Finland – 3rd day

4th February – Day 3

In the morning, during free time, Prince Edward tested Bentley cars during secret session at the track of Juha Kankkunen (the four-time rally world champion). Olli Kettunen from Juha Kankkunen Driving Academy confirmed this information, via article in Iltalehti. This would explain clothes worn by The Countess and Earl – had Bentley logo, as the organizators included Arctic clothing (jacket, fleece and hat) in the price of this experience. The event, that Prince Edward took part in, is called “Power on Ice“, info here.
via Luovi Vocational College Facebook feed

In the afternoon, The Earl of Wessex, Trustee, and The Countess of Wessex, Global Ambassador, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, joined young people taking part in outward bound activities at their camp in Kuusamo, near the edge of Finnish Lapland and the Russian border. They visited the Oivanki Outdoor Education Centre, which is one of the 10 national youth centres supervised and supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland. The agenda included the ice game curling, ice fishing, snowshoeing and cooking outdoors in bitterly cold weather of -18 degrees Celsius.

The point was to find out about activities for youngsters in the area as part of the Avartti programme, which is the Finnish affiliate of the International Award for Young People, set up by Edward’s father, the Duke of Edinburgh. Avartti aims to encourage people aged 14-25 to “engage in beneficial recreational activities, participate in voluntary work and learn new skills”.
via Iltalehti aticle – click on pic to be redirected

Sini Paakki from the youth camp was surprised how friendly the royals were, they seemed just like a common people. Sophie was interested in curling and seemed excited while getting to play at the -18 degrees Celsius.
via Luovi Vocational College Facebook feed

Jarkko Liikanen, who guided Sophie, told that she learned quickly and one could say that she was brilliant in curling. Teacher Laura Kainulainen said that the royals were friendly, down to earth and approachable. They seemed to be genuinely interested in the camp. Pirkko Määttä, the development manager of Oivanki Outdoor Education Centre, stressed that the royals came to see the young and wanted to see them in their natural activities.
via Iltalehti aticle – click on pic to be redirected

Määttä has met the prince more than once, as they are both interested in sports. – We have been presented, and he knows that I am a Olympic medalist in skiing. However, they met so many people that the prince does not necessarily remember my accomplishments.

In the evening, Their Royal Highnesses visited the Finnish Sauna Society in Helsinki, a cultural association founded in 1937 to foster the heritage of the national bath. The Society has around 4200 members.
© Photographer: Rami Salle, courtesy of Suomen Saunaseura;
click on pic to read press release & view more pics from the visit

The royal couple arrived to Finnish Sauna Society’s house in Lauttasaari, Helsinki just before seven. The visit lasted more than half an hour. The Sauna Society’s Executive Director Catherine Styrman described visit as very warm. – They were really interested in the sauna culture and very nice. Prince opened a new smoke sauna, Ilmatar, and they got to know it.
© Photographer: Rami Salle, courtesy of Suomen Saunaseura;
click on pic to read press release & view more pics from the visit

Due to the busy schedule, the royals did not have the time to enjoy the sauna. Director Styrman told press that the sauna club members (15 at the time of the visit) showed how finnish people use the sauna. – They saw the people visiting the ice-hole, and were impressed by it. They thought that it is a fine tradition that people go from the sauna to a hole in the ice. 

Article in English. Great gallery of pictures here. Another video here. Article about the visit to sauna. I want to thank Lady Finn from royal forums, for her help in finding articles and the translation. Looks like The Countess is already home (as predicted earlier). Prince Edward will continue Finland visit by himself today and tomorrow. 

3 thoughts on “The Earl and Countess of Wessex visit Finland – 3rd day

  1. Amy

    The videos show a lot more than the pictures especially the ice fishing! And somewhere in these links is a video of a young Queen Elizabeth and looking very stiff upper lip when she visited (don't remember where or why). She walked through a logging camp, holding a safety hat (no way would she ruin her own hat), and then later sat down for a nice lunch in the middle of it all. How different it was then — and now with Sophie and Edward looking relaxed and having a bit of fun. Thanks for the post!


  2. Anonymous

    Edward and Sophie come across with high spirits whenever they attend various events. It is hard to look appropriate and stylish at the same time, but they had sartorial success (except Sophie may have looked better with black boots instead of brown in the one photo).

    I really admire the two of them, since people go to trouble to plan, set up and attend the event and E & S come across as though they are having a wonderful time in the cold/snowy conditions. Great manners these two, no eye rolling, yawning or bored looks from either of the Wessex team.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s