Monday, October 8, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė will meet their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess Edward, Earl and Countess of Wessex on October 10, Wednesday, at 10:30 a.m. Members of the British royal family will pay an official visit to Lithuania as it celebrates the centennial of national independence.
The meeting will focus on bilateral relations, cooperation between Lithuania and the United Kingdom in the areas of security, economy, culture, as well as promotion of investment and innovation.
The United Kingdom, which suffered a chemical attack in Salisbury, is very well aware just like Lithuania of the threats posed by Russia to the Old Continent and actively contributes to strengthening the defense of the Baltic States. The United Kingdom has assumed the responsibility to lead NATO’s forward presence in Estonia. Lithuania, together with the Netherlands, other Baltic and Nordic countries, has joined the UK Joint Expeditionary Force. British experts are involved in the activities of the regional cyber security center to be set up in Kaunas.
The United Kingdom is among Lithuania’s top ten trade partners. Lithuania and the United Kingdom share the same economic interests. British companies have created over 20 thousand jobs in Lithuania, focusing on innovation, life sciences, biomedicine, and high technologies.
During the visit, the Earl of Wessex together with the President will deliver The Duke of Edinburgh's Awards to the youngsters of Lithuania, who aim for personal development through volunteering, scientific knowledge, sports, and arts, at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. The Royal couple will also visit Vilnius University, open an exhibition focusing on diplomatic relations between Lithuania and the UK during the inter-war period, and pay tribute to the memory of Lithuanian freedom fighters.
Prince Edward is a patron of numerous social and culture projects. The Earl of Wessex developed a strong interest in the arts and acting as a young man and is a patron of Windsor Festival, the National Youth Theater of Great Britain and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which is currently conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
The Countess of Wessex devotes a lot of attention to supporting people with disabilities and prevention of blindness. She also contributes to promoting gender equality in the labor market and is a patron of over 70 organisations.