Published 17 December 2019

Karl and Philippa attended the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony

Our students Philippa Eriksson and Karl Karinen travelled to Stockholm last Tuesday to attend the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.

Since 1926, the Nobel Prizes have been presented to Nobel Laureates at Stockholm Concert Hall every year, with a few exceptions. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays at the ceremony. The event is broadcasted in many TV channels around the world.

We asked Philippa and Karl why they were invited:

– We participate in the mentorship programme at SSHL, where students are given the opportunity to be mentored by alumni. The SSHL Alumni Association had arranged two invitations for the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony. Me and Karl won the lottery to receive the two invites.

How did it feel to participate in such an important event?

Philippa: It was very exciting and fun! It was absolutely amazing and something that I will truly remember for the rest of my life. I was nervous almost the entire event, because we were representing the school and I had never been to such an important event before.

Karl: It was inspiring to see some of the most creative, intelligent and hard-working people of our time receive awards for achievements that affect humanity as a whole. Important guests like the King and the Royal Family and other honored guests were a constant and powerful presence. It was difficult not to have ambitious thoughts in that environment. The orchestra performance was the most beautiful I have ever experienced. I am genuinely happy and grateful to have been given this opportunity, it will be a memory for a lifetime!

How did you dress?

– We wore our school uniforms, and Karl felt a bit uneasy as all other men were dressed in tailcoats and the women wore evening gowns.

Where was the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony held?

– The ceremony took place at the Stockholm Concert Hall. There was a police cordon around Hötorget and the surrounding streets. We had quite a hard time making our way there but the police helped us.

What did the ceremony procedure look like?

– All “regular” guests took their seats first. Then the orchestra started playing and all the guests stood up while His Majesty the King and the Queen and the Royal Family entered. After their entrance, the Nobel Laureates entered, escorted by students from Stockholm University and finally, the representatives of the Academy and the Nobel Foundation entered the scene.

There was a speech about Alfred Nobel, the orchestra played and then all the prize winners were presented. The motivations were read out and one by one His Majesty the King handed each of them their prize and shook their hands.

The ceremony was closed with everyone singing the Swedish national anthem, the orchestra played and the Royal Family walked off the stage. The Nobel Laureates left after that, followed by the Academy and the Nobel Foundation representatives.

Were you offered something to eat at the event?

– No, unfortunately! We talked about this before arriving, but no, we weren’t. But it was probably because of the dinner banquet that would follow the ceremony.

Did you get a chance to meet any of the celebrities?

– No, but we had great seats that let us see the entire stage perfectly. We were able to see the Royal Family and the award winners up close.

Below: Karl and Philippa at the 2019 Nobel Prize Ceremony.