BOSTON (WWLP) – A very special visit at the State House Friday, the Governor welcomed the President of Latvia.

The front gates of the State House were opened and the red carpet was rolled out to welcome the president of Latvia to Massachusetts. The front entrance of the State House is only opened for three occasions.

  • The Governor’s lone walk after leaving office
  • When the Massachusetts regimental flags are received into the permanent collections
  • When a President of the United States or foreign head of state comes to visit

Latvia’s Head of State, Edgar Rinkēvičs, was recently in New York for the U.N. General Assembly and spoke Friday morning in Waltham at Spotlight Latvia 2023, an event hosted by the Latvian American Chamber of Commerce. The event is held so U.S. companies can “learn about the advantages of conducting business in Latvia.”

Governor Maura Healey descended the steps to greet the president of Latvia as the flag of his home country flew overhead. The Ancient and Honorable lined the pathway up to the State House as is custom when a foreign head of state visits.

The President was greeted by Healey and ascended the middle steps. The President is the first openly gay head of state in the European Union, which must resonate with Healey who is the first openly gay governor of Massachusetts and the first openly lesbian governor elected in the United States.

Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe and borders Russia to the East. The president has been an ardent supporter of Ukraine in the ongoing war.

Governor Healey has been in office for less than a year and this is her third head of state visit. She formerly welcomed both the president of South Korea and Cape Verde.

Local News

Ellen Fleming is a reporter at the Boston State House who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Ellen on X @EllenFlem and view her bio to see more of her work.