Wednesday 21 February 2007

King Harald's 70th: we 'go' to Norway this weekend

Happy 70th birthday King Harald!

Today is the 70th birthday of King Harald of Norway, and in Norway five days of celebrations have begun. Why are we mentioning the Norwegian royals? Well, it is to get you in the mood because this Friday and Saturday Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Christian and Prince Joachim will be going to Oslo to join in the party, which will include many European royals and special guests at various events and a gala ball (guess Prince Christian will be sitting that one out!). Queen Margrethe is not attending because she is recovering from her recent knee surgery. Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik are close to King Harald and Queen Sonia. Up until recent years, Queen Margrethe and Queen Sonia skiied together each year. For the younger generation, Frederik was the supporter (best man) to Haakon at his wedding to Mette-Marit, while both Haakon and Mette-Marit are godparents to Christian. Recently Frederik, Mary and Christian made a private weekend visit to Skaugum to stay with Haakon, Mette-Marit, Marius, Ingrid Alexandra and Sverre Magnus (born not long after Christian).

Today the Norwegian royal family has attended a service at the Trinity Church in Oslo. There has been a gift giving ceremony of the statue of King Harold's mother Crown Princess Märtha in the Palace Park (next to the Royal Palace). King Harald will be the guest of honour at a birthday banquet hosted by the government at the historic Akershus Fortress and Castle this evening. Prince Henrik will be staying in the Royal Palace in Oslo and the younger generation royals (including Frederik, Mary and Christian) will be staying at the Skaugum Estate of Haakon and Mette-Marit. The Danish royals will be in Norway from Friday to Saturday and we will bring you more as it becomes available. For one of the festivities the guests will be in national dress, which means we will see Mary in Greenlandic or Færoese dress, most likely Færoese national dress -- it will be interesting to see what national outfits the many royals will wear!

The guestlist (in Norwegian but the names are recognisable) and the program:

23 February
1. Foreign royal guests arrive at Gardermoen on Friday
2. Most will attend the Oslo City Hall celebration performance in honour of the birthdays of both the King and the Queen's (who turns 70 in the summer). The cultural performance is a gift from all the Norwegian municipalities and counties to the King.
3. The public will be able to see the royal family and their guests outside City Hall
4. The performance will be telecast on TV2 and afterwards Haakon and Mette-Marit will host a dinner for royal guests and heads of state at Skaugum Estate

24 February
5. On Saturday the King and Queen have invited everyone to a day at the Norwegian Museum for Cultural History at Bygdøy
6. Gala dinner with dancing at the Royal Palace in the evening with a surprise from the military for the king in the palace Square for the king at 10.45pm which the public can attend

25 February
7. Guests still in Oslo on Sunday are invited on a sleigh ride and lunch in the winter landscape

The Presidents of Iceland and Finland will be accommodated in hotels. The King and Queen of Spain, Prince Henrik of Denmark, the King and Queen of Belgium, the Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg and Prince Albert of Monaco will be accommodated at the Royal Palace. Other royals will stay at Skaugum and the Royal Lodge.

Norwegian Royal House website
photos of the Norwegian Royal Family
The whole Norwgian Royal Family
Norwegian royal history - shows the close connection between the Danish and Norwegian royal families

Aftenposten - Bitter cold chills royal birthday bash (English)
Aftenposten - King gets statue of his mother (English) - Rørt konge avduket statue (Norwegian, but check the photos) - the king is very affected by the statue of his mother, who died in 1954, as he unveils the gift to him located in the Palace Park
Again, for some even better photos Aftenposten - – Du står som en påle

VG TV video clip (1:50) - shows the arrival of the Norwegian Royal Family at the church service

Aftenposten - Varsler "Sibirkulde" - there are sub-zero temperatures in Oslo, so all visitors will need to pack warm clothes! (you can see a very debonair snowman outside the Royal Palace) Norwegian fashion magazine - Crown Princess Mette-Marit has done a photo shoot and talked about Norwegian design.
Henne's gala evening dress wish list for the visiting queens, crown princesses and princesses, most gowns are Valentino.... we are not quite sure about the canary yellow dress suggested for Mary!!

1. The church service today 2. The regent couple Harald and Sonia and the Crown Prince Couple Haakon and Mette-Marit 3. three generation photo of King Harald, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Ingrid Alexandra 4. Queen Sonia 5. & 6. Crown Princess Mette-Marit 7. & 8. Princess Märtha Louise (all the royal portraits from the NRF website)

Added: Aftenposten photo gallery - arriving at the Trinity Church (20 photos)
Aftenposten photo gallery 2
Photo - King Harold unveils a statue of his mother
Photo- Mette-Marit, Marius, Haakon, Märtha Louise and Ari Behn

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home