Mayors and councillors from all over Norway gathered at a grand gala dinner in Oslo City Hall yesterday. Oslo’s mayor, Marianne Borgen invited the King, the Queen and the nation’s mayors to Oslo City Hall after the annual conference for municipal politics was over.
The King and Queen arrived at the dinner and were welcomed by Mayor Marianne Hagen and accompanied to their seats by Gunn Marit Helgesen, president of the central municipal associations. Kampen concert-band played the fanfare when His Majesty and Her Majesty arrived the grand hall.
Mayor Borgen welcomed the King and Queen in his speech and spoke much about His Majesty’s speech from last summer. Read more about this speech here. After the speech was finished, all spontaneously stood up in respect for Their Majesties, who both celebrate their 80th birthday this year and sang the Norwegian birthday song for them.
During the dinner, His Majesty sat between the mayor and the KS leader, while the Queen sat between the Chief Commissioner Raymond Johansen and Minister Jan Tore Sanner. Together on the King and Queen`s table set also mayors Kirsten Helen Myhren from Vegårshei, Sigrun Wiggen Prestbakmo from Salangen and Olve Grotle from Forde.
Minister Jan Tore Sanner spoke on behalf of the government, which was followed by an artistic performance by pianist Bugge Wesseltoft and violinist Harpreet Bansal. The dessert was served in the banquet hall where the King and Queen had the opportunity to speak to several of the country’s mayors.
This was probably the last time that so many mayors will gather together with the King and Queen. The ongoing municipal reform in Norway will merge many of Norway’s small municipalities together.