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Crown Prince and Princess of Norway Attend Memorials 5 Years After Terror Attack

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway attended events today to mark 5 years since the tragic terror attacks in 2011.

At 9:30am CEST, the Crown Prince and Princess were present at the commemoration in the government quarter of Oslo, where the first attack took place. The Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, spoke at the memorial and said, “Time does not heal all wounds.”  She further mentioned that the Norwegian people also honor those in terror attacks around the world, “We also remember others in cities like Nairobi, Brussels, Paris, Orlando, Nice, and so many others who experienced terror attacks.” From there, the couple went to Oslo Cathedral where they attended the memorial service at 11am CEST for those affected by the tragic events. It was broadcast live on NRK 1. Lastly, the Crown Prince was on Utøya island, the site of the second attack, for a memorial at 4pm CEST. The names of the 77 people who lost their lives on this day were read aloud in the government quarter and on Utøya. Wreaths were laid in both locations from the royal family, as well.

Following the horrendous attacks, King Harald and Queen Sonja attended a memorial service in Oslo Cathedral on 24 July 2011. Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and Princess Märtha Louise attended a memorial vigil for the victims of the attacks the following day in Oslo. The Crown Princess’ step-brother, Trond Berntsen was one of the first victims on the island of Utøya.

On 22 July 2011,  lone-wolf terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik attacked the Regjeringskvartalet building in Oslo and then Utøya island in Buskerud. He began his assault at 3:35 CEST by detonating a car bomb in front of the H block of the Regjeringskvartalet building, which housed the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Justice and the Police. Around an hour and a half later, Breivik, who was dressed as a police officer boarded a ferry at at Utøykaia in Tyrifjorden headed to the island of Utøya. This island was the location of Norwegian Labour Party’s AUF youth camp with close to 600 teenagers. He identified himself as Martin Nilsen from the Oslo Police Department who had come to check in after the bombing in Oslo.

Memorial at Utøya, the place of the attack on the Norwegian Labour Partys youth camp. Photo: Paalso; Paal Sorensen 2011 (Own Work) via Wikimedia Commons

Memorial at Utøya, the place of the attack on the Norwegian Labour Partys youth camp. Photo: Paalso; Paal Sorensen 2011 (Own Work) via Wikimedia Commons

After arriving to the island, Breivik began shooting at those around him on the island. He then shot at those who were attempting to flee by swimming across the lake. The assault lasted for close to an hour and a half before a police special task force arrived on the scene, at which point the perpetrator surrendered.

This was the deadliest attack on Norway since World War II with 77 deaths and at least 319 injuries. In August of 2012, Anders Breivik was convicted of causing a fatal explosion, mass murder, and terrorism. He was sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed in Norway of 21 years of imprisonment. However, the sentence can be extended if the courts decide that he is still a danger to society.

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