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King Harald approves Norway’s new government

Early Wednesday morning a statement was published announcing that His Majesty King Harald of Norway had assembled the government to an extraordinary state council at the royal palace in Oslo and it was announced that Crown Prince Haakon was also going to attend. The remarkable state council was held today at 14:00 and is the result of a long-standing political process in Norway.

King Harald has now officially approved a new government that will rule Norway over the next four years. Erna Solberg, leader of the Norwegian Conservative Party, continues as Prime Minister, but now with a government consisting of three parties. In addition to the Progress Party, the Liberals have also entered into the Norwegian government.

His Majesty King Harald here together with Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The new government arrived at the palace to their very first state council as a new government. Erna Solberg presented her new government to the King who then personally greeted all members of the government before approving the political changes. The Crown Prince was also present during the ceremony. The ceremony was closed to the press. After the service, Erna Solberg arrived with her new government at the castle square where she declared to the press and the Norwegian people that the new government had the King’s approval.

This happened in the same way it has been done since World War II. All Norwegian governments are required to receive the King’s approval in order to function. The last time the King of Norway refused to accept the new government was in 1940 when the Germans occupied the country. King Harald’s grandfather, King Haakon VII, refused then to recognise Vidkun Quisling as Prime Minister.

Queen Sonja, King Harald and Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The Norwegian State Council is a council consisting of the Prime Minister and at least seven other members appointed by the King. The government is both a cabinet and a royal council. The members of the state council have all title councils with the exception of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, who is titled as such.

The members of the State Council have a meeting obligation in the Government Council, and the Government Council is only able to decide when more than half of the members meet. The King may, if necessary, appoint the necessary number of members to get a decisive government council.

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