King Harald of Norway has a personal goal to visit all the municipalities in Norway. Yesterday, His Majesty visited two towns that he has never been to on an official visit. This happened the day after he handed out a cancer research award in memory of his father, King Olav. Yesterday the journey went to Gjesdal and Bjerkreim, in western Norway.
The visit started in Gjesdal, and when the King arrived at the local school, he was met with flags and songs. At the front of the choir were the two siblings, Lise and Tobias Vølstad. Those two had written a letter to King Harald and invited him to Gjesdal. When the children had finished their songs, the King was welcomed by Mayor Frode Fjeldsbø and Principal Trond Niemi at the Gjesdal Youth School.
The King’s commitment to children and youth’s upbringing environment was the focus during the visit to this municipality, which has the country’s youngest population. Here he heard from the children on how it was to grow up in Gjesdal.
King Harald also saw several cultural performances before children from Dirdal School finished it all with a performance from the school’s own musical. After the school visit, there was lunch with 80 guests in the village of Ålgård, where children from Nesjane kindergarten sang to the King. The menu provided His Majesty with local food from Gjesdal and Bjerkreim.
After lunch, the monarch travelled on to the Bjerkreim municipality. There, His Majesty participated in the opening of the new sports stadium. The local 12-year-old, Hege Tengesdal had her new year’s wish fulfilled that day. When she was interviewed by the local newspaper last year, she was asked what her new year wish was. Then, the twelve-year-old answered, “I hope the King will come and visit us.” Yesterday, together with ten-year-old Agneta Egeland Hauksdóttir, she had the honour of giving the King flowers when he came to her municipality.
More than five hundred people and Mayor Torbjørn Ognedal ensured that King Harald had a lovely party after the opening of the sports facility. After everyone had sung the King’s song, His Majesty saw more cultural performances from the local inhabitants. Afterwards, the visit concluded, and the King returned to Oslo.