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Norway’s Royal Palace manager resigns following a serious breach of internal guidelines

The manager of the Royal Palace in Oslo, Ragnar Osnes, has chosen to resign his position with immediate effect because of a breach in the Royal Court’s internal guidelines. This was announced Monday evening in a press release from the Norwegian Royal court.

In the press release, the Lord Chamberlain of the Norwegian Royal Court, Gry Mølleskog, stated: “This breach of trust is serious, and therefore I have accepted his immediate resignation. The Royal Court will, as a consequence of the findings of our internal investigation, make an evaluation of the extended power the position of castle manager has”.

Gry Mølleskog has been Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household since 2015. Here photographed during King Harald’s official opening of the Norwegian parliament in 2017. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet has received a confirmation from the Royal Court that the internal investigation was initiated after Dagbladet last week sent a number of questions about construction work and one of the last year’s projects in the Palace Park in Oslo. It is at this point unclear which internal guidelines the palace manager broke.

Osnes has been palace manager for the Royal Family since the 90s and has played a key role in renovation the Royal Palace and other Norwegian royal properties. He is an educated architect and has his own company next to his work at the palace.

The old guardhouse against Henrik Ibsen’s gate will be restored this year. This has been one of the palace manager’s tasks. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The Royal Court does not want to make any other comments on this case. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon is on an official trip to the Baltics. He was questioned on this case by Norwegian state television NRK but had no further comment.

The year before the Royal Palace in Oslo was completed, a palace manager was appointed for the first time in 1848. From there, it developed its own palace administration in charge of royal properties. The King’s private properties are not subject to the palace manager. On 1 January 2002, the Palace Administration was reorganised, and parts of their tasks were transferred to the Royal Court, while other parts went to Statsbygg.

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