The Norwegian Royal Family carried out its traditional role in Oslo today to celebrate the Norwegian National Day. At half past eleven, the entire family gathered at the balcony of the Royal Palace. The Crown Prince Family was already in place at their home at Skaugum at a quarter past eight o’clock to watch Asker’s children’s parade.
There was a new record for the number of schools that participated in this year’s National Day parade in Oslo. Children and young people from 121 schools took part in the large parade. According to the proud tradition, the parade concluded with a performance from His Majesty the King’s Life Guard’s music company.
Several thousand people met along Oslo’s parade street and in the Palace Square to see the Royal Family. When King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Prince Sverre Magnus and Princess Ingrid Alexandra came out on the balcony, they were greeted by a jubilant crowd. Everyone cheered, and they were excited to see the King. The King and the Crown Prince were dressed in morning dress – a British tradition the male members of the Norwegian Royal Family have practised since 1906.
The reason why the 17th of May is Norway’s National Day goes back to 1814. At the time, Norway’s Constitution was completed, and Christian Fredrik was proclaimed as King of Norway after being democratically elected as monarch of the assembly which wrote the Constitution. Additionally, King Christian Frederik was the man who started work on the Constitution of Norway.
It was King Haakon and Queen Maud who established the custom to greet the children in Oslo from the Palace balcony on National Day. The custom was established in 1906 and has been held ever since. The only exceptions were in 1910 when Queen Maud’s father, British King Edward was buried, and in the years of Second World War from 1940 to 1944.