The official state visit from Iceland entered its second day today in Norway. Yesterday, His Majesty the King received Iceland’s President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson in a solemn ceremony on the square in front of the Royal Norwegian Palace in Oslo; after this, the visit included a visit to the University of Oslo, where the President of Iceland made a speech on the cooperation between the Nordic nations. Last night a big dinner in honour of the Icelandic guests was held in the palace’s greatest dining room.
On Wednesday the state visit began with a trip to Oslo Research Park, which is part of the University of Oslo. His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen, the President of Iceland and First Lady Reid were welcomed by three key researchers at the institution. First, they watched a presentation of StartupLab by Lauga Óskarsdóttir, head of the lab, before they received a guided tour with several stops.
Later, they had a short presentation on how the lab came to be by Kjetil Holmefjord, a partner in StartupLab before they were presented to three Icelandic members of the lab: Sandra Rún Jóhannesdóttir, Haukur Viðar Jónsson and Hafdís Sunna Hermannsdóttir.
Afterwards, they all went on to the Norwegian National Library. There they were received by the Minister of Culture, Ms Linda Hofstad Helleland, and Director of the National Library, Mr Aslak Sira Myhre.
His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen, the President of Iceland and First Lady Reid were welcomed in a speech by director Myhre before they watched a presentation by Dr Guðrún Nordal, Director of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, University of Iceland and then a presentation by Jon Gunnar Jørgensen, Professor, UiO, and editor of the Norwegian publication of the Sagas.
After the presentations, they were able to enjoy the musical intervention “Stóðum tvö í túni” by an Icelandic choir and a speech by Mr Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland. Minister Þórðarson also presented a gift to Minister Helleland by handing over one copy, consisting of five books, of the Sagas of Icelanders. Then, Minister Helleland addressed the audience before the farewell remarks by Director Aslak Sira Myhre.
President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, Ms Eliza Reid, King Harald and Queen Sonja then left the room and entered the exhibition in the adjoining room (Slottsbiblioteket). The exhibition of manuscripts and rare books in the collection of the National Library was shown to the dignitaries. The guidance was provided by Aslak Sira Myhre, Guðrún Nordal and Jon Gunnar Jørgensen.
After the visit to the National Library, they all went on to meet the Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg at Akershus Fortress. The Prime Minister hosted a government luncheon at the old Akershus Castle.
The last official event of the day was a reception hosted by President Jóhannesson at the Astrup Fearnley Museum. In addition the King and Queen, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid attended the reception, as well. They were welcomed by Ambassador Hermann Ingólfsson before they listened to an Icelandic musical performance.
Tomorrow, they all will travel to Bergen where the state visit will come to a conclusion.