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The celebration of King Harald and Queen Sonja in Oslo – Day 1

Today, King Harald and Queen Sonja started their two-day celebration of their 80th birthdays. King Harald turned 80-years-old in February, and Queen Sonja will be 80 in July. Therefore, they have chosen to celebrate the birthdays together as they have done several times. Royals from all over Europe are participating in the celebrations in addition to the Presidents of Iceland and Finland.

The congratulations arrived at the Royal Palace from 11:00 am today; King Harald and Queen Sonja received them in the Mirror Hall at the Palace. The congratulations represented official Norway, with Parliament President Olemic Thommessen. He brought the royal couple the gift from the Parliament – a painting of King Olav in 1958.

The Danish royal yacht Dannebrog. Here is the ship on the way to the dock in Oslo early Tuesday morning. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

While most royal guests arrived by plane, the Danish Royal Family came on their royal yacht, Dannebrog. Dannebrog and the Norwegian ship Norge are the only royal yachts that are still in active use for Europe’s royal families. The Danish royal yacht anchored right under the ancient Akershus Fortress.

The Norwegian Royal Family. In the middle is the jubilant King Harald and Queen Sonja. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

The celebration started at the Palace Square outside the Royal Norwegian Palace in Oslo. Several thousand people gathered to see the royals and entertainment. His Majesty the King’s Lifeguard held a show, followed by different songs and music performances. Ice cream was distributed to all visitors – the traditional Norwegian “crown ice” that is shaped like a royal crown.

The royal guests from Denmark and Greece appear on the balcony of the Royal Norwegian Palace in Oslo. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

After an hour of entertainment, many of the royals came out on the balcony to see the large crowd. Several thousand sang the birthday song for the King and Queen. The Norwegian actor and former theatre director, Bjarte Hjelmeland then read a monologue in honour of the King and Queen. After this, the royal guests entered the palace where a grand gala dinner was held later that evening.

The royal guests from Monaco, Belgium and Luxembourg standing on the balcony of the Royal Norwegian Palace in Oslo alongside the President and First Lady of Iceland. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

The evening menu was as follows:

Appetisers – king crab, salmon tartar with grilled cucumber, oyster-maize and radishes

Main Course – calf with peas, peas, green and white asparagus, want asparagus and pudding

Dessert –  limestone and oxalis mousse with lemon and gingerbread

The British, Swedish, Dutch and Norwegian royals on the balcony of the Royal Norwegian Palace in Oslo. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

On Wednesday the big celebration will take place. First, the royal guests will have lunch on the Norwegian royal ship and have a mini cruise in the Oslo Fjord. Wednesday evening, all the royal and many other guests, a total of 350, will attend a big dinner in the Norwegian Opera, which is the official gift from the Norwegian government.

The Swedish royal guests and the President and First Lady of Finland on the balcony of the Royal Norwegian Palace in Oslo. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

Royal Central will be present at the dinner at the Norwegian Opera. Stay tuned for the best pictures and the latest updates from the celebration in Oslo.

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