On Thursday, Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden participated in the celebrations of Finland’s 100th anniversary as an independent nation in Helsinki, Finland.
The Danish and Norwegian guests travelled on their royal yachts, “Norge” and “Dannebrog.” They are anchored up next to each other in the Helsinki harbour, which is a very rare sight. The Swedish guests arrived by plane.
During the celebrations, the royals had breakfast in Helsinki City Hall; after breakfast, all of the guests came out on the balcony and waved to those assembled below who wanted to see the royal guests. From the balcony, they could see entertainment performed by more than 100 dancers.
The weather did not hold up for the day; it started sunny, but not before long, rain set in and colder temperatures. However, the royal guests on the balcony did not seem to mind.
In addition to the royal guests, the presidential couple of Iceland, together with the Finnish presidential couple, were present. It has not been long since they last saw each other. Early in May, they all were gathered in Oslo for the celebration of 80th birthdays of King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway.
Not everyone is served three dishes for breakfast, but this happened in Helsinki for the royal guests yesterday. The first dish they were served was white fish and salmon in aquavit from Helsinki. Then they were served lamb with potatoes and wild herbs. For dessert during breakfast, they received strawberries, marinated in liqueur.
King Harald gave a speech at the end of the breakfast, on behalf of the royal guests. King Harald said, “For Norway, Finland’s anniversary is a good opportunity to reflect on our Finnish heritage, our neighbourhood across the northern borders of our country, the immigration of kvens and ‘forest-fins,’ and the close relationship between the Sami people in Norway and Finland.”
Furthermore, King Harald said, “The anniversary has also been an opportunity think towards our future. The potential cooperation between Finland and Norway is far from exhausted. The good can be even better, the cooperation even closer and the contact even more frequent. ”
The guests also travelled to Sibelius Park during the day where they listened to two choirs in front of the Sibelius Monument. A celebratory dinner was also held in the evening at the Presidential Palace.
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway was regent in Norway during this time, and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark was, as well, in Denmark. However, King Carl XVI Gustaf remained as regent since he was still in Europe.