Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway did not take part in the traditional Christmas service yesterday. The Norwegian royal family has a nearly one hundred-year-old long tradition to attend the Christmas service at Holmenkollen Chapel the day after Christmas Eve.
The press, who had met up outside the chapel to photograph the royal family, were surprised when Queen Sonja did not attend the service. King Harald, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Prince Sverre Magnus and Princess Ingrid Alexandra came without the Queen. While the service was ongoing the press was informed by the castle’s communications manager Marianne Hagen. SHe said that the Queen had a cold and could therefore not participate. The Queen had expressed that she thought it was sad that she could not participate in worship since she has been present at every Christmas service since 1967.
The Royal Court says that the Queens cold is not serious and that the Her Majesty has now recovered. An expert on the Norwegian royal family, Kjell Arne Totland, was among those who wished the Queen a good recovery.
King Harald thanked people for the greeting when he left the chapel. The Queen’s last official presence was on December 21, when she visited a centre in Oslo for drug abusers. At this event the Queen was completely healthy. The same day, The Queen was photographed with her family when they took their traditional Christmas-pictures.
This is only the latest of a long series of cases of illness among Europe’s royal families this Christmas. Queen Silvia had to spend Christmas in hospital, but is now discharged. Queen Elizabeth was also absent from the Christmas Church service in the UK as she suffered with a cold.