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European RoyalsFeaturesNorway

A Very Norwegian Christmas

Continuing our series looking at how royal families from across Europe celebrate Christmas, today we will be looking at Norway and their festive traditions.

In Norway, Christmas time means family time, and that is no different for the Norwegian royal family. King Harald, Queen Sonja and their two children, Princess Märtha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon, always enjoy the Christmas festivities. Every year they take a what is now traditional Christmas photograph which never fails to capture the yuletide spirit.

Just like in the United Kingdom, Norway celebrates Christmas on December 25th, and on Christmas Eve, Norwegians swap presents between family members.

Last year, the King and Queen spent Christmas at their royal timber lodge called Kongsseteren in the hills above Oslo. Here, they spent their holidays with their son, Crown Prince Haakon and his family.

Most years, the King and Queen alternate over whom they spend Christmas with, whether it is Prince Haakon, or his sister and her family, Princess Märtha Louise.

The Norwegian royal family are slightly more relaxed than the British royals, and in the past have appeared on television to talk about their Christmas celebrations.

In 2012, Princess Ingrid appeared on television on Christmas Eve, where she said the most boring part of being a Princess was the constant photos that were being taken of her, including the annual Christmas photo.

Just like most other European countries, Santa Clause, or Julenissen in Norway, traditionally places presents under the tree on Christmas Eve, along with small gnomes known as Nisse.

Carol singing is another big part of the Norwegian festivity celebrations. Children often dress up as characters from the Christmas Story and go singing from house to house in their neighbourhood.

One of the most famous Christmas traditions in Norway is the big Christmas tree that Norway gives to the UK every year. The tree is a token of thanks to the United Kingdom for the help that the British people gave to Norway during World War II.
The tree proudly stands in Trafalgar Square in the centre of London and hundreds of people visit every year to see the lights turn on.

Do visit Royal Central on Friday when we continue our Christmas series, and look at A Very Swedish Christmas!

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