There are long traditions in Norway for the royals to regularly visit different parts of the kingdom. This week, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess have visited the inner parts of Østfold, which is located in the southeast of the nation. On September 28th 2021, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited several places in the region.
The journey started in the city of Trøgstad with a trip back in time. At the Kolbjørnsrud farm, Crown Prince Haakon was taken back to the dramatic spring days of 1940. Pupils and teachers from the 10th grade from Trøgstad School showed the way down to the place where history happened, a tale taken up by Rolf Thomassen, leader of Trøgstad Fort’s friends, who spoke about what happened there during the Second World War.
On April 13 1940, German forces advanced towards the farm, where 70 Norwegian soldiers were ready to defend the village against the foreign forces. Towards the evening, they managed to drive the Germans back. Following the explanation, the Crown Prince greeted 10th graders from the local school and the local mayor and they walked the first part of the refugee route, in the footsteps of those who fled across the border to Sweden during World War II.
His Royal Highness said: “It is a dramatic story, and it needs to be told over and over again, just as Rolf Thomassen did so well here earlier today. Walking the same refugee route as many did during the war year’s puts life in perspective. To experience nature and the landscape as the scared and persecuted people did at the time and still feel that we are a safe and free democracy, a peaceful country, is something we should not take for granted”.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess continued the journey together, first with a stop at Trøgstadheimen residential and service centre and then on to the historic fortress of Høytorp. Kindergarten children from the local kindergarten stood with flags along the road down to the stage where speeches and music from the artist and poet, Trygve Skaug, and the culture school in Indre Østfold were performed.
September 28th was also the last Tuesday in September, a date which is Norwegian Apple Day. Crown Prince Haakon brought a box of apples from the Skaugum Estate with him when he ended his day with a visit to Askim Fruit and Berry Press.