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Crown Prince Haakon attends Memorial Day in Oslo

On Sunday Crown Prince Haakon of Norway attended the annual national memorial day at Akershus fortress. His Royal Highness arrived on Sunday morning at the monuments in the new part of the fortress. Here he laid a wreath at the memorial for fallen soldiers.

At the ceremony in the Museum Courtyard at Akershus, Defense Chief Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hansen gave the memorial speech. The President of the Parliament, Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen, and Minister of Defence, Frank Bakke-Jensen, were also present during the ceremony.

HRH Crown Prince Haakon laying down flowers at Akershus. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen / The Royal Court.

After the ceremony, the Crown Prince attended the memorial service in Akershus Castle Church where Field Clerk, Colonel Nils Terje Lunde, was the presiding minister. During the service His Royal Highness lit the Defence’s memorial candle followed by a minute’s silence.

Crown Prince Haakon himself has an extensive military education and often participates in such events as this. In 2013, the Crown Prince was appointed Admiral of the Navy, General of the Army and General of the Air Force. The Crown Prince has a military education from the Naval War School which he completed in 1995. The Royal House’s constitutional link to the Armed Forces follows from Section 25 of the Constitution. Norway’s monarch is the high commander in chief of all armed personnel in Norway.

Crown Prince Haakon lights a candle for fallen Norwegian soldiers. Photo: T. Kjosvold / The Royal Norwegian Army.

It is a long tradition that Armed Forces Memorial Day takes place on the first Sunday in November. This is the day to honour and commemorate those who have lost their lives in the service of the Armed Forces in and outside Norway. The Memorial Day’s main event take place at Akershus Fortress in Oslo, with additional events at departments elsewhere in Norway and abroad. The Armed Forces also have Veterans Day, on May 8, to honour former soldiers and to mark the liberation from German occupation in 1945.

Norway was involved in the Second World War from April 9, 1940 to May 8, 1945 during which time 10.262 deaths were recorded and also included 689 fallen in German service on the Eastern Front. Since World War Two, 59 Norwegians have died in service of the Armed Forces.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.