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Crown Prince Haakon inspects Royal Guard at Akershus Fortress

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway inspected the Royal Guard at Akershus Fortress on Friday morning. There were two significant changes in this year’s program for the annual inspection. First, the King was not present. Secondly, the inspection was held at the grand Akershus Fortress and not at the military camp at Huseby, where the Royal Guards have their headquarters.

Sven Gjeruldsen, Assistant Communications Manager at the Royal Court in Oslo, informs Royal Central’s Senior Europe Correspondent, Oskar Aanmoen that this is not the first time the Crown Prince conducted the inspection alone. He further explained that the King had a private program abroad and that this was the reason why he could attend this year’s inspection. It is not known what the King is doing or what country he is visiting.

The Crown Prince arrives at Akershus Fortress. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

HRH Crown Prince Haakon. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

A spokesman from the Royal Life Guard told Royal Central the reason for the inspection taking place at the fortress is because of construction work going on at Huseby military camp.

Still, without his father, the Crown Prince inspected the Royal Guard with the same perfection as his father, His Majesty King Harald. After arrival, His Royal Highness inspected the more than 800 guards.

The Royal Guard has an armed guard presence at all the royal residences in Norway and is part of the permanent defence of Oslo each day of the year.

Two of the guards received a special honour during the inspection by His Royal Highness. The Crown Prince awarded “The King’s Clock” to the best guard of the year, who has excellent skills in field discipline, guard and attitude.

After handing out an honorary watch and sword, the guards walked in front of the Crown Prince in a parade before they had had a short musical performance for the regent.

The Crown Prince hands out the “Life Guard’s Watch” to a soldier who has distinguished himself. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

The Royal Guards marching past the Crown Prince in the parade. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

Traditionally, the inspection takes place in early June of each year. Hundreds of soldiers stood up when the Crown Prince arrived at the fortress. The inspection of His Majesty The King’s Guard is an open event, and like all other years, there were many school children and kindergarten children in attendance. Several hundred children came to watch the soldiers and to see the Crown Prince.

The changing of the guard in front of the Royal Palace by the Royal Guard takes place daily at 13:00 hours. In the summer, the changing of the guard is also often expanded with music in the form of parades and sometimes a drill show. The locations where the Royal Guards have a permanent guard service are at the Royal Palace, Skaugum, Bygdø royal estate (when in use), Akershus Fortress and Huseby military camp.

A delegation from the Royal Life Guard from Denmark participated in this year’s inspection as a nice gesture from the royal family’s Danish relatives. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

Crown Prince Haakon salutes the soldiers in the parade. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

The inspection of the Royal Guard takes place on a historically important day for Norway and the Norwegian Royal Family. On this day (7 June) in 1905, the union between Norway and Sweden was dissolved. This meant that Oscar II was no longer king over Norway; he was only the King of Sweden.

The dissolution of the union was rooted in a referendum held in August 1905, and in November of the same year, the Norwegians, with 79% of the votes, elected Prince Carl of Denmark to be their king. On 25 November that year, he travelled to Norway as King Haakon VII. He founded the dynasty that still governs Norway today as he was crowned King of Norway in 1906. King Haakon VII is the great-grandfather of Crown Prince Haakon, who will one day become King Haakon VIII.

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.