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How the Norwegian Royals will mark a very different Easter

Photo: Sølve Sundsbø, The Royal Court

The Royal Norwegian Court has confirmed to Norwegian press that the country’s Royal Family will have a different Easter holiday this year, due to the spread of the corona-virus. King Harald and Queen Sonja are in voluntarily isolation at the King’s cabin just outside Oslo city centre. They have been there since returning from their state visit to Jordan one month ago. Here, the royals will be isolated from society until the situation improves.

In a message to the Norwegian press, the Royal Court`s communications director writes: “In line with government guidelines, His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen will spend the Easter holidays at the Kings Cabin in Oslo. The Crown Prince family will spend their Easter at the Skaugum Estate.”

King Harald boarding the royal train for his Easter holiday in 2018. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

Traditionally, the royal couple travels to the Norwegian mountains on the Friday before Palm Sunday. The cabin called “Prinsehytta” (English: The Prince’s Cabin) is usually used by The King and Queen during the Easter festivities. His Majesty also uses the cabin on his annual hunting-holiday during the autumn. The cabin is relatively basic and is sheltered from public and media. Here, the Royal Family usually use their time to go skiing and to relax.

The Easter holiday is normally one of the rare times in the year that the royal family uses the private royal train-carriages, often called ‘just for the King’s train’. They usually travels from Oslo Central Station by train to Vinstra Station in Gudbrandsdalen. The journey takes approximately three and a half hours. From here, The King and Queen travel by car up the mountain. From there, there are all-terrain carriers from the Norwegian army who transport Their Majesties to the cabin. In 2014, King Harald and Queen Sonja broke away from the annual tradition and travelled on a secret holiday abroad to Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean.

King Harald and Queen Sonja in 2014 at the Easter Island. Photo: The Royal Court.

That the royals do not celebrate Easter together is not surprising news. It has been several years since Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, together with their children, travelled with The King and Queen to Sikkildalen. The Crown Prince Couple bought two areas in Uvdal in 2007, and the following year their private cottage was built here.

During the years, the Crown Prince Family have spent their Easter holidays at their cottage in Ulvdal. However, this year due to the corona-situation there will be no traditional Easter celebration for any of the royals. It is not confirmed what Princess Martha will do during Easter but it is expected that she will also stay in her private home just outside the capital of Oslo.

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.