King Harald and Queen Sonja visit Gullbring cultural centre

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

His Majesty King Harald and Her Majesty Queen Sonja visited on Monday the municipality of Bø in Telemark in central Norway. The visit was made to celebrate Gullbring cultural centre’s 25th anniversary. Gullbring cultural centre also began work on new housing for new students at the University of Southeast Norway. Gullbring cultural centre is huge in traditional bunad production.

Children and young people contributed to a large folk party at the cultural centre, where Their Majesties the King and Queen arrived to music from the village’s school corps. More than 240 children from kindergartens in Bø and Sauherad municipalities opened the cultural programme with songs for the royals. The royal couple received flowers upon arrival, as well.


Next, a cultural outdoor ceremony took place in beautiful weather with songs and a poetry reading from the large outdoor stage. The outdoor programme ended with the unveiling of the new mayor chain for the newly established Mid-Telemark municipality. The two municipalities Bø and Sauherad that will merge from 1 January 2020. Goldsmith Gunnbjørg Listog explained about the symbolism and the artistic design of the chain.

After the dancers from the cultural schools in Bø concluded the performances, the King and Queen settled into the bike that took them from the outdoor arena to the main entrance at Gullbring. In Framstugo, the King was given the opportunity to hear more about music, the outdoor life and other activities for young people in Bø. From Gullbring, the couple went to the University of the South East, which has one of its campuses in Bø. King Harald laid the foundation stone for the new student housing that was set to be built many years ago.

The royal couple’s municipal visit was concluded with a stay at Almankås. There, the King and Queen greeted several of the staff sitting around the company’s sewing table, working on new national costumes.

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.