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King Harald marked the day of liberation

On Tuesday, His Majesty King Harald of Norway participated in the events in memory of the Liberation Day and the National Veterans Day at Akershus fortress in Oslo.

Every year, 8 May is a day where Norway honours all veterans, from World War II and up to today’s international operations while they mark the liberation from the German occupation in 1945.

The Norwegian Royal Family has long traditions to participate at these events, as they themselves were directly affected during the war and had to live in exile for five years.

His Majesty arrives at the fortress. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

His Majesty arrives at the fortress. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The day was started 8 am with a flag ceremony at Akershus castle, inside Akershus fortress. The fortress was opened to the public by 10 am and quickly followed by a ceremony at “Retterstedet”. At this place, members of the Norwegian resistance forces were executed by the Germans during World War II. The ceremony consisted of a speech and a floral wreath was laid down, decorated in red, white and blue.

A church service in memory of the Norwegian who died during the war was then held at the Castle church at Akershus. Followed by a flower ceremony at the National War Memorials at the new fortress-area. His Majesty the King’s guard held a short military parade and the rest of the military forces marched at the end of this parade in to the fortress-main-square to receive His Majesty.

King Harald arrived in the afternoon to perform the handing out ceremony of this year’s military medals. Just after the king arrives, a column of Norwegian fighters flew over the fortress in formation. The king laid down flowers on the national monument before a speech was held by both the minister defence and a common soldier. A total of ten people received a medal for their military efforts by His Majesty the King.

His Majesty inspects the troops. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

King Harald participates in the medal ceremony. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

Five years of occupation ended and Norway was again a free nation. Happy Liberation Day to all Norwegians and my common Europeans who had to hold out German occupation during the second world war.

After the liberation 8 May 1945, Crown Prince Olav was the first Norwegian Royal to return to Norway. He did that on 13 May. He then took over the military command in Norway and was temporary monarch. The following day all Norwegian resistance groups dropped their weapons.

Defence chief Bruun-Hanssen says goodbye to the king. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The king says goodbye to Norwegian military leaders. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

King Haakon and the rest of the Norwegian Royal Family could safely arrive in Oslo 7 June 1945. They were welcomed by hundreds of thousands. The streets were decorated with flags and everywhere the Norwegians shouted: “Long live the king.”

Following World War II, more than 100,000 Norwegians have served in almost a hundred different international operations in more than 40 countries in four continents. The day is marked with a number of events throughout the country, as well as a national main event at Akershus Fortress I Oslo. At this event, both King Harald, the Parliament`s President, the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister participated in the ceremony.

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.