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King Harald speaks openly about #MeToo and gender equality

It was during the annual solemn parliament dinner, held at the Royal Palace yesterday, that King Harald spoke about both gender equality and the #MeToo movement.

His Majesty spoke about the historical high gender equality in Norway, and said:

“This year’s dinner is actually historic: Never before have we had women cover the positions of Parliament President, Supreme Court Justice and Prime Minister. Times are changing. For the better, many will rightly claim. I feel that I am in the right place. In addition, when I am surrounded by both the Queen and the Crown Princess, I find myself in the middle of the gold.”

The large dining room is used during the parliamentary dinner. Photo: Kjartan Hauglid, Det kongelige hoff / The Royal Court

His Majesty also addressed the #MeToo campaign. The King said:

“The year that has passed since we met last time, has, in various ways, been characterised by change. Stories and special women’s revealing stories – not only in Norway but over much of the world – have been told, and we have listened. That some people have the courage to show their most vulnerable experiences, creates room for reflection. I am touched by all of the stories.

“Stories of abuse of power and lack of respect awaken all of us. To go into ourselves. To learn. To be better people.”

The Palace’s own gardeners and flower decorators are responsible for the table decorations. Photo: Kjartan Hauglid, The Royal Court.

It is Their Majesties the King and Queen who, once every year, receive the parliament representatives for a dinner at the Royal Palace. This is a tradition dating back over 100 years. The dinner was established as a permanent tradition by King Haakon in 1906. The dinner has been held every year – except for the years during World War II and when major maintenance work at the palace made it impossible.

During the dinner this year the menu consisted of the following:

Starter: Halibut with roe, artichoke, cucumber and hazelnut milk.

First main course: Crayfish Taco with pickled vegetables and marinated tomatoes.

Second main course: Moose from Sikkilsdalen, served with onion, thyme, rutabaga, grilled pear with a sauce of cranberries

Dessert: Warm apple pie with room and rosins.

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.