King Harald’s birthday celebrations – without the King

His Majesty King Harald of Norway is 80 years old today. The King himself is on vacation with the entire Norwegian Royal Family. Nevertheless, there are several standard events marking a Norwegian King’s birthday, despite the fact that the King is not even in the country.

Today at noon a 21 gun salute fired from the cannons at Akershus Fortress in Oslo. Many people had turned up to watch the salute in honour of the King. It is tradition to have a gun salute from 11 fortresses in Norway for the birthdays of King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

Later the Royal Palace was opened to the public. In the Royal protocol room near the main entrance of the Palace, people could sign the protocol congratulating the King. The first to sign the protocol just before 8 in the morning were the president of the Norwegian National Assembly and the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg. After them, diplomats and ambassadors from all over the world signed the protocol. There is also an electronic greeting protocol available on the website of the Norwegian Royal Family. If you wish to congratulate His Majesty the King with his birthday, you can do so here.

Diplomats leave the palace. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The King received his birthday present from his people last weekend when a survey stated that eight out of ten Norwegians approve of keeping the monarchy as a form of government, and the greatest support King Harald and his family has comes from the younger Norwegian population. King Harald will have no public celebration this week. He and his family will celebrate the day together on holiday abroad. Her Majesty the Queen is also celebrating her 80th birthday this year, and the King and Queen will have a joint celebration this summer.

Royal Central will have a broad coverage of this celebration.

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.