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Long queues forced the Norwegian castle to extend it opening hours yesterday

Yesterday, His Majesty King Harald of Norway turned 80-years-old. The King himself was on vacation abroad with the family, but many Norwegians nevertheless wanted to celebrate the King’s birthday. From 11 Norwegian fortresses, a birthday-salute to the King at noon was fired, but it was at the royal castle that something special happened.

The Prime Minister and the President of the Norwegian National Assembly were the first to write their greetings in the King’s birthday-protocol yesterday morning. The castle made it possible for ordinary Norwegians to write their addresses to the King in the protocol between the hours of 2 pm. and 4 pm. in the afternoon. Many were in place promptly and a half hour before the castle opened, hundreds of people were in line in front of the castle gates.

The castle’s main gate, just before the audience was allowed to come in and write in the protocol. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

Royal Central‘s Europe Correspondent, Oskar Aanmoen, was present during both the Salute at Akershus Fortress and at the Royal Palace yesterday. He was the fourth person to sign the birthday protocol. As the hours passed, it became apparent that not all attendance would have the opportunity to write their greeting to the King before the castle closed at 4 pm. Many of those who stood far back in the queue were worried that they waited in vain.

The castle’s court thought it was very nice that so many wanted to congratulate the King on his birthday and therefore they decided to keep the castle open as long as there were people who wanted to write in the protocol. The Royal Norwegian Castle wrote on their Facebook pages yesterday: “Audiences have flocked to sign the greeting protocol at the Palace. The Castle was supposed to close at 4 pm., but none that stands in the queue prior to the “closing-time” will be rejected.”

The castle held opened a little more than an hour longer than planned so that everyone could write their greetings to the King.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.