Norway celebrates its National Day on May 17 and the celebration will be smaller this year due to the pandemic. However, the Norwegian royal family has now announced their plans for the special celebration of Norway’s constitution. Even without the traditional children’s parade at the Royal Palace, the royal family will be the centre of a gathering at the palace this year.
The National Day will start for the Crown Prince’s family at their home in Asker where they will participate in a short outdoor programme at the Skaugum Estate. Then they will drive through Asker, before moving on to the Castle in Oslo. At 11.30 the Royal Family will come out on the Palace balcony and will attend the main event of the celebration of the national day.
At 12 o’clock, the whole of Norway is encouraged gather to sing the national anthem just after gun salutes being held at several forts. The Royal Palace area and large parts of the Palace Park will be closed to the public due to infection control considerations. All the events will be broadcast on Norwegian TV from 6am until midnight.
After the playing of the national anthem, the King, Queen, Crown Prince and Crown Princess will drive out to some of Oslo’s districts to greet people. This year, as last year, King Haral and Queen Sonja will drive out of the Royal Palace in the iconic convertible A1, the same car that King Haakon VII drove on June 7, 1945, when the royal family returned home to Norway after World War II. Last year, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit drove a 1966 model Lincoln Continental in the A5, the so-called royal wedding car.
Last year, King Harald and Queen Sonja drove on a surprising round trip east to Oslo, waving to everyone who had to stay home or who celebrated in small groups outside. They also drove into the hospital area at Ullevål University Hospital and paid tribute to health workers and inpatients. It was described as a very symbolic act.
This year will also see the Royal Family go out onto the Oslo Fjord on the Royal Yacht «KS Norge». When the ship is out in the fjord, a boat parade will pass by and greet the royal party. The Oslo Sailing Association, which is arranging this boat parade on 17 May, warmly welcomes everyone with a boat to participate. After the boat parade, the Royal Yacht will travel on towards the Royal Family’s holiday home outside the city of Tønsberg.