In good tradition, the Norwegian Royal Family attended the regular Christmas service in Holmenkollen Chapel this Tuesday. The royal couple were welcomed and escorted into the chapel by the priest from Riis Church who also is the priest of the chapel in Holmenkollen.
The chapel was used as a prayer house from 1903. It was first taken in use for celebrations and ceremonies in 1913. The chapel was intended as an offer for those who wanted to go out in Nordmarka on a trip – but would also like to take part in the Sunday worship service.
The Holmenkollen Chapel was lit up and burned down to the ground on August 23, 1992. The new chapel was built with ancient craftsmanship, in a style inspired by the stave churches and with carvings in dragon style. Inside, the chapel still satisfies all modern requirements. It was completed in February 1996.
Kongsseteren, the Kings cabin, lies close to the chapel and was a gift to King Haakon and Queen Maud from the Norwegian people in connection with the coronation of the King in 1906. The Royal Family often celebrates Christmas at this cabin and has established the tradition of attending the service at the Holmenkollen Chapel on Christmas Day.
Every royal family has its own traditions. The Norwegian Royal Family celebrates Christmas in a unique way. They blend the ancient Norwegian Christmas traditions with Christmas traditions they have brought with them from their family from Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
In Norway, there are several traditions on what to eat for dinner on Christmas Eve. The Norwegian Royal Family have adopted a Danish Christmas tradition and eat grilled baby-pork on Christmas Eve. This is a tradition the Royal Family has never broken and originated from King Harald’s grandfather, King Haakon VII, who was Prince of Denmark before he was elected King of Norway in 1905.