Queen Sonja meets Queen Maud in the new exhibition at the Royal Palace in Oslo


On Friday, Royal Central’s Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen was invited to preview this year’s exhibition at the Royal Palace in Oslo. This summer the exhibition is called “Queen’s Meetings” and it will be open to all visitors to the royal palace in the Norwegian capital.

This year, the royal palace is marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of Queen Maud at Marlborough House in London. The exhibition “Queen’s Meetings” crosses the narratives of the Royal House’s first ladies in the past, present and future – from Queen Maud to Princess Ingrid Alexandra. The exhibition “Queen’s meetings” is being run in collaboration with the Norwegian Opera & Ballet.

The two queens in front of the exit of the iconic balcony. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

Through exclusive outfits and personal items the royal palace has staged different situations where Queen Maud and Her Majesty Queen Sonja meet – at the Palace Balcony, to Afternoon Tea in the Mirror Room, to a magnificent castle ball in the Great Festival Hall and finally to a historically-discovered dinner table in Large Dining Room, where the two queens can take their places alongside Crown Princess Märtha, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

Aanmoen describes the exhibition as follows: In my opinion, this is the best exhibition for many years. It is rich and shows royal history in a new and exciting way. Here you almost get the feeling of being in the same room as Norway’s last two queens. Here the Royal Court has taken the whole palace into use. With this exhibition, the old kings end up in the background and royal women are pushed into the first line. If you are in Oslo this summer you cannot miss this exhibition.

Many of Queen Sonja’s and Queen Maud’s beautiful dresses are exhibited in a spectacular way in the many ballrooms and dining rooms. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

In 1896, Princess Maud married Prince Carl of Denmark. In 1905 he was elected Norwegian king and took the name Haakon VII. The English princess became Norway’s queen. Maud was Queen of Norway from 1905 until her death in 1938. Between 1938 and 1991, Norway had no queen. When King Harald took over the throne on January 17, 1991, Crown Princess Sonja became Norway’s first queen for 53 years.

In the large banquet hall, there is set up for lunch in the styles of Queen Maud, Queen Sonja, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Crown Princess Martha and Princess Ingrid Alexandra. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

Every summer the Norwegian Royal Family opens the Royal Palace for visitors who can visit the main rooms of the palace. Every year there is also a new exhibition that characterises the rooms that are open. This year’s public season opens Saturday, June 22. Last chance to see the display will be August 22.

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.