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Queen Sonja opens new school building in downtown Oslo

Queen Sonja of Norway marked the end of her summer holiday by opening the new Ruseløkka school in downtown Oslo. In a sunny and noisy schoolyard, on August 16th 2021, she was greeted by more than 500 students, teachers and invited guests.

Queen Sonja was shown around the new school by tenth graders Shawn Luke San Jose Baluyot and Christine Karin Wendel. The entourage included the rector, the mayor and the director of the Education Agency. The tour went from the building’s heart with a new “knowledge staircase”, library and family room on the first floor, past stairways with art by Peder Bugge and Apichaya Wantiang and to the sixth floor and the roof with large outdoor areas with beautiful views of Oslo. In one of the classrooms on the top floor, tenth-graders Maximilian Zakariassen and Elven Baloku showed a demonstration of programming together with teacher Mari Langaas. The tour ended in the school’s large dance hall and gymnasium.

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Queen Sonja was also there to mark the 150th anniversary of the school’s foundation.

The queen gave a speech during the opening ceremony, Her Majesty said: “I am absolutely sure that you all get the most out of the opportunities that exist in this building. I wish you all the best with the next 150 years. I also think you have some great teachers. You have a good school. You have every opportunity to become very good. Happy Birthday! Congratulations on the school! And good luck”.

The Queen cut the ribbon after her speech to mark the opening of the new school building. The ribbon was held by two of the school’s students. Lukas Lorang Amundsen dressed in clothes that represented the fashion image from 1871 and Maya Syed dressed for 2021, to mark the school’s 150-year history.

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There was a large-scale celebration in the schoolyard with singing by the Norwegian Girls’ Choir, dancing and singing by the students and speeches by principal Merete Hansen, mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen, city councillor for upbringing and knowledge Inga Marte Thorkildsen, education director Marte Gerhardsen and city councillor for industry and ownership Viktoria Marie Evensen.

The new school has solar cells on the facade, and on a screen in the school’s auditorium, everyone can follow how much energy the school consumes at any given time. The new Ruseløkka school has high environmental ambitions and is a so-called zero-emission school. Ruseløkka school has just under 700 students from 1st to 10th grade.

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.