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The Norwegian Royal Guards suffer under unusual heat wave

Southern Norway is now in an unusually warm period. A heat wave has hit the country and has lasted almost a month with temperatures of 30-32 degrees Celsius during the daytime. This is quite different from what the southern parts of Norway generally has – very low temperatures throughout the year. This heat wave has also affected the Norwegian Royal Guard. Now, measures have been taken to ensure that none of the King’s soldiers suffer or are hurt during the remaining heat wave.

The Royal Guards, who stand outside the Royal Palace, do so in a black uniform made of wool. Now the General of the Royal Guard has ordered the time spent at post will be shorter, and the soldiers will be served water all the time while they are on duty.

Soldiers from His Majesty The King’s Royal Guard protect the Royal Palace 24 hours a day. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The Norwegian television channel NRK was at the Royal Palace in Oslo to talk to some of the soldiers. They told NRK that they also moisten parts of the uniform before they go out on duty to dampen the heat.

The new rules apply as long as the heat wave lasts in all the places that it has a permanent guard service. This applies to the Royal Palace, Skaugum, Bygdø royal estate when in use, Akershus Fortress and Huseby military camp.

King Harald of Norway and the Royal Norwegian Guards in the background. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

The dark parade uniform of the Royal Guard remains virtually unchanged through its history. The trousers are black with two white stripes, and the jacket is dark black with green epaulettes. The parade hat is today a bowler hat decorated with buffalo hair. The original helmet was adorned with feathers and inspired by the Bersaglieri, an Italian corps who impressed the Swedish Princess Louise so much that in 1860 she insisted that the Norwegian Royal Guard should have similar hats. Eventually the feathers were replaced with buffalo hair.

Of other uniforms, the Royal Guard uses the same as other divisions in Norway’s military.

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.