At the Royal Palace in Oslo Friday morning, the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, was received in audience by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon. President Kaljulaid is has traveled to Norway on an official visit.
Norway and Estonia have a close bond as politically and militarily allied nations through NATO and Nordic co-operation with the Baltics.
It was originally intended for King Harald to meet President Kaljulaid. If these plans had gone ahead as planned, it would have been a rather rare sight during the pandemic with two different heads of state meet face to face. However, on Thursday evening, news came that the King has been quarantined voluntarily and Queen Sonja has been put into mandatory quarantined, after an employee at the royal court tested positive for Covid-19.
The Estonian government has been heavily criticised in the recent weeks. Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme was forced to resign last week after making a controversial statement about US President-elect Joe Biden. Helme, who belongs to the far-right party Ekre, has claimed that massive cheating deprived Donald Trump of the election victory and has called Joe Biden “a corrupt asshole”. The statement comes just weeks after he also asked gay Estonians to move to Sweden.
During his visit to Norway, the Estonian President will also meet Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide. The Estonian delegation need not to follow the quarantine-obligation for foreign policy reasons. This means that the visit will be carried out with very strict infection control measures.
The Crown Prince Couple of Norway was on an officially visit to Estonia in 2018. During this visit, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess were formally welcomed to to the country by President Kaljulaid, who has been the country’s head of state since 2016. Following a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Tallinn, the royals met President Kaljulaid for official talks.