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Scandinavian Spotlight: State visits, birthday celebrations and more!

Let’s a take a look at the royal week in Scandinavia!


Queen Margrethe was back in the spotlight this week as King Frederik, Queen Mary and their children were out of the country on a winter vacation—their first since the change of throne last month.

Queen Margrethe stepped in as regent for her son for the first time, a duty the Royal Court had stressed that she will still undertake from time to time.

This is the second time that King Frederik has required a regent: when he undertook a business delegation visit to Poland a few weeks ago, Crown Prince Christian served as regent for the first time.

Elsewhere, Queen Margrethe took to the Royal Family’s Instagram account to share a personal thanks for all of the letters and gifts she received in connection with her abdication:

“I have been pleased to experience the great and warm attention from all parts of the Commonwealth in connection with my abdication exactly one month ago.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the gifts I have received, and to everyone who has either written, drawn, baked, knitted, flagged, sung or otherwise sent a greeting on the occasion of the change of throne. The many greetings have gone to my heart and I have appreciated each one.”


The biggest event in Norway this week was the State Visit from Tanzania, an East African country celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations with Norway.

King Harald and Queen Sonja welcomed President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Tuesday at the Royal Palace in Oslo, exchanging gifts, listening to the performance of both national anthems, and posing for official portraits with Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and Princess Astrid.

It was a jam-packed State Visit that included a business conference, paying respects at the Akershus Fortress, attending the Oslo Energy Forum, a conference on food security, another conference on climate, and a government lunch.

And, of course, a State Banquet that saw Queen Sonja in a pretty Barbie pink ballgown and the replica of the Queen Maud tiara; Crown Princess Mette-Marit stunning in silver with pieces from the Amethyst parure; and Princess Astrid in gorgeous gold lace with a golden bandeau tiara.

Elsewhere in Norway, Princess Astrid celebrated her 92nd birthday on 12 February. You can view her official birthday portrait here.

And Queen Sonja opened a new exhibition on Royal Photographers from 1890 to 1990 at her eponymous Art Stable Thursday. A selection of photographs taken from the Norwegian Royal Family’s archives are now on public display, with the photographers ranging from King Haakon and Queen Maud to King Harald and Queen Sonja.

At the opening, NTB photographer Lise Åserud said: “The royal family is Norway’s most photographed family, and you are also the one I have photographed the most, in fact for more than half of my life. I have had the pleasure of accompanying you around the world, on official missions for NTB. No one have I run after more. I have never smiled so much at anyone. And I haven’t waited for anyone more…”


The Swedish Royal Family spent a majority of their week in meetings: King Carl XVI Gustaf with the Baden-Powell Fellows Swedish Chapter; Queen Silvia with the World Childhood Foundation; Crown Princess Victoria with the Crown Princess Margaret’s Memorial Fund; and Prince Daniel with the Princess Estelle Cultural Fund.

The King and Queen, and Crown Princess Couple also attended a diplomatic reception for the Ambassadors of the United States, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Romania and Turkey.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia commemorated 100 years of Swedish and Ukrainian relations, opening the ‘Crossroads: Sweden – Ukraine Through 1,000 Years’ exhibition at the Army Museum in Stockholm. President Zelensky appeared via video message to help open the exhibition.

Queen Silvia’s 80th birthday celebrations continued this week with a Valentine’s Day concert at Lovö Church, near Drottningholm. The Swedish queen quietly celebrated her 80th birthday on 23 December, after a jubilee-filled year saw her husband mark 50 years on the Swedish throne.

Next week, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel will head to the United States for an official visit. On Thursday, they met with organisations involved with their trip to California, including Business Sweden, the Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Foreign Policy Institute, the US Embassy, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the Swedish Royal Court, their visit is meant to “broaden and develop relations with California in innovation, green transition and emerging technologies with a focus on artificial intelligence.”

The royal couple will be in California from Monday to Thursday next week.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.