Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Queen Beatrix on state visit to Norway

Spring and early summer are the high season for state visits and Oslo showed itself from its best side on what was perhaps the first real summer day when the Queen of the Netherlands arrived on a state visit today.
As befits a former naval power like the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix arrived on a Dutch naval vessel, “Tromp”. This meant that the official welcoming ceremony for the first time in nearly twenty years took place at the Quay of Honour in front of the City Hall rather than in the Palace Square, and that the King and Crown Prince for once donned their naval rather than army uniforms.
Crown Prince Haakon went out to “Tromp” to welcome Queen Beatrix and escort her to the quay, where she was also greeted by the King, the Queen and the Crown Princess and a selection of notables led by the Speaker of Parliament, Dag Terje Andersen.
Following the welcoming ceremony the royals drove to the Royal Palace where the King and Queen hosted a lunch which was also attended by Princess Astrid and a somewhat frail Princess Ragnhild. It was particularly nice to see the latter, who had not appeared in public since the war hero Gunnar Sønsteby’s 90th birthday in January 2008 and who will herself celebrate her 80th birthday next week.
Later in the day Queen Beatrix, escorted by King Harald and Queen Sonja, laid a wreath at the National Monument at Akershus Fortress, where His Majesty The King’s Guard was again on parade. Following that ceremony Queen Beatrix called on the Speaker of Parliament, something she had to do alone as the King is not allowed to enter the Parliament Building while Parliament is sitting.
Tonight followed a gala banquet at the Royal Palace, which was also attended by Princess Märtha Louise, who lived in the Netherlands for some years in the 1990s and is said to speak fluent Dutch.
Queen Beatrix will stay in Norway for three days and spend the final day in Bergen. She last paid a state visit to Norway in 1986, when she was welcomed by King Olav, who did not live to return the visit. King Harald and Queen Sonja made a state visit to the Netherlands in 1996, which Queen Beatrix has now returned – this also means that she has now paid state visits to most European countries.
Through the Dutch-born Queen Lovisa of Norway and Sweden Queen Beatrix is a fourth cousin of the late King Olav and through Queen Sophia of Norway and Sweden she is also a fourth cousin of Crown Prince Haakon.


  1. Nice pictures you managed to snap! Where you close? I like that she arrived by water, it adds a nice and different touch.

  2. Thank you! Yes, indeed its add an extra touch when the state visitor arrives by sea (Queen Beatrix actually flew to Moss Airport Rygge and went by helicopter from there to the warship as it approached Oslo), but the drawback is that it is much more difficult for the crowd to see anything at the Quay of Honour than at the Palace Square. Thus it was quite difficult to get any good photos and the first four pictures have been quite much enlarged and cropped, making at least no 1 and no 4 a bit grainy. At the wreath lying ceremony at Akershus Fortress I was in the press stand, which made things easier.

  3. The Dutch Royal family has a special association with Canada. During the war, they moved to Ottawa, our capital, until Holland was liberated. Princess Juliana and daughters Beatrix and Irene were in Ottawa during the war. When Princess Margriet was born here, Parliament passed a law in which the hospital room was declared as extraterritorial, so that she would be a Dutch citizen. After the war, Holland sent 100,000 tulip bulbs as a gift, and Princess Juliana sent 20,000 tulip bulbs in thanks. To this day, every year, Ottawa is sent 10,000 tulip bulbs. The bulbs can be seen in prominent parks and around the parliament buildings every spring.


Comments are welcome, but should be signed - preferably by a name, but an initial or a nick will also be accepted. Advertisements are not allowed. COMMENTS WHICH DO NOT COMPLY WITH THESE RULES WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED.