Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A sunny National Day in Oslo

Today is the National Day of Norway, commemorating the signing of the Constitution (still in force) of 17 May 1814, which declared the independence of Norway. As usual the King and Queen, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and Princess Ingrid Alexandra have greeted the children’s parade from the palace balcony and this year they were for the first time joined by Prince Sverre Magnus for a longer period (earlier he has only made a very brief appearance), while Princess Astrid and other members of the family as usual watched from the windows.
This is a tradition with roots back to 1858, when the Crown Prince Regent, the future King Carl XV, became the first Norwegian royal to greet the people from the palace balcony on the National Day. Queen Josephina, Prince Gustaf and Princess Eugénie had earlier done the same from a window of the old residence, the Royal Mansion, in 1845, while Carl XIV Johan had been willing to go to quite great lengths to suppress the celebrations of 17 May in favour of dates more closely associated with the personal union with Sweden – thus it might be called rather ironic that the parade each year goes past the statue of King Carl Johan.

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