Thursday, 31 May 2012

King and Queen celebrate 75th birthdays

Today the King and Queen are celebrating their 75th birthdays - the King turned 75 on 21 February, while the Queen will reach her milestone on 4 July, but the official celebrations take place today. This time there is no palace ball or cruise for European royals, but rather events meant to involve the general public.
Earlier today the King and Queen received the Speaker of Parliament, the Prime Minister and other dignitaries who came to the Palace to offer their congratulations, and in between these deputations His Majesty the King’s Guard performed their famous tattoo in the Palace Square, with the royal family watching from the balcony. The King and Queen were joined by the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Prince Sverre Magnus, the Crown Princess’s son Marius Borg Høiby, Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn with their daughters Maud, Leah and Emma Behn, Princess Astrid and Johan Martin Ferner, and the Queen’s sole surviving sibling, 90-year-old Haakon Haraldsen, with his wife Liss.
There were particularly many kindergardens in the crowd, and, in a modern-day version of “let them eat cake”, the courtiers were sent out into the crowds ahead of the tattoo to distribute more than 3,000 buns and drinks to the children (and afterwards to pick up the litter from those kindergardens where it is apparently not taught that litter is not to be dropped at the ground where you stand). After the tattoo, the Mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang, led the crowd in singing the birthday song, while Princess Ingrid Alexandra conducting them from the balcony.
Later in the day there was a service of thanksgivings in the Cathedral, and right now the royal family are attending an open air concert on the roof of the Opera House.

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