In an almost unprecedented step, the King of Sweden today changed his mind and decided that he and Queen Silvia will after all attend the bicentenary of Norway’s independence. The anniversary will be commemorated at Eidsvoll in the evening of 17 May, 200 years to the date after the signing of the Constitution. NRK’s revelation on Monday that the Queen and Prince Consort of Denmark would be attending, but that the King and Queen of Sweden had declined caused many unfavourable reactions (not only in Norway, but also some in Sweden).
The Swedish royal court rather grandly explained that the inviation had been declined as “the King does not visit other countries to commemorate their holidays or national days”. Apparently the King and his advisers did not realise that he and the Queen had been invited to the jubilee, not to the national day celebrations, and today released a press statement that explains that “This year the celebration of Norway’s national day, 17 May, also commemorates that 200 years have passed since the Norwegian constitution was adopted”. In light of this “additional information about the event on 17 May [...] the King has decided that He [sic!], together with the Queen” will after all attend.
The Swedish royal court is to be congratulated on their newfound knowledge. Their next discovery about the neighbouring country and former union partner may perhaps be that Danish is not the official language of Norway and that it is consequently not our “grundlov” that is being celebrated.
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