This year marks Norway’s 200th anniversary as an independent state, which will obviously be celebrated throughout the year, with the National Day 17 May as the major events. On that day, 200 years will have passed since the Constitution )which had been passed the previous day) was signed and dated at Eidsvoll and Prince Christian Frederik of Denmark elected King of independent Norway.
This will be commemorated at Eidsvoll in the afternoon on 17 May this year, and NRK today reports that the Queen and Prince Consort of Denmark have accepted the invitiation to join the Norwegian royals for the celebrations at Eidsvoll. Queen Margrethe is known to be deeply passionate about history and has several times pointed out Christian Frederik, who later reigned as King Christian VIII of Denmark, as her favourite among her predecessors.
The King and Queen of Sweden have on the other hand declined their invitations, which a spokeswoman for the Swedish royal court explains to Dagens Nyheter is because “the King does not visit other countries to commemorate their holidays or national days”.
Norway had entered into a personal union with the accession of King Olav Håkonsson in 1380 and was declared a Danish province by King Christian III in 1536. On 14 January 1814, as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, King Frederik VI was forced to cede Norway to the King of Sweden. However, his cousin, Prince Christian Frederik, who was his lieutenant in Norway, put himself at the head of a rebellion which declared Norway independent. A constituent assembly met at Eidsvoll in April and wrote the Constitution which was passed on 16 May, the day before Christian Frederik was elected King. However, a brief war with Sweden in the summer ended with an armistice whereby Christian Frederik agreed to renounce the Norwegian crown, while Sweden agreed to accept the Constitution and Norway’s independence. The personal union between Sweden and Norway, which came into force on 4 November 1814, lasted until 1905.