In a month, 25 years will have passed since King Olav V died and Harald V ascended the throne, and the silver jubilee of the King's accession will naturally be marked in several ways.
The jubilee will be kicked off on 15 January, when the King and Queen will receive congratulatory deputations at the Royal Palace. The following day, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess will host a private dinner at their home Skaugum, at which the Queen of Denmark and the King and Queen of Sweden will join the Norwegian royal family. Some may wonder about the other European royal houses, but the custom for Scandinavian jubilees (as opposed to birthdays and weddings) is that only the Nordic royals and heads of state are invited (this was also the case when King Olav celebrated his silver jubilee in 1982 and when Queen Margrethe and King Carl Gustaf celebrated their silver and ruby jubilees).
On 17 January, accession day, the extended royal family and the foreign guests will attend a service in the Palace Chapel at 11 a.m. On the same day, a large winter sports event for children and youngsters will be held in Palace Square, obviously reflecting the King's great interest in winter sports. The royal family will visit this event between 12.45 and 1.35 p.m. At 1 p.m., a gun salute will be fired from Akershus Castle. At 2 p.m., a private lunch for family and foreign guests will be held at the Palace. Thereafter, the royal family will walk from the Palace downhill to the University, where the government will host a jubilee concert featuring various performers and there will be various activities in University Square (details about those events and the concert are yet to be announced). In the evening, the King and Queen will host a private dinner at the Palace.
In June, the King and Queen will mark the 25th anniversary of their solemn blessing, the ritual instituted by King Olav to replace coronation. Back in 1991, the new King and Queen travelled overland to Trondheim and back along the west and south coast, and between 17 and 28 June this year they will embark on a similar journey by the Royal Yacht, visiting Tromsø, Bodø, Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger and Kristiansand. On 23 June, the 25th anniversary of the solemn blessing, they will return to Nidaros Cathedral to attend a service of thanksgivings.
To mark the jubilee, NRK will broadcast a new documentary series in seven parts (which I have been a little bit involved with) about the King and Queen and their 25 years on the throne. The first part will be aired on NRK 1 on Wednesday 30 December at 7.45 p.m., with the remaining six parts to follow the next six Wednesday nights.
There will also be a special stamp to mark the silver jubilee, which will be on sale from 11 January.
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