The King and Queen are celebrating the silver jubilee of their accession to the throne this year, and yesterday they arrived in Tromsø to embark on their jubilee tour of the country on the Royal Yacht "Norge". The tradition of marking great royal events by extensive tours of this vast kingdom was begun by King Oscar II and Queen Sophie at the time of their coronation in 1873. King Olav undertook a similar journey to mark his silver jubilee in 1982, but his son and daughter-in-law will not start quite as far north as he did and visit fewer places.
The tour began with a garden party for 300 guests at Skansen fortress in Tromsø this morning, followed by a public event in the city's square. This is the pattern that will also be followed on the rest of the tour, as the King and Queen have expressed a desire to meet as many people as possible from all walks of life.
Tomorrow the Royal Yacht will arrive in Bodø for a day of celebrations before continuing south to Trondheim, where it will arrive on 22 June. The following day, Thursday 23 June, is the 25th anniversary of the King and Queen's solemn blessing (the religious ritual that replaced coronations) in Nidaros Cathedral. In the morning of that day, there will be a public event in the old fish market in Ravnkloa at 10 a.m., followed by a service of thanksgivings in Nidaros Cathedral at noon. There the King and Queen will be joined by their children, children-in-law and grandchildren as well as by Princess Astrid and Erling S. Lorentzen, Princess Ragnhild's widower. At 3 p.m. the King and Queen will host a garden party for 600 guests in the garden of Stiftsgården, the Royal Residence. NRK will have a live broadcast from the celebrations in Trondheim from 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (and I will do a report for the August issue of Majesty).
The King and Queen will ten visit Bergen on Saturday 25 June, Stavanger on Monday 27 June and Kristiansand on Wednesday 29 June. In Stavanger and Kristiansand the Crown Prince and Crown Princess will also attend the celebrations.
In late August or early September the King and Queen are expected to host a similar jubilee garden party in Oslo.