Opening of the Storting
His Majesty The King presides over the formal opening of the Storting each autumn in October. The proceedings follow the fixed ceremony laid down in the Constitution. The 2016-2017 session of the Storting is the 161th since its inception.
The Storting assembles on the first working day of October. When they have elected their vice-presidents and secretaries, the President of the Storting declares the Storting to be legally constituted.
The Speech from the Throne
When the Storting has been constituted, the King arrives, usually accompanied by the Queen and the Crown Prince. The Prime Minister hands the Speech from the Throne to the King, which the King then delivers. The speech presents the main features of the Government’s policies for the coming year. The Speech from the Throne is written by representatives of the Government, not by the King.
The Speech from the Throne is followed by the Report on the State of the Realm. Read by a member of the Government, the report presents a summary of what the Government has achieved during the past year.
A traditional ceremony
The ceremony is stipulated in Article 74 of the Constitution:
As soon as the Storting is constituted, the King, or whoever he appoints for the purpose, shall open its proceedings with a Speech, in which he shall inform it of the state of the Realm and of the issues to which he particularly desires to call the attention of the Storting. No deliberations may take place in the presence of the King.