Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja accompanied Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Bergen on the second day of the guests’ official visit to Norway.
The visit to Bergen gave the guests a chance to take a closer look at sustainable fisheries, outdoor kindergartens, culture and local history.
Fisheries resource management on board the M/V Brennholm
King Harald and Prince Charles began their programme in Bergen with a visit to the research vessel M/V Brennholm.
Prince Charles has long taken an interest in sustainable fisheries. On board the Brennholm the Prince and King Harald were given an introduction to fish stock assessment, cooperation on statistics across national boundaries, and the Norwegian model for collaboration between the research community, the authorities and the fishing industry. They were also given a demonstration of innovative trawling and purse seining equipment that promotes sustainable fish capture, for example by reducing bottom contact and by-catches.
Later in the day King Harald accompanied Prince Charles on a visit on board the frigate HMS Liverpool. A ship in the Royal Navy fleet, the Liverpool is currently docked at Festningskaien quay in Bergen.
Visited a nature kindergarten
Queen Sonja and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited the Granebo/Radiostasjonen outdoor kindergarten located at the top of Fløyen mountain.
The kindergarten is designed to enable children to enjoy and learn to master their natural surroundings. The children are taken on trips into the outlying areas at least twice a week, and most activities take place outdoors, summer and winter alike. There is much for the children to see and do in the area where the kindergarten is located. They take skiing trips and walks, gather around bonfires in lean-tos and lavvus (tents of the type used by the Sámi indigenous people), go climbing and canoeing, and other activities.
Children and adults spoke to the Queen and the Duchess in detail about the kindergarten’s activities, sharing their experiences from attending and working at a nature kindergarten.
Concert and reception at Håkon’s Hall
The King and Queen and the Prince and Duchess were met by an honour guard from the Haakonsvern naval base on their arrival at Bergenhus Fortress. Situated strategically at the mouth of the Vågen bay, Bergenhus is one of the oldest and best preserved fortresses in Norway. Located within the fortress, Håkon’s Hall was built by King Håkon Håkonsson 750 years ago as a banqueting hall and served as the venue for today’s concert and reception.
Performances were given by the ensembles Currentes, Skrik, and the vocal and dance ensemble Fargespill.
Guided tour of the Bryggen wharf
After the reception, the King and Queen and the Prince and Duchess were given a guided tour of Bryggen, the old Hanseatic wharf of Bergen, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Royal guests were given an introduction to the wharf’s history and landmarks by Director General of the Directorate for Cultural Heritage, Mr Jørn Holme, and author Mr Gunnar Staalesen, who is known for his crime novels set in Bergen. The guests were allowed to enter one of the buildings under rehabilitation to see the work first-hand.
Queen Sonja and the Duchess of Cornwall concluded their day in Bergen with a visit to Troldhaugen, the home of composer Edvard Grieg, which became a museum in 1928. Grieg referred to Troldhaugen as “his best opus” - ”the best I have composed so far. No other work has filled me with such enthusiasm.”
The Queen and the Duchess were given a guided tour of the villa, followed by a performance of Grieg’s work by soprano Ms Hilde Haraldsen Sveen and pianist Ms Signe Bakke.
Final day in Oslo
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will conclude their official visit to Norway tomorrow in Oslo. The Prince will attend a meeting at Her Britannic Majesty’s Embassy, while Queen Sonja and the Duchess will visit Oslo University Hospital. The day and the official visit will conclude with a visit to the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and the exhibition “Royal Journeys 1905-2005”.