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The Council of State

The King presides over the Council of State, Friday at 11.00 hours. The meeting is held in the Council Chamber at the Royal Palace.

Decisions made by the Government as a single body are made in the Council of State. This is presided over by the King, and such decisions are said to be made by “the King in the Council of State”. All acts of legislation and other decisions in the Council of State must be sanctioned by the King and countersigned by the Prime Minister before they can take effect.

Extraordinary Council of State

On some occasions, an extraordinary Council of State is called. This can for instance be due to immediate changes in Government or a birth in the Royal Familiy.

The heir to the throne

Under Article 35 of the Constitution the heir to the throne may also participate in the Council of State: “As soon as the heir to the throne has completed his or her eighteenth year, he or she is entitled to take a seat in the Council of State, although without vote or responsibility.”

Thus His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon participates in the Council at his father's side.

The King and Crown Prince in the Council of State December 2023. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen, NTB

In the King's absence

When the King is absent, for example due to illness or when travelling abroad, Crown Prince Haakon presides over the Council in his capacity of Crown Prince Regent.

This is set out in Article 41 of the Constitution:
“If the King is absent from the Realm unless commanding in the field, or if he is so ill that he cannot attend to the government, the Prince next entitled to succeed to the throne shall conduct the government as temporary executor of the Royal Powers, provided he has attained the age stipulated for the King’s majority. If this is not the case, the Council of State conducts the administration of the Realm.”

In the rare cases when the King and the Crown Prince are both absent, the Council of State is held in the Prime Minister’s office. The King is informed of the decisions that have been taken at the subsequent Council of State at the Royal Palace.

This is in accordance with Article 13 of the Constitution, which states: “The Council of State shall make a report to the King on matters of business it thus decides.”



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