Happy Constitution Day !
True to tradition, the Royal Family is on the Palace Balcony greeting the Children's Parade in Oslo. They came out on the balcony a little before 10:30, when the Children's Parade was approaching the Palace Square.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess and their family started the day at Skaugum Estate, where they greeted the Asker municipality Childrens parade early this morning.
This year children and youths from the schools at Norstrand, Tonsenhagen and Nøklevann march at the front of the parade. Norstrand school celebrates it's 100th anniversary this year, and Tonsenhagen and Nøkelvann their 50th.
Approximately 60.000 children take part in the parade, and The Royal Guard Norwegian Military Marching Band will bring up the rear.
Celebration in London
Princess Märtha Louise celebrates with Norwegians in London today. Together with her husband, Mr Ari Behn, she attended the Church Service at the Norwegian Seamen's Church. Later, the whole family will take part in the celebrations in Southwark Park.
It was King Haakon and Queen Maud who introduced the custom of greeting the childrens parade from the Palace balcony in 1906. The custom has been upheld ever since. The only exceptions were in 1910, when the Royal Family was in England for the funeral of Queen Mauds father, King Edward VII, and during World War II from 1940 to1944.
Today the terms May 17th and childrens parade are virtually synonymous, but this has not always been the case. To read more about why and how Norway celebrates May 17th, please click on the link to the right.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.