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Celebrated in London

Each year, more than 2 000 Norwegians gather in London on May 17th to celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day. This year Princess Märtha Louise participated in the activities.


The Princess first attended services at the Norwegian Seaman’s Church with her husband, Mr Ari Behn, and then enjoyed the festivities in Southwark Park along with her entire family.

The Seaman’s Church

The Norwegian Seaman’s Church is a natural meeting place for Norwegians residing in London, and May 17th is no exception. The Princess and Mr Behn started their celebration of Constitution Day here with a traditional church service.

Accompanied by Norway’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Mr Kim Traavik, Princess Märtha Louise laid a wreath at the monument commemorating Norway’s fallen soldiers. The monument lies by the gate of the Norwegian Seaman’s Church, which is located 1.5 kilometres east of Tower Bridge, just south of the Thames. The church was formally opened in 1927 by then Crown Prince Olav. 

After the service, congregants enjoyed coffee and other refreshments, including the church’s popular waffles.

The Princess and her family have resided in London since autumn 2012.

Children’s parade in Southwark Park

The festivities continued in Southwark Park, a short walk from the church. The highpoint of the day for many of the Norwegians residing in the area was a genuine May 17th children’s parade in the heart of London.

Princess Märtha Louise and her family led the parade of several hundred Norwegians, which wound through the park with flag-bearers from the Norwegian School in London and music provided by the Lambertseter Youth Marching Band.

The Princess was also the main speaker at this year’s event, which drew some 2 000–3 000 participants. In her speech, the Princess stressed how important Norwegians feel it is to celebrate Constitution Day, regardless of where they are in the world.

May 17th is focused around children. After the speeches and entertainment, it was time for traditional children’s games such as sack races, egg-and-spoon races and ring toss. A magic show and a juggling act impressed children and adults alike.

In the evening, the Princess and Mr Behn attended a dinner at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, which featured traditional Norwegian cuisine and cream cake.

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