Official visit from Belgium
Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were in Norway on an official visit today. Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja hosted their visit, and welcomed the Belgian King and Queen yesterday evening.
King Philippe succeeded King Albert II on the Belgian throne on 21 July 2013 upon King Albert’s abdication. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are currently paying friendship visits to countries with close ties to Belgium. The Belgian King and Queen arrived in Oslo yesterday evening from Stockholm, directly following their official visit to Sweden.
The Storting was the first stop on today’s programme for King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, and they were greeted by the President of the Storting, Olemic Thommessen. After a brief visit to the Storting Chamber, the King and Queen engaged in more detailed talks with Mr Thommessen.
Following the visit to the Storting, the King and Queen visited the government complex to meet with Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
1814 at Norsk Folkemuseum
After their meetings with the President of the Storting and the Prime Minister, the Belgian King and Queen visited Norsk Folkemuseum on the Bygdøy peninsula, where they were received by King Harald and Queen Sonja. Some 80 children waving the Norwegian and the Belgian flag had also come to the museum square to greet the guests.
Curator Monica Mørck led the Royal guests on a guided tour of the museum’s exhibition on the bicentenary of the Norwegian Constitution, entitled “1814 – A Norwegian Drama”. The exhibition was formally opened by Queen Sonja on 14 January, 200 years to the day that Denmark was forced to cede Norway to Sweden in accordance with the Treaty of Kiel.
Luncheon at the Royal Palace
After official photographs in the Bird Room, King Harald and Queen Sonja hosted a luncheon at the Royal Palace in honour of the Belgian King and Queen. Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner were also in attendance.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde departed from Norway in the afternoon.
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.