State Visit from Germany
Today Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja formally received His Excellency Mr Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Ms Daniela Schadt. In keeping with tradition, the welcoming ceremony took place in the Palace Square.
The first two days of the three-day State Visit will be spent in Oslo. The third day of the visit will take place in Trondheim, where His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon will accompany President Gauck and Ms Schadt.
The Crown Prince accompanied President Gauck and Ms Schadt to the Palace Square, where they were greeted by King Harald and Queen Sonja. As is traditional for State Visits, the national songs of both countries were played and an inspection of His Majesty The King’s Guard was carried out.
After the ceremony in the Square, the King and Queen and Crown Prince accompanied the guests into the Royal Palace for an exchange of gifts and official photographs in the Bird Room. Her Highness Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner was also in attendance.
It is traditional for heads of state visiting Norway to lay a wreath at the national monument commemorating the Norwegians who lost their lives in the Second World War. The King and Queen accompanied President Gauck and Ms Schadt to Akershus Fortress for the ceremony this morning.
Following the wreath-laying ceremony, President Gauck visited the President of the Storting, Olemic Thommessen. He also met with Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and this was followed by a press conference.
Visited Elvebakken School
Meanwhile, Queen Sonja and Ms Schadt visited Elvebakken Upper Secondary School. The Mayor of Oslo Fabian Stang welcomed the Queen and Ms Schadt together with Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.
The topic of the school visit was inclusion: what does it feel like to be excluded in the world’s richest country and how can we best ensure that everyone feels motivated and included.
Opening remarks at the Nobel Institute
After an official luncheon at the Royal Palace, the King and Queen will accompany President Gauck and Ms Schadt to the Norwegian Nobel Institute. There the President will provide the opening remarks for a discussion on the topic of Peace, Security and Human Rights.
This evening, the King and Queen are hosting a gala banquet in the Banqueting Hall at the Royal Palace in honour of the State Visit. Both King Harald and President Gauck will speak during the banquet. Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner will also be in attendance.
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.