Opened the159th Storting
- I greet the Storting and welcome you to responsible labour, wishing it will be to the good of the Nation. With this traditional wording, His Majesty began the Speech from the Throne and the official opening of the 159th Norwegian Storting (Parliament).
The ceremony has been conducted according to § 74 of the Constitution since its inception in 1814, and it is now 200 years since the Storting came together for the first time. However, annual meetings of the Storting was not introduced until 1871, making this session the 159th and not the 200th.
His Majesty arrived at the Stortinget just before 13:00, accompanied by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Crown Prince. This is the only time during the year The King visits the Storting, and the only time that King, Government, Storting and Supreme Court is gathered.
The Speech from the Trone and State of the Realm
The ceremony is constituted by two important elements: the Speech from the Throne and the Report on the State of the Realm.The Speech from the Throne is given by His Majesty and presents the main features of the Government’s policies for the coming year. The speech is written by representatives of the Government, not by the King. In a few days, the Storting will deliberate on core issues from the speech, as no deliberations may take place in the presence of the King.
The Speech from the Throne is followed by the Report on the State of the Realm. Traditionnaly read by the youngest member of the Government, the report presents a summary of what the Government has achieved during the past year.
Stiuplated in the Constitution
The ceremony is stipulated in Article 74 of the Constitution:
As soon as the Storting is constituted, the King, or whoever he appoints for the purpose, shall open its proceedings with a Speech, in which he shall inform it of the state of the Realm and of the issues to which he particularly desires to call the attention of the Storting.
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.