Activities during the jubilee weekend
17 January 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the ascension to the Norwegian throne of Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja. Below is an overview of activities to be held during the jubilee weekend.
The Government’s gift to the King and Queen is a commemorative jubilee event at University Square in Oslo, followed by a gala performance in the Aula of the University of Oslo. Winter activities for children will be held in the Palace Square, with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports as the main organiser.
Her Majesty Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Their Majesties King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will be the King and Queen’s guests during the jubilee celebration.
The activities at the Palace Square and University Square are free of charge and open to the public. Many of the events will also be televised by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).
The jubilee weekend will begin on Friday, 15 January as King Harald and Queen Sonja receive deputations in the Small Ceremonial Hall. Representatives of official institutions in Norway will bring congratulations from the Government, the Storting, the Sameting, the County Governors and municipal organisations. The diplomatic corps, the Church of Norway and other religious and secular organisations will also be represented.
Register of congratulations
Starting Friday, 15 January, 3:00 pm, the general public will have the opportunity to send congratulatory messages to King Harald and Queen Sonja. Anyone who would like to can meet up in person at the Royal Palace to sign the official congratulatory register to be set up in the Protocol Room. Visitors should go to the Main Gate of the Royal Palace.
A congratulatory message register will also be established on the kongehuset.no website. The online register will be launched at the same time as the register at the Royal Palace, and will remain open until midnight on Sunday, 17 January.
Those taking part in the activities at University Square on Sunday will also be able to write a message in a large book of congratulations to be stationed there.
Sunday: the jubilee day
Many events will be held on the jubilee day itself. The programme begins at 11:00 am with a church service and winter games and concludes with a gala performance in the Aula of the University of Oslo. At 1:00 pm, 21-gun salutes in honour of the King and Queen will sound throughout the country.
Service in the Palace Chapel
King Harald, Queen Sonja, Queen Margrethe, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia will be in attendance at the service in the Palace Chapel, which begins at 11:00 am. Other members of the Royal Family and representatives of official institutions in Norway will also be in attendance. The service will be led by Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien of the Church of Norway and broadcast live on the television channel NRK 1.
Winter activities in the Palace Square
From 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, there will be a wide range of activities for children and young people in the Palace Square, including an opportunity to try skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, ice sliding and biathlon with laser rifles. There will be figure skating for children in the Spikersuppa ice skating rink. Those who have not brought their own equipment may borrow skis and snowboards.
The Royal Family will be in attendance at the Palace Square from 12:45 to 1:35 pm to watch and take part in the activities.
Youth Olympic flame: At 1:35 pm, the flame for the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games will be carried from the Palace Square to University Square.
There will be a figure skating show at the Spikersuppa rink from 1:30 to 2:00 pm and a snowboarding show at the Palace Square at 2:30 pm, with participants competing for the title of stairsmaster.
The public is encouraged to bring candles to light at 3:15 pm in honour of King Harald and Queen Sonja and in memory of King Olav.
Activities at University Square
At 12:30 pm, Mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen will officially open the event at University Square. Master of Ceremonies Erik Solbakken will lead the audience through the day’s programme. The event will feature an array of performers, including Daniel Kvammen, Morgan Sulele and Thea, the winner of the Norwegian Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
There will be an activity tent where children can make crowns, listen to storytelling, draw pictures and use a photo wall. Norway Post will set up a post office for the day where the public can send cards with a special anniversary postmark. There will also be food stalls for purchasing snacks.
The activity tent and food stalls will be open until 5:30 pm.
Gala performance in the Aula
At 3:40 pm, the Royal Family will walk from the Palace Square to University Square and the Aula, where they will be greeted by Prime Minister Erna Solberg. The gala performance begins at 4:00 pm. It will be hosted by Espen Beranek Holm and Lena Kristin Ellingsen and will feature the Norwegian Radio Orchestra playing Christian Eggen’s recently composed piece Vær hilset / Salvete rex et regina (“Hail / Save the King and Queen”). The event will incorporate performing artists from a wide range of music genres who represent in various ways the developments in Norwegian society over the past 25 years. Artists include Elias Akselsen, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Tuva Syvertsen, Kirsten Bråten Berg, Toralv Maurstad and Espen Skjønberg, among others.
The event will be broadcast on large screens at University Square and aired later in the evening on the television channel NRK 1.
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.