Silver jubilee tour along the coast
It has been 25 years since Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja acceded to the Norwegian throne. To mark the occasion they are travelling down the Norwegian coast on the Royal Yacht Norge.
During the course of their trip, the King and Queen will be visiting six cities, and public festivities will be held each place in their honour. Their Majesties will be hosting a garden party in each city. The jubilee tour was launched in Tromsø on 18 June.
Please visit the photo album for photographs from their journey.
First stop: Tromsø
Tromsø was the first, and most northerly, port of call on the voyage. King Harald welcomed the 300 guests from throughout Troms county to a garden party at Skansen fortress. There the King reminisced about fishing trips, mountain hikes, the Norwegian Biathlon Championship and other good memories that the members of the Royal Family have of Tromsø from the past 25 years. The King also reflected on the changes that have taken place during these years:
“Norway is 25 years older. Norwegian society is not the same as it was in 1991. We face different challenges, have different opportunities. We have experienced good times and bad times – more than once. But throughout it all we have held on to certain values that are an inextricable part of our culture, our local communities, and our hearts.”
Musicians and circus artists of all sizes entertained the guests at the garden party, where local specialities from the county were served. In the evening, Tromsø Municipality hosted a festive event for the general public in Tromsø’s market square, where the Midnight Sun Marathon was also in full swing. Queen Sonja started off the runners in the first heat of the children’s race, and then accompanied King Harald to the finish line area to cheer them on.
On to Bodø
The next day the Royal Yacht dropped anchor in Bodø. The King and Queen were treated to a number of cultural performances as they made their way on foot from the harbour to the market square where the public festivities were held. The city is celebrating its bicentenary this year, so Queen Sonja began her speech at the garden party by offering her good wishes:
“I would like to start by offering Bodø my congratulations on its 200th anniversary! The King and I have many wonderful memories from our visits to the city, and we are very pleased to be here precisely now, during the bicentenary celebration.”
The Queen is widely known for her love of nature – particularly for the nature of Nordland county – and she spoke of her many trips in the county:
“Twenty-five years ago I went on one of my first hiking trips in the Saltfjellet mountain range. It was an unforgettable experience. I completely lost my heart to the place. I decided right then to return to experience the area in winter. I came back for a skiing trip the following year.”
In the evening, the Queen was presented with another opportunity for a hiking experience when she officially opened the new Keiserstien Trail, which leads to the top of Veten mountain. Six Sherpas from Nepal have been working on the trail since 2015, building a stone staircase up the last 15–20 metres.
Queen Sonja walked to Keiservarden Peak where she unveiled a stone monument in the company of King Harald.
Anniversary of the consecration
The Royal Yacht is now docked in Trondheim. Tomorrow, 23 June, activities will mark that it is 25 years to the day that King Harald and Queen Sonja were consecrated here in Nidaros Cathedral. A large celebratory church service will be held in the cathedral in honour of the event, in addition to a breakfast for the public at large and a garden party at the Royal residence, Stiftsgården.
The voyage continues
The King and Queen’s jubilee tour will last until 29 June. King Harald and Queen Sonja will continue down the coast from Trondheim to Bergen (25 June) and Stavanger (27 June) to their final destination in Kristiansand (29 June).
Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess are joining the King and Queen in Trondheim and accompanying them on their journey south.
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.