Garden party hosted by the King and Queen
Today Their Majesties The King and Queen hosted a garden party in the Palace Park for 1 500 guests from throughout Norway.
This summer the King and Queen have hosted garden parties in the cities they have visited during their silver jubilee tour along the coast. Today King Harald and Queen Sonja played the host in their own “garden”: the Palace Park. The guests came from every county in the country and Svalbard. Representatives of official institutions in Norway were in attendance, headed by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, as well as many representatives of organisations under the patronage of the Royal Family.
The guests began arriving at 1:00 p.m. and were treated to music and dance performances until 2:00 pm, when the King and Queen arrived. Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess, Her Royal Highness Ingrid Alexandra, His Highness Prince Sverre Magnus, and Her Highness Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner were in attendance as well.
- But above all, Norway is its people
King Harald welcomed the guests:
- Those of you who are gathered here represent Norway as it is today. So what is Norway?, asked the King, before describing the country with images of its nature and climate.
- But above all, Norway is its people. (...)
- My greatest hope for Norway is that we will be able to take care of one another. That we will continue to build this country – on a foundation of trust, fellowship and generosity of spirit. That we will feel that we are – despite our differences – one people.
That Norway is one.
The King’s complete speech may be found by clicking on the link to the right.
Cultural presentations and finger food
After the King’s opening speech, singer Kari Bremnes took the stage. Her performance was followed by a speech by one of the guests, Ali Al-Jabri. The food tents were then opened, and finger food consisting of nearly 24 000 canapés was served to the guests.
The Prime Minister held a speech, which was followed by more entertainment from the Fargespill music and dance ensemble and the King’s Guard, and Mari Holven sang a lay for the guests.
Queen Sonja concluded the garden party with a farewell speech in which she thanked the guests – many of whom had travelled very far – for coming. She also thanked all those who had delighted the audience with their performances.
“But today I also have a greater thank you to express,” said the Queen, “and it extends beyond today itself:
Thank you for being our countrymen! We think Norway is full of wonderful people. Wherever we go – and we have travelled the country for nearly 50 years in our capacity as Crown Prince and Crown Princess and King and Queen – we are greeted with warmth and friendship. I feel that we have a strong, supportive mutual relationship. That is what I would like to thank you for in particular today.”
“We have so much to be grateful for. We still live in a peaceful corner of the earth. Let us safeguard what is most important to us, so that we can continue to speak openly, continue to feel safe and secure, continue to pursue education – and continue to live in freedom.”
Oslo Soul Children and Oslo Soul Teens bid the guests farewell with song.
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.