Golden anniversary celebrated in Oslo Cathedral
Today marks fifty years since Their Majesties The King and Queen were married. The golden anniversary was commemorated with a church service in Oslo Cathedral, where their wedding was held on 29 August 1968.
Nine years had passed since the two first met. At the time, it was highly controversial that the Crown Prince wished to marry a commoner – a woman who was not a member of a European royal family or nobility. But finally, on 19 March 1968, the couple could announce their engagement, and the wedding was held in August that year. Today the King and Queen celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in Oslo Cathedral.
Married 50 years today. Photo: Heiko Junge, NTB scanpix
In a convertible
A few minutes before the service was to begin, King Harald and Queen Sonja rode from the Royal Palace in an A5 Lincoln Continental convertible, the very same car that took them from the Cathedral to the Palace as newlyweds in 1968. It is also the car that carried the Crown Prince and Crown Princess after their wedding ceremony in 2001.
The very same classic A5 Lincoln Continental carried the King and Queen along the same route they took as newlyweds, from Oslo Cathedral to the Royal Palace, 50 years ago today. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix
It was a fully packed Cathedral that awaited the arrival of King Harald and Queen Sonja. Family and friends were in attendance, as were the Prime Minister, members of the Government and other representatives of official institutions in Norway. The King and Queen had also invited 200 local guests, in addition to employees of the Royal Court.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess and their family greet King Harald and Queen Sonja. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix
As the King and Queen had requested, Thankfulness was a recurring theme of the service, which wove together elements both from the wedding in 1968 and from writings and music the couple have grown fond of during their life together. Two of the hymns sung at the wedding 50 years ago were also sung today.
The Bishop of Oslo, Kari Veiteberg, performed the service celebrating the King and Queen’s golden anniversary. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix
Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise and Maud Angelica Behn recited text passages. The voices of the Oslo Cathedral Choir and the sopranos of the Oslo Cathedral Boys Choir resonated in the Cathedral as they led a full church in the singing of the hymns.
Princess Ingrid Alexandra read a passage of text during the service. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix
After the service, King Harald and Queen Sonja returned to the Royal Palace, once again in the classic Lincoln.
Celebrating with family
This evening the King and Queen are celebrating their anniversary with family and friends.
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.