State visit from Slovenia
Today Their Majesties The King and Queen welcomed the President of the Republic of Slovenia, His Excellency Mr Borut Pahor, to Norway. This is the first State Visit to Norway of a Slovenian President and King Harald and Queen Sonja are his hosts.
President Pahor’s visit is a return visit to the State Visit paid by King Harald and Queen Sonja to Slovenia in 2011.
Welcomed in the Palace Square
The President arrived at the Palace Square at 11:00 a.m. today, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince.
The King and the President heard the Norwegian and Slovenian national anthems from the pavilion of honour outside the Royal Palace. President Pahor then inspected the Guard of Honour before King Harald presented him to representatives of the Norwegian authorities.
President Pahor inspects the Guard of Honour, accompanied by King Harald. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB scanpix
Representatives of the Slovenian community in Norway were gathered at the Palace Square and there was an opportunity to greet some of them before the party moved into the Palace for official photographs in the Bird Room.
Gift giving is part of the tradition during State Visits, and on this occasion the gifts were placed on display in the White Parlour. Among other gifts, President Pahor had brought a set of unique Slovenian fishing flies for King Harald. The King’s enthusiasm for fly fishing is well known.
The gifts exchanged during the State Visit were displayed in the White Parlour. The President brought Slovenian skis for Crown Prince Haakon. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB scanpix
Heads of State on State Visits to Norway traditionally lay a wreath at the national monument at Akershus Fortress. The monument was erected to commemorate those who lost their lives during the Second World War. The King and Queen both accompanied the President to the ceremony.
After the wreath-laying ceremony, President Pahor visited the Storting, where he met with President of the Storting Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen. Afterwards the King and Queen hosted an official luncheon at the Royal Palace.
This afternoon, the King and the President visited the exhibition We’re Open! which was formally opened today. The exhibition of modern Slovenian furniture design will be on display at Kunsthall Oslo until 25 November.
A visit to the Slovenian design exhibition "We're open". Photo: Ørn E. Borgen / NTB scanpix
The exhibition has been produced by the Centre for Creativity at the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana. Mika Cimolini, who heads the programme at the Centre for Creativity, showed the guests around. Well-established designers and newcomers alike are represented in the exhibition, and several of them were present during today’s visit. The works embrace both the traditional and the futuristic, taking inspiration from folklore and craft traditions as well as recycled materials, ultralight carbon and 3D printing.
After departing Kunsthall Oslo, President Pahor went to meet Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Tonight, the King and Queen are hosting a gala dinner at the Palace in honour of the President’s visit.
Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon arrive for the gala dinner. Photo: Terje Pedersen, NTB scanpix
The tables in the Banqueting Hall are set for 180 guests, and the dinner will start at 8 p.m. Both King Harald and President Pahor will hold speeches during the dinner.
Facts about the Republic of Slovenia
Capital city: Ljubljana
Largest cities: Ljubljana, Maribor and Celje
Total area: 20 273 km²
Population in 2018: Slightly more than 2 million
Official language: Slovenian, as well as Italian and Hungarian which are spoken in some municipalities along the borders.
Form of government: Republic
Head of State in 2019: President Borut Pahor
Head of State in 2011: President Danilo Türk
Slovenia and Norway established diplomatic relations in 1992, and ties between the two countries are very good. Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja visited Slovenia in May 2011. This was the first State Visit from Norway to Slovenia. Former President Milan Kučan paid a visit to Norway in 1997, when he was granted an audience with King Harald.
Source: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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For more than 100 years, the Royal Family has greeted the Constitution Day children’s parade in Oslo from the balcony of the Royal Palace.