The Crown Prince Regent opened the Storting
Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince Regent carried out the formal opening of the 165th session of the Norwegian Storting. The opening, which departed from historical precedent, was also attended by Her Majesty The Queen.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and infection control rules, only 200 people were present during the opening instead of the usual 750 or so.
Abbreviated opening ceremony
It was the first time Crown Prince Haakon has read the Speech from the Throne. His Majesty The King is on sick leave, so the Crown Prince Regent carried out the formal opening in his place.
The Speech from the Throne contains the Government’s plans for the coming year. The speech is written by the Government. To emphasise this, Prime Minister Erna Solberg handed the speech to the Crown Prince Regent inside the Storting Chamber.
The Crown Prince Regent and the Queen at the opening of the 165th Storting. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB
The Speech to the Throne and the opening ceremony were shorter than usual.
Minister of Education and Integration Guri Melby read the Report on the State of the Realm, after which the President of the Storting, Tone W. Trøen, gave an address. Soloists from the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir opened the ceremony by performing the royal anthem and closed it with the first verse of the national anthem, Ja, vi elsker dette landet.
From the opening of the 165th Storting. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB
Enshrined in the Constitution
The official ceremony marks the beginning of a new session and the normal business of the Storting. The opening takes place each year in October, bringing together Members of the Storting, the Government and the Royal House in one of Norway’s most solemn official ceremonies.
Upon their arrival at the Storting this afternoon, the Crown Prince Regent and the Queen were welcomed by a deputation consisting of seven Members of the Storting from Møre og Romsdal county. The deputation was headed by Helge Orten.
The Crown Prince Regent and The Queen depart for the opening of the 165th Storting. Photo: Simen Løvberg Sund, The Royal Court
The formal opening of the Storting has traditions dating back to 1814 and is set out in Article 74 of the Constitution:
As soon as the Storting is constituted, the King, or whoever he appoints for the purpose, shall open its proceedings with a Speech, in which he shall inform it of the state of the Realm and of the issues to which he particularly desires to call the attention of the Storting. No deliberations may take place in the presence of the King.
Cadets from the Norwegian Defence University College. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court
The Crown Prince Regent arrives for the opening of the 165th Storting. Photo: Morten Brakestad / Stortinget
Virtual field trip with Norwegian Refugee Council
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) provides assistance in some of the world’s most distressed areas. Today, His Royal Highness The Crown Prince took part in a virtual field trip to Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
Condolences from His Royal Highness The Crown Prince Regent to His Excellency the President of France, Mr Emmanuel Macron.