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Happy Constitution Day!

At exactly 10:30 am, the Royal Family took its customary place on the Palace Balcony to greet the Oslo children’s parade. This year, however, Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra did not join the others on the balcony; the Princess is graduating this year.


The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces headed the procession into the Palace Square, accompanying the Oslo Håndverker Sangforening choir and the members of the May 17th Committee as they sang first the royal anthem and then Norway’s national anthem. Then the children started to fill the Palace Square.

 The Oslo children's parade headed for the Royal Palace. Photo: Frederik Ringnes / NTB

Schools that are celebrating major anniversaries always lead the parade, and this year children from Starttjern, Rommen and Lutvann schools marched at the front. All three schools are celebrating their 50th anniversary. All together, 110 schools and roughly 30 000 children took part in this year’s parade in Oslo.

The Royal Family greets the children’s parade from the Palace Balcony. Photo: Frederik Ringnes / NTB

Princess Ingrid Alexandra was also absent when the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and Prince Sverre Magnus greeted the Asker municipality children’s parade at Skaugum Estate early tlhis morning. She is finishing her final year at Elvebakken upper secondary school, and is celebrating the completion of her studies together with fellow students.

 Greeting the Asker municipality children’s parade at Skaugum Estate. Photo: Lise Åserud, NTB

The children brought flowers for the Royals outside Skaugum. Photo: Lise Åserud, NTB

Greeting the Asker municipality children’s parade at Skaugum Estate. Photo: Lise Åserud, NTB

Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB


It was King Haakon and Queen Maud who introduced the custom of greeting the children’s parade from the Palace Balcony in 1906. The custom has been upheld ever since. The only exceptions were in 1910, when the Royal Family was in England for the funeral of Queen Maud’s father, King Edward VII, during World War II from 1940 to 1944, and during the corona pandemic from 2020-2021.

King Harald’s first appearance on the Palace balcony for the May 17th celebrations, 1938. Photographer unknown, The Royal Court Photo Archive.

Today the terms May 17th and children’s parade are virtually synonymous, but this has not always been the case.

17th of May and the children's parade

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