Party in the Courtyard of the Royal Palace
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess celebrated their 50th birthdays on Friday evening with guests from all over the country. It was the first “courtyard party” to be held at the Royal Palace.
Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess chose to mark their 50th birthdays with a celebration of Norway and the Norwegian community. The invited guests are people the Crown Prince and Crown Princess have met during their many trips in Norway as well as project collaborators, members of patronage organisations and Norwegian government officials.
The Crown Prince with Princess Ingrid Alexandra followed by the Crown Princess and Prince Sverre Magnus as they arrive at the festivities. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
At 18.00 the guests began to arrive at the Royal Palace’s main gate. After a musical prelude in the Great Hall featuring musicians from the Norwegian Academy of Music, Her Majesty The Queen welcomed the guests to the party.
“Every person must find the way of celebrating life’s milestones that is just right for them. And our dear Crown Prince and Crown Princess – Haakon and Mette-Marit –have chosen their own way to mark that they have now turned 50,” said the Queen.
“They wanted to spend this year travelling around Norway and visiting places, people and communities that they value. They also wanted a party at the Palace that was not traditionally ‘Palace-like’. Which is why, as you can see, we have put together a party in the courtyard for the first time – entirely in the spirit of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess!”
The Queen welcomes guests to the courtyard party at the Royal Palace. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
Under party tents to protect against rain, the guests were seated at 48 tables surrounded by an abundance of flowers, live plants and potted trees.
Most of the menu was based on Norwegian ingredients. There was grilled halibut and veal in addition to salmon sashimi and a variety of vegetarian dishes. Glasses were filled with non-alcoholic cider.
At the tables in the Palace Courtyard. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
At the tables in the Palace Courtyard. Photo: Hanna Johre / NTB
What is best about Norway?
When it was time for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess to speak, they chose to highlight what they value most about Norway.
“We would now like to say a little about what defines Norway for us – what makes it Norway – and why we love our country so much,” said the Crown Prince. “Many people say the best thing about Norway is its beautiful nature. Or our widespread trust in one another. That we are a slightly reserved but amicable people who mostly get on well together. And all of that is true. But in order to find what it is that makes Norway truly beautiful to us, we have to get close to the people. Often in small places.”
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess speaking together. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess talked about people they had met during their travels, many of whom were among the guests.
“What’s really beautiful about Norway is knowing that we could stand here all evening and tell stories like these. About people who are shaping this country by means of who they are, what they do and what they mean to others,” said Crown Prince Haakon.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre speaking of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
A concert by the singer and songwriter Dagny was the Government’s gift to the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. She concluded by leading the guests in a rendition of Norway’s traditional birthday song.
Dagny sang for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and for all the guests assembled in the Palace Courtyard. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
Dessert was the finale: birthday cake and ice lollies. The ice cream was made by Cousins – one of the projects associated with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess’ Foundation.
Birthday cake and ice lollies rounded off the meal. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
“We feel so fortunate”
The Crown Princess ended the speech by giving thanks to the guests:
“Thank you for all for coming and celebrating with us. For celebrating Norway. For celebrating what we have created together. For celebrating what we can be for each other, and for our country.”
Celebrated the Prince’s 18th birthday
Today Their Majesties The King and Queen hosted a luncheon at the Royal Palace in honour of the 18th birthday of Prince Sverre Magnus. The Prince will turn 18 on Sunday, 3 December.
Family members, godparents and representatives of the Norwegian authorities and youth organisations are gathered at the Royal Palace today to celebrate the 18th birthday of His Highness Prince Sverre Magnus. Official photographs of the family were taken before the luncheon began.