Celebration of 17 May 2008
At 10:30 a.m. on May 17, the Royal Family took its place on the Palace balcony to receive the traditional Constitution Day Childrens Parade in Oslo.
Prior to arriving at the Palace, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess greeted the local childrens parade from their official residence, Skaugum, in Asker municipality.
Schools from all over the Oslo area take part in the parade. A total of 112 schools participated in the 2008 parade.
The first Constitution Day childrens parade was held in Oslo on 17 May 1870, at the initiative of Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, a prominent Norwegian author and public figure. The tradition of standing on the Palace balcony to greet the parade was introduced by King Haakon in 1906. The Royal Family has continued this tradition every year since, with the exception of in 1910, when the family was in England for the funeral of Queen Mauds father, King Edward VII, and during WWII from 1940 to 1945.
Visit to Vestre Aker urban district
In another tradition, the King and Queen pay a visit to one of the Oslo urban districts after the parade has been concluded. In 2008, King Harald and Queen Sonja visited the district of Vestre Aker.
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.