Prince Charles sets course for Oslo

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This week is shaping up to be one of the year’s busiest in Oslo. In addition to the thousands of people in town for the annual Eurovision Song Contest, the Abel Prize in Mathematics was to be awarded on Tuesday and eight heads of state will be arriving for the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference. England’s Prince Charles is coming, too.

Britain's Prince Charles attends a Victory in Europe (VE) day ceremony in central London

Buckingham Palace confirmed on Friday that Prince Charles will arrive in Oslo on Wednesday to take part in the deforestation conference hosted by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Around 50 countries will be represented at the conference, which also is attracting 25 government ministers.

Norway’s Royal Family, however, already had a packed program. The annual music festival Festspillene gets underway in Bergen, which is always formally opened by King Harald and Queen Sonja, and Crown Prince Haakon was taking off for Shanghai, to make an official appearance at Norway’s Pavilion at Expo 2010.

That means none of them will be in town to welcome Prince Charles, so Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that Crown Princess Mette-Marit will move into the Royal Palace in Oslo to serve as hostess for the heir to the British throne. He will be staying at the palace and both he and Mette-Marit will attend a dinner at Lysebu in the hills above Oslo, hosted by Stoltenberg.

The deforestation conference itself will be held at the Holmenkollen Park Hotel, often used for events requiring tight security. Prince Charles has been active in efforts to halt climate change and has supported Norway’s effort to save rainforests. 

“If we lose the battle against tropical deforestation, we lost the battle against climate change,” the prince claims on the website for his own Rainforest Project.

Prince Charles hasn’t been to Norway since he attended the wedding of Mette-Marit and Haakon in 2001. 

Before leaving for Bergen, meanwhile, King Harald will formally present this year’s Abel Prize in mathematics to Professor John Torrence Tate of the University of Texas at Austin. The award is often referred to as the “Nobel in math,” carries a cash prize of NOK 2.5 million and is presented at an elegant ceremony in the historic downtown campus of the University of Oslo.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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