Bergen festival royally underway

Queen Sonja hailed Norway’s west coast capital of Bergen as a city “with deep cultural roots back to the Hanseatic time” when she opened the annual Festspillene (Bergen International Festival) on Wednesday. She claimed the festival “is a good example of how Bergen has formed its identity.” The nearly 80-year-old queen played a role in Bergen’s cultural […]

New gondola wins a royal reception

Residents of Loen in the mountains around the Nordfjord could hardly have hoped for better promotion of their new tourist attraction this weekend. Under sunny skies and with snow-capped mountains at their scenic best, a new gondola built to lure more visitors to the area was formally opened on Saturday by none other than Queen Sonja. The queen, who […]

Party at the palace, and for the people

SEE THE VIDEO: An estimated 3,000 Norwegians streamed to the Royal Palace in Oslo on Tuesday evening, to pay tribute to King Harald and Queen Sonja as they began official celebrations of their 80th birthdays. Those defying chilly temperatures and the threat of rain on the palace grounds also got a glimpse of royals from all […]

Royals ready to celebrate being 80

Kings, queens, princes, princesses and at least two presidents from all over Europe were arriving in Oslo this week, to take part in Norway’s official celebration of King Harald’s and Queen Sonja’s 80th birthdays this year. The partying is due to begin at the Royal Palace Tuesday evening, and run through Wednesday. King Harald turned […]

The Queen’s art raises a flap

Art critics and artists themselves are questioning why the Art Museums of Bergen (KODE) decided to mount an exhibition of Queen Sonja’s art in the soon-to-reopen KODE 1, formerly known as Permanenten. It’s the museum building used for handicraft and design, and will reopen after an extensive refurbishment on May 23. “Why should the queen be able to […]

Royals reform their finances

Crown Prince Haakon is now paying more of his private expenses himself, after the Parliament asked the royals to tidy up their finances. A series of articles in newspaper Dagbladet last year revealed how taxpayers had been picking up more of the royals’ bills than they should. The annual report from the Royal Palace that accounts for royal […]

King turns 80 with 81 percent support

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s King Harald V was celebrating his 80th birthday on Tuesday on a winter holiday with his closest family. Among his gifts is a new public opinion poll showing that the monarchy is now supported by an overwhelming 81 percent of the Norwegian population, with many also claiming that there is substance behind all the royal symbolism. […]

Opera to be venue for royals’ parties

Canons roared at noon and flags flew in honour of King Harald’s 80th birthday on Tuesday, but the official celebration will be held in May, when the government hosts a party that will also hail Queen Sonja. She’ll turn 80 on the 4th of July. Details of the government-sponsored celebration have begun to emerge, and its […]

Princess Ingrid Alexandra now a teenager

Norway’s Princess Ingrid Alexandra, second in line to the throne after her father Crown Prince Haakon, turned 13 over the weekend. If nothing unexpected occurs, she’ll eventually become Norway first reigning queen in more than 600 years. Newspaper Aftenposten pointed out on Saturday, Ingrid Alexandra’s birthday, that the last time a queen was monarch in […]

Little sympathy for Mette-Marit

A vague media complaint and public appeal for privacy issued by Crown Princess Mette-Marit on behalf of her now-20-year-old son Marius Borg Høiby has sparked criticism against both her and royal palace staff. Many claim Norwegian media have always been restrained in their coverage of Marius over the years, and point out that he’s active on social media […]