King Harald celebrated his 73rd birthday on Sunday and the canons were fired from the Akershus Fortress in Oslo, but the monarch couldn’t hear them. He and Queen Sonja had traveled to Vancouver over the weekend to spend the coming week attending events at the Winter Olympics where Norwegians were competing.
Meanwhile, back home in Oslo, news broke that the king has mostly been awarding his royal decorations (like the Order of St Olav) to men, not women.
Newspaper Aftenposten reported that four out of five St Olav orders have been awarded to men during the past eight years, with 228 men receiving the distinction as opposed to only 59 women.
The Order of St Olav is the highest degree of royal decoration, awarded for “excellent service to the fatherland and the population.” Sven Gjeruldsen of the palace staff said that King Harald wished there were more proposals for the order to go to women.
“There are many women who are good candidates both for the Order of St Olav and for the King’s service medal(fortjenestedmedalje),” Gjeruldsen told Aftenposten. Last year, 22 men were awarded the Order of St Olav, as opposed to just six women.
By Views and News staff