Royal glitter despite disruption

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Crown Princess Mette-Marit, at least, managed to make it to most of the royal 70th birthday program for Danish Queen Margrethe, even though air travel was impossible. Mette-Marit’s in-laws, King Harald and Queen Sonja, weren’t quite as lucky.

Norway’s royals were among those invited from all over Europe to celebrate Denmark’s popular monarch. The pageantry kicked off Thursday night with a gala theater performance in Copenhagen and continued Friday with a royal banquet.

The Icelandic volcano, however, halted flights and forced both King Harald and Queen Sonja to miss the first big night of fun. Mette-Marit (at right in photo) had traveled earlier and made it in time, gallantly escorted by Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik and his wife Crown Princess Mary.

Danish Queen Margrethe's 70th Birthday Diner - Copenhagen

Mette-Marit’s husband, Crown Prince Haakon, was stuck in London after trying to get home from royal duties in Qatar. He finally opted to travel through the tunnel under the English Channel and drive by car up through the Benelux countries to Denmark, admitting to his followers on Twitter that he wasn’t used to such a long car trip. He finally made it Copenhagen, where he could escort his wife himself in to dinner at Fredensborg Palace (photo below).

Queen Sonja, meanwhile, also got in a car and started driving to Copenhagen Friday morning, to make it on time for her Danish counterpart’s dinner party. King Harald had to wait until after he’d conducted Friday’s Council of State at the palace, and then he got in his BMW and took the wheel himself, heading south to Copenhagen, which takes around seven hours depending on traffic.

King Harald only stayed overnight, heading back up to Oslo on Saturday to attend the government’s celebration of its Winter Olympic athletes at a sports gala at the Radisson Plaza Hotel. 

The royal family gathered again on Sunday back in Oslo for the grand re-opening of the Oslo Cathedral. Both King Harald and Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were married in the cathedral, and the next heir to the throne, their young daughter Princess Ingrid Alexandra, also attended the cathedral festivities.

King Harald had intended to head to Poland for the funeral of the Poland’s president at well on Sunday, but had to cancel because most airports in southern Norway remained closed, including Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen.

Views and News staff