Norway’s royal family performed their royal duties on Monday as the country celebrated its Constitution Day on the 17th of May. In keeping with tradition, things got off to an early start for the crown couple, while the king and queen’s day would continue into the late afternoon.
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit assembled their children and saw to it that they all were dressed in ethnic attire, with even little Prince Sverre wearing a traditional bunad. He was making a relatively rare public appearance, as the crown couple tries to carefully control their children’s exposure in the media.
Just after 8am, they all stood on the steps of the crown couple’s estate in suburban Asker, west of Oslo, Mette-Marit wearing a bunad from the Hardanger area and her son Marius wearing one from Vest-Agder, where his mother’s hometown of Kristiansand is located.
SEE PHOTOS FROM NRK (external link, text in Norwegian)
Princess Ingrid Alexander didn’t manage to stifle a yawn after getting up early — it takes some time to get dressed up in the lavish and somewhat complicated national costumes. But then all five of them waved and accepted flowers as the local parade passed by. As NRK reported, the parade has done so since 1946, when the late King Olav (then the crown prince) took the initiative to greet local school children parading for the first time since his family’s return from exile during World War II.
A few hours later, the royals were in place on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Oslo to greet the capital’s large parade. Mette-Marit and Haakon had changed out of their bunads and into more “civilian” attire, but with both Haakon and King Harald wearing the traditional top hat.
After hours of waving, King Harald and Queen Sonja were heading to Nordre Aker for their traditional neighbourhood visit. This year it started in Nydalen, once an industrial area along the Aker River and now a redeveloped complex of homes, offices, business college BI and a popular walking trail along the river.
Local schools in Nordre Aker, from Grefsen, Tåsen, Kringsjå and Elvebakken, would offer musical entertainment before the royals moved on to a senior center at Ullevål Hageby.