Kings rode to the rescue

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King Harald V and his Swedish counterpart gallantly came to the aid of one of the Norwegian Royal Palace’s top officials after she stumbled on an escalator in full gala dress over the weekend. The unexpected incident occurred as they were heading into one of the final events on the royal couple’s recent US tour.

Queen Sonja and King Harald ended their official trip to the US with several days last week in New York. Their son, Crown Prince Haakon, was in the San Francisco Bay Area this week, including a visit back to the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied in the 1990s. PHOTO: kongehuset.no/Scanpix

The royals were part of a glittery entourage making their grand entrance to a banquet marking the 100th anniversary of the American-Scandinavian Foundation in New York. In addition to King Harald and Queen Sonja, the crown couple of Denmark and the king and queen of Sweden were in attendance as well.

Cabinet secretary Berit Tversland, who’s worked for the royals in Oslo for years, had just helped Queen Sonja gather up her long skirts before stepping onto a narrow escalator at the Hilton Hotel. Tversland then stepped onto the escalator right behind the queen, without thinking about her own less-than-practical attire.

Tversland lost her balance and fell backwards, almost into the arms of King Harald who was right behind her on the moving stairs. He immediately bent down to help her, while King Carl Gustaf of Sweden stepped forward and had the presence of mind to hit the escalator’s “stop” button, to the applause of his wife, Queen Silvia.

Tversland was reportedly laughing about it all and the royal party eventually made it into the formal affair, at which King Harald was even spotted singing along with the US’ national anthem. He spent his childhood in the US, when his family was in exile during World War II.

See NRK’s video here (external link, in Norwegian).

The banquet was one of the final events for King Harald and Queen Sonja as they wrapped up just over a week-long official trip to the US. They spent the first part of the trip in the Midwest, visiting Norwegian-American institutions and communities before heading for New York where they joined other Scandinavian royals at Ground Zero, the banquet and various artistic venues.

For more photos of the royal US tour, click here (external link, in Norwegian).

The Norwegian royal couple also visited the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce, Norwegian Seamen’s Church and Scandinavian House, where a new exhibition of Scandinavian art was opening this week featuring works by, among others, Norwegian painter Edvard Munch.

Views and News staff