King Harald and Queen Sonja have been sailing on their royal yacht down the Norwegian coast this week, arriving in Trondheim on Thursday for a special ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of their reign. The cruise itself will end in Kristiansand next Wednesday, where the royals can hope for better weather.
The so-called jubileumsreise started last weekend in the northern city of Tromsø, where the royals and all those flocking around them had to brave unseasonably chilly temperatures, rain and wind. The weather didn’t seem to spoil an outdoor garden party hosted by the royal couple for 300 invited guests, though, and the bundled-up royals also attended more outdoor events in the town square and along the route of Tromsø’s Midnight Sun Marathon, albeit without any sun.
From there the couple started sailing south, arriving in Bodø two days later where they also were met with rain and wind but a warm welcome. Dressed-up locals covered up their national costumes (bunader) with see-thru plastic coats and the queen ignored the bad weather to officially open a new hiking trail and head up to its summit. The couple also hosted a garden party in Bodø, at the Nordland Cultural Center.
Then they had a few days off at sea before arriving in Trondheim on Wednesday in time for a full day of events on Thursday, 25 years to the day since the couple was officially blessed in the Nidaros Cathedral. Norway no longer has coronations, but remains one of the few countries in Europe to recognize its monarch through a religious ceremony.
King Harald, Queen Sonja and the rest of the royal family were back inside Nidaros on Thursday for another church service that also featured music and tributes. State broadcaster NRK reported they were moved to tears by an address delivered by a local 13-year-old boy in front of 1,000 guests.
The royal jubilee cruise continues on to Bergen on the 25th and Stavanger o the 27th, before arriving in Kristiansand on Norway’s southern tip on June 29. After that, the royals are set to take off on their annual summer holidays through the month of July.