Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Norway's Royals welcome the President of Poland

Norway's Royal Family welcomes the President of Poland and his wife on a three day State Visit

You can't beat a royal umbrella which is fortunate really as the Polish State Visit to Norway got under way in such heavy rain that there were brollies everywhere. As King Harald V and Queen Sonja welcomed Andrzej Duda and his wife to Oslo, the heavens opened and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

A sea of umbrellas in a deluge of rain at the start of the Polish State Visit to Norway on May 23rd

The President of Poland and his wife, Agata Duda, were given a ceremonial welcome in Palace Square in Oslo at the start of their three day visit. King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Astrid all took part.

Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Crown Princess Mette-Marit at the start of the Polish State Visit to Norway

There was the traditional inspection of the Guard of Honour and a chance to meet some of the many wellwishers who had turned out despite the heavy rain before a brief respite from the showers for a photo call inside the Royal Palace and the traditional exchange of gifts.

Time to find the framed photos - the gift exchange at the state of the Polish State Visit to Norway

The President of Poland then laid a wreath at Akershus Fortress at the memorial to those who lost their lives in World War Two with King Harald at his side and Agata Duda and Queen Sonja watching from under their umbrellas.

The wreath laying ceremony at Akershus on May 23rd 2016

State Visits mean political meetings so while President Duda headed off to meet the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, his wife accompanied Queen Sonja on a visit to the National Gallery where they saw several exhibitions including works by Edvward Munch.

Queen Sonja shows the First Lady of Poland round Norway's National Gallery

There was also time for a trip to Oscarshall where Queen Sonja played tour guide and showed her guests some of the treasures there including her own exhibition of glass.

Queen Sonja and Agata Duda during day one of the State Visit to Norway

And then it was time for sparkles. All State Visits need a State Dinner and as day one of the Polish trip to Norway came to an end, King Harald and Queen Sonja led their Royal Family in hosting a glittering gala at the Royal Palace.

Queen Sonja wore her emeralds while Agata Duda chose a simple but stunning pale blue dress.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit missed the meal because of chronic back problems but she may well make another appearance as the State Visit continues. Day two includes a business seminar, an engagement with Norway's Air Force and a government lunch - there will be more on all that later on the site.

You can find full details of all the State Visits taking place in May here.

Photo credit: kongehuset.no and prezydent.pl

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