Friday, 2 February 2018

#RoyalVisitNorway: winter wonderland


It started with snow and ended with sparkle and all wrapped up with a rather cosy family feel. The first day of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Norway saw them hook up with their nearest royal relatives on the continent and have a pretty marvellous time while they were at it. Welcome to William and Kate's winter wonderland....


Some royal days just work and this was one of them. I mean, what's not to love about the image of William and Kate arriving in Oslo against a backdrop of all that snow? They were met at the airport by Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Crown Princess Mette-Marit and after lots of kisses, the four headed to the Royal Palace in Oslo where Norway's King and Queen were waiting to say hello.



King Harald V and Queen Sonja should really be cloned. They are about as perfect as royals get. In another example of how they just know how to be fabulous at the regal day job, they were waiting at the top of the stairs to hug both Kate and William. Warm vibes all round and it gets better.



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There were official photos (natch, it might not be a State Visit but as I said yesterday, it's about as close as it gets without worrying the horses) and then official gift giving. There were official photos but there were other trinkets too including a gift from Harald and Sonja for '' the prince or princess to come''. Yep, not only did they include baby Cambridge number three in the proceedings, they did it in a way that would melt the hardest heart. I've got something in my eye and you have too, admit it.


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After lunch, the Cambridges joined Queen Sonja, the Crown Prince and Princess and their fourteen year old daughter, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, for a wintry walk to the sculpture park in the grounds of the Royal Palace named after the teenage queen in waiting. It looked pretty chilly but that didn't stop anyone from enjoying a good old fashioned royal walkabout. Besides, the glare coming off Sonja's orange coat was enough to keep them all warm while they were at it.



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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge then headed off to MESH, a co-working space for entrepreneurs and start ups. It was a chance to put the focus on business and economic links between the two countries as well as an opportunity to see the Duke of Cambridge taking a virtual tour of St. Andrews. And he looks just so comfortable doing it....



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We've had the snow, get ready for the sparkle. In the evening, the King and Queen of Norway hosted a dinner in honour of their guests at the Royal Palace. We got just about all the glitter you can get with no tiaras and it all looked rather lovely.




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King Harald made a speech, telling William and Kate that he was ''delighted'' to welcome them to Norway as was Queen Sonja, adding ''...you are family.  And that makes this visit very special - for the Queen and me, and for all of us''. He's just marvellous. 




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William also spoke, talking of the links between the UK and Norway, saying ''thousands of people cross the North Sea in each direction every year.  Friendship is the hallmark of what prompts them to make that journey.  Catherine and I are delighted that, now, we too have made that journey; we too have experienced the warmth of that friendship on this very special visit''. 


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The evening was the most glittering of this royal tour so far and really gave it that semi State Visit feel that was coming into play in Sweden. The Cambridges have one more day of this five day Scandinavian trip to go before heading home. But thanks to cousin Harald (a great grandchild of Edward VII, like the Queen) and his family (Haakon and Mette-Marit were super smiley hosts throughout the whole day) plus all that snow and sparkle, they are ending on a real high. It was a royal day to remember.

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