Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A right royal celebration

Spot the royal. Chances are wherever you look in the photo above, you'll find at least one king, queen or heir to the throne. Harald and Sonja of Norway have begun the celebrations to mark their 80th birthdays and a right royal do it's turning into already.


King Harald and Queen Sonja have welcomed dozens of royal guests to Oslo this evening for a special dinner to mark their birthdays. And as a special treat for all of us, we've had group photos and mega balcony appearances so we can all enjoy a royal line up the likes of which we've not see in quite a while. There was a big crowd to see Harald, Sonja, their family and their royal guests spread themselves across the balcony at the Royal Palace in Oslo on Tuesday evening ahead of the gala. They only just all made it on there.

The stars of the show were, of course, King Harald and Queen Sonja, who took up centre stage alongside their children, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Princess Martha Louise, their daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and their five grandchildren, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Prince Sverre Magnus and Maud, Leah and Emma Behn.

On either side of them were kings, queens and princesses. A quick glance to the right from the ground brought you the ruling houses of Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark. Eyes left and there were royals from Luxembourg, Monaco and Belgium gracing the balcony complete with black tie, sashes and tiaras. More of those tomorrow.

The crowd sang the Birthday Song for Harald and Sonja, there was music and chat not to mention impromptu dancing from Crown Prince Haakon Magnus. And the impressive crowds who had come to celebrate with Harald and Sonja got plenty of royal waves as the dozens of regal guests joined in with their hosts before heading inside for a lot of handshaking and a rather impressive line up walking into dinner.
As we've come to expect, there was a heartfelt and classy speech from King Harald in which he referred to the close links between the royal guests gathered for the birthday celebrations. He told them ''many of us gathered here are members of the same European families, we are friends and colleagues''.  The official photo released soon afterwards (right at the top of the post) was a handy cut out and keep guide to the guests. With the rulers of Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Monaco and Luxembourg and their families as well as members of British and Greek royalty present, it was a glittering line up. It gets even more regal tomorrow with other royals joining day two of the party which will include a river cruise and a dinner given by the government for King Harald and Queen Sonja. Let's not get greedy. Tonight has been a right royal celebration and then some.
Photo credit: kongehuset.no/ NTB Scanpix and Thomas Brun.

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