17 October 2017

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to pay Norway an official visit

The Norwegian Royal Court announced today that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) are coming to Norway for an official visit in early 2018.

The exact date and program has not yet been set. According to a tweet from Kensington Palace earlier today, the couple is also going to visit Sweden. The tweet says that the couple will undetake the official visit «at the request of the FCO [Foreign & Commonwealth Office]».
https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/92022379052470681
https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/920223790524706816

11 October 2017

Norway: Crown Prince Haakon to attend King Bhumibol of Thailand's funeral service

The Norwegian Royal Court confirmed today that Crown Prince Haakon will represent Norway at the funeral service and cremation ceremony for King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on 26 October 2017.

The death of King Bhumibol on 13 October 2016 has been marked by a one-year period of mourning. From the 25th to the 29th of October several ceremonies will take place. The actual cremation will be held on 26 October 2017, with many royals and other dignitaries in attendance. More details can be found among others on the Bangkok Post's Royal Cremation Ceremony page and Wikipedia.

Crown Prince Haakon will travel to Thailand alone. On the same day as the cremation ceremony takes place, his wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit will together with Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner attend the gala dinner for the members of the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) hosted by King Harald and Queen Sonja.

2 October 2017

Julie Payette installed as Canada's new Governor General

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall © OSGG-BSGG, 2017.

Julie Payette was today installed as Canada's 29th Governor General in a ceremony which took place inside the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The ceremony started at 10.55 a.m. local time. According to the press release, the ceremony was to be followed by military honours and the inspection of a guard of honour outside of Parliament (12.15 p.m.). Ms. Payette will then lay flowers at the National War Memorial (1.45 p.m.), before arriving at Rideau Hall, the official residence and workplace of the governor general in Ottawa (1.55 p.m.). The day will conclude with an evening reception at the Canadian Museum of History (7 p.m.).

Payette replaced David Johnston, who was installed as Governor General on 1 October 2010. Johnston bid farewell at a ceremony last Thursday. His term was originally meant to expire in 2015, but was extended with two years. Payette, b. 1963, is a businesswoman and a former astronaut and engineer. She has been married twice and has one son.

In connection with Payette's installation, her coat of arms was unveiled.

© The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. Copy of the version at gg.ca.

Arms: Per pale Azure and Sable a wing and in the canton the Royal Crown Argent.

Crest: A musical stave bearing the first notes of the second movement of Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor Sable; Motto: PER ASPERA AD ASTRA, meaning “Through hardship to the stars”.

Supporters: Two lynx Sable embellished Argent each wearing a collar set with laurel leaves Or and mullets Argent, and standing on the planet Earth Azure, its atmosphere Argent, charged with the Greek letter sigma (Σ) Argent.

More information about the coat of arms can be found at the website of the Governor General's Office.

The national coat-of-arms of Canada. Photo taken inside Parliament Hill in 2008.

 Parliament Hill, Ottawa.


 Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada.

Well, just to prove that I have been there!

Last five photos: © 2008 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

25 September 2017

Sweden: Prince Gabriel's christening date set

The Swedish Royal Court announced today that the christening of Prince Gabriel, second son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, will take place in the Royal Chapel at Drottningholm Palace on Friday 1 December 2017.

Prince Gabriel was born on 31 August 2017 at Danderyd Hospital. His name and title was announced on 4 September 2017. Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel's elder brother, b. 19 April 2016, was also christened in the Drottningholm Palace Chapel (9 September 2016).

Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neills children, Princess Leonore, b. 20 February 2014, and Prince Nicolas, b. 15 June 2015, were christened at Drottningholm on 8 June 2014 and 11 October 2015 respectively.

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel's children, Princess Estelle, b. 23 February 2012, and Prince Oscar, b. 2 March 2016, were on the other hand christened in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. Princess Estelle's christening took place on 22 May 2012, while Prince Oscar's christening took place on 27 May 2016.

21 September 2017

Author Olav Duun's childhood home and grave

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway are currently paying a county visit to Nord-Trøndelag. Today they arrived at the island of Jøa in the municipality of Fosnes, where they among others visited the childhood of the author Olav Duun (1876–1939). On the Royal Court's official website you will find will find an article about today's visit to Jøa as well as photos from the country tour. See also NRK.no.

Duun was born at the farm Stein nearby, but lived at Øver-Dun farm at Ramnfjellaksla from he was 7-8 years old until he was 25. After he married Emma Møller (1881–1970) in 1908, he lived in Botne in Vestfold county (Botne became a part of Holmestrand municipality in 1964). He died in Tønsberg in 1939 and was buried at Dun Cemetery at Jøa near his childhood home.

I visited Jøa and Olav Duun's childhood home two years ago. Here are some photos of the farm Øver-Dun and Dun Church and Cemetery.





For no particular reason I never took photos of the entrance side of the house. But you you can see one photo of the Crown Prince couple in the door opening here.

 The Olav Duun memorial behind the farm house.



From the back side of the headstone you can actually spot Olav Duun's childhood home.


The first church at Dun was consecrated in 1900. It burnt down in 1944. The present church was consecrated 5 years later.

All photos: © 2015 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. 

6 September 2017

Denmark: Prince Henrik suffers from dementia

The Danish Royal Court issued today the following press statement concerning Prince Henrik's health:
It is with deep regret that Her Majesty The Queen has asked the Lord Chamberlain to announce:

Following a longer course of investigation, and most recently, a series of examinations conducted during late summer, a team of specialists at Rigshospitalet has now concluded that His Royal Highness Prince Henrik suffers from dementia.

The diagnosis implies a decline in The Prince’s cognitive functional level. The extent of the cognitive failure is, according to Rigshospitalet, greater than expected considering the age of The Prince, and can be accompanied by changes in behaviour, reaction patterns, judgement and emotional life and may therefore also affect the interaction with the outside world.

As a consequence of the diagnosis, The Prince will further downgrade his future activities, just as patronages and honorary memberships will be considered.

It is the wish of The Queen and the Royal Family that The Prince will have the peace and quiet as required by the situation. 
During her new year's speech in 2015, Queen Margrethe announced that Prince Henrik had decided to retire from his official duties as of January 2016. A few months later he decided to stop using his title «Prince Consort» and reverted to being «just» Prince Henrik. On 3 August 2017 the Danish Royal Court informed that the prince had requested «not to be buried in Roskilde Cathedral as otherwise planned». The reason for his rather surprising decision was that he felt he was discriminated against because he had not received the title of king (consort) and thus felt he was not on equal foot with his wife the queen. Following the press release, he made comments to the media saying among others that the queen had made a fool of him. Prince Henrik has been occupied with the idea of being titled as king consort for quite some time, but his rather erratic behaviour in August made many observers feel that something was wrong with him. Although one could understand the reasoning behind his demands, his way of punishing his wife was uncalled for. In other words, today's press release doesn't come as a big surprise, and his health situation obviously explains his behaviour to a large extent. It is just sad that the court didn't protect him better back in August, and equally sad that the media didn't follow the Danish set of principles concerning press ethics, as it was obvoious to most people that the prince needed to be protected against himself.

I also hope not only that the media now will respect Prince Henrik's need for peace and quiet, but also that the public will also remember his many years of tireless work for the good of Denmark.



4 September 2017

UK: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child

Just before the name of Prince Gabriel of Sweden was announced in the Council of State at Stockholm Palace today, the British Royal Court at Kensington Palace informed that Catherine, the wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, was pregnant again:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child.

The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.

As with her previous two pregnancies, The Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Her Royal Highness will no longer carry out her planned engagement at the Hornsey Road Children's Centre in London today. The Duchess is being cared for at Kensington Palace.
As far as I know no information has been revealed about the due date, but obviously the duchess is less than 12 weeks pregnant, so the baby will be born some time in the spring of 2018.

The ducal couple's first child, Prince George, was born in 2013, while the second child, Princess Charlotte, arrived in 2015.

Postscript 19 October 2017: Kensington Palace released the following statement via its Twitter account on 17 October 2017: «The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2018.»

Updated on Thursday 19 October 2017 at 10 p.m. (postscript added).