The calendar at the Norwegian Royal Family's official website reveals that the royals are rather busy these days. Among the usual stuff like presiding over the Council of State on Fridays and granting the Foreign Secretary an audience, there are some newsworthy engagements for the king as well.
On Thursday 5 November HM The King will grant the new Ambassador of USA, His Excellency Mr Barry B. White, a formal audience at 11:15. Mr. White, who was confirmed by the US Senate on 22 September and sworn in on 21 October 2009, replaces Benson K. Whitney, who came to Oslo in 2006 and left in June this year. James T. Heg, the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d'Affaires ad interim, has held the fort in the meantime.
Later on Thursday the King will also grant the new Ambassador of Afghanistan, Her Excellency Ms Manizha Bakhtary, a formal audience.
The Norwegian football season 2009 will be finished this weekend with the cup finals for both men and women. Usually the king is present at the men's cup final at Ullevaal Stadium, but King Harald makes an exception this year and will go to Telenor Arena at Fornebu in Bærum on Saturday to attend the women's cup final between Røa and Team Strømmen. Surely it is much more comfortable for the king to be indoors. The first snow arrived in the Oslo area today... But the main reason for the switch is obviously that the king will travel to Stavanger on Sunday 8 November to attend the consecration of the new Bishop of Stavanger, Erling Pettersen.
This means that it is the Crown Prince and Crown Princess who will attend the cup final for men between Aalesund and Molde at Ullevaal Stadium on Sunday. Later on the same day Crown Prince Mette-Marit will visit the Bollywood Festival arranged by X-Ray Youth Centre and World Music Festival, Cosmopolite Torshov.
Next week Crown Prince Haakon will travel to India to attend the World Economic Forums India Summit in New Delhi. And if that was not enough, the Crown Prince will thereafter go directly to Botswana in the role as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme.
Even Princess Märtha Louise will have official engagements. On 18 November she will grant audiences to representatives of the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted, the Norwegian Association of Muscular Disorders, the Norwegian Epilepsy Association, the Norwegian Rheumatism Association and Special Olympics Norway, all organisations under her patronage.