14 October 2010

Swiss President in Norway

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Ms. Doris Leuthard and her husband Dr. Roland Hausin, arrived in Oslo, Norway for a state visit today, 14 October 2010. According to the official website of the royal house, this is the first time a Swiss President has paid Norway a state visit. The visit didn't start too well, however, as the military band played the wrong anthem during the welcoming ceremony at the Palace Square!

The first, but wrong, explanation given was that the military band had played the old Swiss anthem which was in use until 1961. Obviously the archives had not been updated for a while! However, the tune that was actually played, "O Mein Heimatland", was - according to VG Nett and Neue Zürischer Zeitung (NZZ Online) never Switzerland's national anthem, but was one of the contenders when Switzerland settled for a new national anthem ("Schweitzerpsalm") in 1961. The old anthem was named "Rufst Du Mein Vaterland", with the same tune as "God Save the Queen" and the Norwegian Royal Anthem ("Gud sign vår konge god").

Fortunately the military band made it right later on today when the Swizz national anthem was played in connection with the wreath-laying ceremony at Akershus Castle.

See also Views and News of Norway's article of today, State visit starts on the wrong note, as well as the official royal website's own coverage (with photos).



  1. How could a mistake like this even happen? If the original theory (that it was the former anthem) were true, there would at least be a sort of logic to it (even though many heads of state, less gracious than the Swiss president, would probably be insulted). But has there been any explanation as to how they came up with a completely different song that was never the official anthem? It seems very odd.

  2. As far as I know Forsvarets stabsmusikkorps (FSMK), the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces, hasn't really explained how the mistake happened, besides referring to it as a "routine failure".

    Dag T. Hoelseth