21 July 2013

Celebrations in Norway and Belgium

It has been an eventful weekend in the royal houses of Norway and Belgium. Crown Prince Haakon celebrated his 40th birthday on Saturday 20 July 2013, and due to his great interest in music, his anniversary was marked by a music festivial in the garden/park of the royal residence of Skaugum in Asker outside Oslo. Artists from Norway and abroad entertained both on Saturday and Sunday, and many of the 220 guests stayed the night in tents in the park. King Harald V and Queen Sonja preferred to sleep at their royal residence at Bygdøy, though. The Royal Palace issued on Friday 19 July 2013 a list of the royal guests attending the celebrations:

HM King Harald V
HM Queen Sonja
HRH Crown Prince Haakon
HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit
Marius Borg Høiby
HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra
Prince Sverre Magnus
Princess Märtha Louise
Ari Behn

The Netherlands
HM King Willem-Alexander
HM Queen Máxima
HRH Prince Constantijn

HRH Crown Prince Frederik
HRH Crown Princess Mary

Other royal guests
HRH Prince Pavlos of Greece
HRH Princess Marie Chantal of Greece
HRH Prince Kyril of Bulgaria, Prince of Preslav
HRH Princess Mafalda of Bulgaria (daughter of Prince Kyril and Princess Rosario)
HRH Princess Olimpia (daughter of Prince Kyril and Princess Rosario)
HRH Princess Princess Rosario (ex-wife* of Prince Kyril)
HRH Prince Jaime of Bourbon-Parme (son of the late Prince Carlos Hugo and of Princess Irene of the Netherlands)

*Or just separated?

According to Budstikka also Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn's 3 children were present.

The Norwegian TV company NRK broadcast a rather nice interview with Crown Prince Haakon on Saturday evening. Photos from the festival can be viewed on Dagbladet.no and VG.no. Views and News of Norway has published articles about the celebrations on 16 July18 July and 19 July 2013 (a bit tabloid in style, if you ask me).

Over in Belgium, King Harald V of Norway's first cousin King Albert II held his televised farewell speech on Saturday 20 July (Dutch and French version). On Sunday 21 July 2013, which is Belgium's national day, a Te Deum was held in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels at 9 a.m. followed by the abdication ceremony at 10.30 at the Royal Palace. Present were King Albert II, Queen Paola, Prince Philippe, Princess Mathilde, Queen Fabiola, Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz as well as Prince Laurent and Princess Claire. The act of abdication can be read here.

The swearing in ceremony of King Albert II's eldest son Philippe took place before the two chambers of the Parliament at noon. King Philippe held a speech which thankfully has also been translated into English, before the king, Queen Mathilde and their children greeted the people from the balcony of the Royal Palace at 1 p.m. On the balcony were besides the new king and queen also former King Albert and Queen Paola, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde's children Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore as well as Queen Fabiola, Princess Astrid, Prince Lorenz, Prince Laurent and Princess Claire. See photos from today's historic event at Standaard.be.

My Longest reigns page will be updated early next week.

Postcript 14 August 2013: Side2.no (Nettavisen) yesterday claimed to know that Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau also attended the celebrations of Crown Prince Haakon at Skaugum last month, although she was not on the guest list released by the royal court.

Concerning the photo series linked to above, they reveal that Crown Prince Haakon's first cousin Haakon Lorentzen, son of the late Princess Ragnhild, was also present together with his wife Martha.

Updated last time on Wednesday 14 August 2013 at 20:05 (postscript added).

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