24 April 2017

The Norwegian Royal Court. Annual Report 2016

Last year I mentioned that the magazine Her og Nå had decided not to publish a yearbook about the events of the royal family like in previous years.  At the time of writing I hadn't come across any royal yearbooks by other publishers either. Later I found out  that Se og Hør had an inset in no. 50, 2016. It was only 24 pages long, though, and nothing compared to Her og Nå's Året rundt med Kongefamilien («The Year with the Royal Family») or the hardbacks titled Kongefamiliens årbok («The Royal Family's Yearbook») published in the late 1980s/early 1990s, besides the 2011 edition.

But at least we have the Norwegian Royal Court's annual report, which gives details about the activities of the Norwegian Royal Family and the operation of the Norwegian Royal Court during the year, including the accounts for the Civil List and surveys of orders and medals being awarded during a given year. The annual report for 2016 was published on Monday 24 April 2017 and is well illustrated. From the press release one can read:
Annual report 2016
The 25th anniversary of the accession to the Norwegian throne of Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja was the major focus of 2016. The celebration started with a large winter festival in the Palace Square on 17 January and concluded with a garden party hosted by the King and Queen in the Palace Park for 1 500 guests from throughout Norway. In June, the King and Queen carried out a silver jubilee tour along the coast from Tromsø to Kristiansand on the Royal Yacht, Norge. 

In addition to the jubilee celebrations, the Royal Family has had an extensive official programme. Altogether, the members of the Royal Family took part in 740 official events in Norway and abroad. They have paid visits to 48 municipalities, all of Norway’s counties, Svalbard, and eleven different countries.

In the course of the busy summer weeks, more than 45 000 visitors attended the activities conducted under the auspices of “Åpent Slott” (cultural outreach activities).
Annual accounts

The accounts for the Civil List showed a surplus of NOK 6 628 814. Expenses in connection with the various jubilee celebrations are covered by previous appropriations.

The accounts for the staff of Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and The Crown Princess showed a deficit of NOK 1 459 461. This deficit will be covered by previous appropriations.

The accounts for “Åpent Slott” showed a surplus of NOK 619 162. This surplus will be added to the equity capital.

The annual report and accounts of the Royal Court for 2016 were submitted today to the Presidium of the Storting, the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, and the Office of the Auditor General of Norway.
The annual reports from 2005 to 2016 are available at the official website. Not sure if the annual reports for 2002, 2003 and 2004 were ever published in an electronic format, but at least I have the paper editions.

As mentioned in the press release, King Harald celebrated 25 years on the throne last year, and the annual report tells about all the related activities, including the church service on 17 January 2016 in the Oslo Cathedral. We can also read that the official website Kongehuset.no had close to 1,6 million visitors during 2016, while the Facebook page received 939 500 likes and 30 500 comments. As many as 29 998 people toured the Royal Palace during the summer season, while 5 232 visited Oscarshall (up from 2 718 the year before).

As usual many orders and medals were awarded during 2016. The section for the recipients of the  Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav lists 18 people, compared to 26 the previous year. HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit was awarded the Grand Cross with chain, while Court Marshal Arne Omholt, the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda and the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, received the Grand Cross, and in addition the Chief of His Majesty The King’s Military Staff, Nils Petter Granholt, received the Knight's Cross, First Class, just to mention a few.

104 people received the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, compared to 105 in 2014 and 65 in 2015. Among the lucky recipients were the Norwegian Ambassador to Belgium, Ingrid Schulerud (wife of the Secretary General of NATO and former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg) and Astrid Versto, the Norwegian Ambassador to Croatia (and former Communication Director at the Norwegian Royal Court).

The Medal of St. Olav was awarded to two persons, John Foster Ellison and Perry J. Gulbrandsen. The former is the the Norwegian honorary general consul in Wellington, New Zealand. He also received the Order of St. Olav, Knight 1st Class, by the way. The latter is a retired jurist of Illinois, USA and is or was President of the Nordic Law Club. Obviously of Norwegian descent as well. Just to mention it, 5 people received the medal in 2015.

There were 90 recipients of the King's Medal of Merit during 2016, compared to 78 in 2015 and 138 in 2014. Among the recipients in 2016 was Sveiung Danielsen of Sandefjord. He received the medal for «his exceptional efforts of many years to keep and pass on important traditions of culture and craft». He served as a verger in Sandar Church in Sandefjord for many years as well. A well-deserved medal, I would say.

The King's Commemorative Medal was awarded to 41 people, up from 21 people in 2015.

Never an anniversary without a medal, and King Harald V's Jubilee Medal 1991–2016 was founded on 17 January 2016. Recipients were members of the Royal Family, numerous people of authority (past & present), members of the Royal Court, the King's Military Staff, royal guards who served as batmen (orderly),  the Royalty Protection Unit and  the Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property's employees at the Royal Palace. 366 people all in all, if I have got it right.

For the record, the royal/royalty-related recipients were Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Princess Sverre Magnus, Marius Borg Høiby, Princess Märtha Louise, Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner, Ari Behn, Maud Angelica Behn, Leah Isadora Behn, Emma Tallulah Behn, Erling S. Lorentzen, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, King Carl Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Finally a survey of my own articles on the subject in the past (no article in 2016, obviously):


  1. When I got the proofs to read, I noticed the mistake in Gordon, and told Ted ... oh well

  2. I think you meant to post it here. Well, the typo is no big deal, really, but when I was to quote the headline, it would be wrong not to write what was actually printed. We all make typos from time to time, but typos in headline are easier to spot than others.