Monday, May 30, 2011

State visit to Norway - Day 1 ****

Today was the first day of the state visit of the Grand Ducal couple to Norway. Early in the morning the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess were send-off with military honours at the airport in Findel and then flew to Norway, where they were welcomed royal style by Crown Prince Haakon.

Afterwards the Grand Ducal couple and the Crown Prince made their way to the Palace Square in central Oslo, where the Grand Duke Henri and his fellow head of state King Harald V took the salute by the Norwegian military, followed by a wreath laying ceremony at Akershus Fortress.

Thereafter the couples parted ways. While the King and the Grand Duke, accompanied by various Luxembourgish politicians including the foreign minister Jean Asselborn, met with the Norwegian Prime Minister; Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Queen Sonja visited Seterhytten at the Open-Air Museum at Bygdøy and Oscarshall Summer Palace.

Finally, the day finished in style with a Gala banquet hosted by the King and the Queen and many members of the Norwegian royal family in attendance.

In difference to the closing procession of the Octave, there are loads of photos available of today's activities. Both Wort and Tageblatt are reporting about the visit and both offer lovely, constantly updated galleries including the farewell at the airport in Luxembourg. You can find additional photos at ANP Beeldbank (just type in "Oslo 30 May" and the goodies will show up), Getty Images, Belga, Belga, WireImages, and for pictures without watermarks have a look at Daylife. Other galleries can be found at and of course the Cour itself. And at the ever up-to-date RTL, you can see a few seconds of the visit in this video starting at about 0:18. RTL also offers video and sound of the Grand Duke's speech. Aftenposten has a video of the arrival to the gala banquet. Two other great videos can be found on youtube, just click here and here. A transcript of the speech of Grand Duke Henri is available on the official website.

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