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King Harald V and Queen Sonja celebrate their Silver Jubilee on 17 January 2016 amidst celebrations at the Royal Palace.

Photo: Jørgen Gomnæs/The Royal Court.

Photo: Jørgen Gomnæs/The Royal Court.

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The Royal Palace has released a series of new official photos by Jørgen Gomnæs to mark the occasion, with King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

An online register has been set up for well-wishers to post congratulatory messages for the King and the Queen.

Jubilee Day

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will be among the important guests joining in the celebrations on Sunday, 17 January.

Credit: Royal Court

Credit: Royal Court

Norwegian television channel NRK1 will be broadcasting the service at 11.00 am in the Royal Chapel, led by the Church of Norway’s Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien. Other members of the Royal Family and representatives of official institutions will also be present.

Later that day, there will be a wide range of activities in the Palace Square for children and young people, including skiing, snowboarding, ice skating in the Spikersuppa rink.

The Royal Family will be be watching and participating in various activities from 12.45 pm to 1.35 pm.

The Youth Olympic flame for the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games will be carried from the Palace Square to University Square from 1.35 pm.

Members of the public are also encouraged to bring candles to light at 3.15 pm to remember King Olav V’s passing 25 years ago, and King Harald and Queen Sonja’s accession.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen, will officially open events at University Square, which include performances from Daniel Kvammen, Morgan Suile and Thea, the winner of the Norwegian Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Norway Post will set up a temporary post office for the day where members of the public can send cards with a special anniversary postmark.

Later that evening, the Royal Family will attend a gala performance in the Aula at 4.00 pm, with a wide range of music genres by artists including Elias Akselsen, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Tuva Syvertsen, Kirsten Bråten Berg, Toralv Maurstad and Espen Skjønberg.

Accession

King Olav V died from a heart attack on 17 January 1991, after battling illness during the previous year.

Harald V was proclaimed king and swore an oath in the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) to uphold the constitution, with Queen Sonja present. The new Queen appeared in the main chamber for the first time in 69 years.

“I solemnly swear to reign in the Kingdom of Norway in accordance with its Constitution and laws, so help me Almighty God.”

The new King adopted the motto, “We give our all for Norway”, which had been used by his father and grandfather.

The King and the Queen were consecrated in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 23 June 1991, in a traditional ceremony which dates back more than 1,000 years in Norway, and was previously carried out during the coronation of a new monarch.

However, King Olav V replaced the Coronation service with a consecration service in 1958. King Harald and Queen Sonja have continued this tradition with Bishop Finn Wagle presiding over the ceremony.

After the consecration, King Harald and Queen Sonja went on a ten-day tour of Southern Norway – a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. Later that year, they spent 22 days travelling to four northern counties.

Royal Visits

King Harald and Queen Sonja visited Australia on an state visit for the first time, although they had been to Australia during the 1970s before their accession as Crown Prince and Princess.

King Harald and Queen Sonja at the Australian National Maritime Museum. © 2015 Carolyn M Cash

King Harald and Queen Sonja at the Australian National Maritime Museum. © 2015 Carolyn M Cash

He is the first reigning monarch to visit Antarctica – the Norwegian dependency Queen Maud Land – in 2015.

The King and the Queen also visits various counties in Norway, and use the the Royal Yacht Norge whilst travelling along the Norwegian coast.