Crown Prince Haakon performed the solemn opening of the 165th Storting in Oslo on Friday, 2 October 2020.
Queen Sonja accompanied the Crown Prince, who is acting as Regent in a vintage car from the Royal Palace to the Stortinget (Parliament House), with cadets from the Norwegian Military Academy forming a guard of honour in the Royal Park.
King Harald is currently on sick leave until Sunday, 4 October 2020.
Seven parliamentary representatives from Møre og Romsdal county, led by Helg Orten, welcomed the Queen and the Crown Prince upon arrival at Løvebakken (the Stortinget’s driveway).
However, the ceremony, which traditionally opens with the Kongesangen (the royal anthem), was shorter than usual, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, only 200 were present, instead of the usual 750, according to strict government guidelines.
The government writes the King’s Speech which the Prime Minister Erna Solberg hands to the Crown Prince.
As Regent, Crown Prince Haakon read the speech from the throne, which outlines the Storting’s plans for the year ahead.
The ceremony closed with Soloists from the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir performing the first verse of the national anthem, Ja, vi elsker dette landet (Yes, we love this country).
The Storting’s opening traditions date back to 1814 and enshrined in Article 74 of the Constitution:
‘As soon as the Storting has constituted itself, the king or the person he appoints, opens its negotiations with a speech in which he informs it of the state of the kingdom and the conditions on which he especially wishes to draw the Storting’s attention. No deliberation must take place in the king’s presence.’
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