King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway are currently in Italy on a 4-day State visit. They arrived in Rome on Tuesday, will head to Milan on Thursday, before heading back to Oslo on Friday. This is their first State visit to the country in 15 years.
TM were formally received by His Excellency President Sergio Mattarella in the Courtyard of Honour at Quirinal Palazzo in Rome. Following the ceremony, TM, the President and their official delegations met for discussions. Then the King and Queen met with representatives of the Norwegian and Italian press. After an official luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Palazzo Chigi, TM met with the President of the Italian Senate and with the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
Queen Sonja was wearing a bright red outfit, which caused her to stand out both the outside and inside of the Palazzo. She accessorized with a strand of pearls and a diamond butterfly brooch. She covered one of the most important aspects of Royal dressing; to be seen by, and stand out in, the crowds that had gathered.
Photo: Andreas Fadum / Look and Listen– (L-R) Queen Sonja and King Harald
In the evening TM attended a State Banquet given in their honour by President Mattarella at the Quirinal Palace. State Banquets emphasize the formality of the Visit, they are an occasion for citizens with ties to both the host country and the visiting country to be invited for an event with strong political and social significance.
Photo: Andreas Fadum / Look and Listen- The State Banquet
In his speech, King Harald pointed out the ties between Italy and Norway, and mentioned that Italy is a favourite holiday destination for Norwegians. “We associate Italy with all that is good: splendid nature, delicious food and wine, great literature, film and art, timeless music – and high quality.” HM also lauded Italy’s considerable efforts in the Mediterranean Sea:”Italy’s vital presence at sea has helped to save many lives. I salute the Italian crews who, together with crews from other countries, including Norway, carry out difficult rescue operations day after day.”
Photo: Andreas Fadum / Look and Listen- (L-R) Queen Sonja, King Harald, President Sergio Mattarella, First Lady Laura Mattarella
Queen Sonja wore a purple gown, last worn at a celebration for King Harald’s Silver Jubilee in January. She accessorized with the smaller version of Queen Maud’s Pearl and Diamond Tiara, and the Drapers’ Company Brooch, both of which were wedding gifts to Queen Maud, a British princess, in 1896.