Stortingsmiddagen 2022

King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway hosted the annual Gala Dinner for Members of the Norwegian Parliament (Stortingsmiddag) at the Royal Palace of Oslo on October 27th. They were joined by Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Astrid, as they the processed through the Speilsalen, Small Dining Room, Small Ballroom, and the Great Ballroom into the Banqueting Hall.

Officials and the King gave speeches before dinner:

President of the Storting
People’s representatives

It is possible that you will experience somewhat dim lighting here tonight. It is not because we have become more shady, but because we have to save on electricity. Here we have learned from the Storting, so it may also be somewhat cooler in the pitch black.

With you, the temperature has probably dropped considerably after the Storting sauna was closed. We don’t have exactly that savings option. Instead, we are investigating the possibility of putting the Queen’s surplus energy into cables, it would help us fire up the Castle’s tiled stoves.

We must resort to the amusements we have in these times. It is easy to become somewhat discouraged. The Queen and I are therefore very happy to once again be able to warmly welcome you all to us at the Castle. We hope that the evening can be a pleasant break in a serious time.

Since the last Storting dinner, we in the Royal Family have visited you twice.¬†The opening of the Storting was ‚Äď according to tradition ‚Äď both solemn and beautiful.¬†Nevertheless, Princess Ingrid was first out, when she paid you a visit in January, in connection with her official day.¬†She has told vividly about the nice meeting with the President of the Storting and several representatives from the Storting.¬†The visit says a lot about the good relationship between the Storting and the Palace.

Twice in one year we have thus made the trip to Eidsvolds plass. It’s almost as if you’d think we’d got gold cards. But we can therefore assure the Storting that we will not run down your doors. Although it can be tempting. We have heard rumors about a fairly reasonable canteen.

Late last autumn, the Crown Prince and I visited the Jewish synagogue in Oslo to mark the centenary of the building ‚Äď which means so much to a small group of people here in Norway.¬†A group of people that we know could have been so much bigger.¬†For a while it was characterized by both seriousness and humor ‚Äď which often characterize Jewish history.

A few months later, on the night of 25 June, we experienced the tragic mass shooting in the center of Oslo. Together with the government, the Crown Prince Couple laid flowers at the scene of the crime, and the Crown Princess participated in the mourning service. Many of the people who were affected also belong to a group where seriousness and joy go hand in hand.

Our Jews and our queers are both minorities in our great community.¬†We, the larger society, have an additional responsibility to protect both groups.¬†Our liberal democracy is characterized by how we manage to live peacefully together ‚Äď even though we are different.¬†The majority is not always right.¬†The way we look after our minorities is a litmus test of how well society works.¬† ¬†

Speaker of the Storting Masud Gharahkhani, we have noticed your support for women seeking greater freedom. You also showed your commitment when you went with your father and son on the pride train. Your words and actions are important and touch many. And is food for thought for even more.

Everything has a story. We base the choices of the future on the experiences of the past. This year we mark that it is a full 1,000 years since Olav the Holy established the Eidsivatinget at Eidsvoll. In Norway, we have a long history of gatherings where we meet, talk together, and negotiate our way to considerate and significant decisions for everyone.

You, our elected representatives, and the entire governing apparatus in Norway, have gone from crisis to crisis.¬†When we had recovered from the pandemic, came Russia‚Äôs invasion of Ukraine ‚Äď with a subsequent energy crisis, increased prices and economic turmoil.¬†All this was framed by increasingly noticeable climate changes.

Many people are troubled. More than ever, we need wise politicians and a national assembly that is able to see everyone, and that every day does its utmost to create better everyday life. You, the people’s representatives, are our best protection against injustice and crises. Every day you carry out a responsible deed with great seriousness. For this we are very grateful.

More than ever we need to meet. Preferably in hard negotiations, then parting as amicable. We have done that for over 1,000 years. May this last forever. Then the rest of us will do our part. We must all contribute to the community with volunteerism, consideration and understanding. When it rains, we stand together and help each other.

There are many ways to support each other.¬†I‚Äôm thinking of a little episode at Queen Elizabeth‚Äôs, my triplet.¬†She was a warm person with consideration for her fellow human beings, and a woman with a lot of humor ‚Äď who could also laugh well at her own comments.

Before a private dinner to which both the Queen and I had been invited, we were to go to the table, and it was time to get up.

I have some problems with low chairs and sofas, with getting up, and of course the Queen saw that.¬†And although my dear crutches were ready, I could not get up.¬†Then the small, weaver lady came over, held out her hand and said ‚ÄúShall I help you up, Harald?‚ÄĚ.

She found that uncontrollably funny. And I thought it was a bit embarrassing.

President of the Storting!
I wish each individual representative the best of luck with all important tasks that must be carried out for the good of the country and people.

I raise the toast of the Storting and the fatherland!

King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon wore White Tie with the Sash & Star of the Order of St. Olav and the Collar of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit. Queen Sonja wore a blue gown with Queen Maud’s Pearl Tiara, Pearl Necklace and Earrings, Drapers’ Company Brooch and the Sash & Star of the Order of St. Olav with King Harald’s Family Order. Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore a red gown, the Diamond Daisy Bandeau, Crown Princess Märtha’s Pearl Earrings (for the first time) and the Sash & Star of the Order of St. Olav with King Harald’s Family Order. Princess Astrid wore a yellow gown with a Diamond Aigrette Tiara, and the Sash & Star of the Order of St. Olav with Family Orders of King Haakon, King Olav, and King Harald.

One thought on ‚ÄúStortingsmiddagen 2022‚ÄĚ

  1. Wonderful to see yet another white-tie event in October. This is of course a very traditional event, going back all the way to 1906. In the beginning it did not always take place in October though. For instance, the first one, which was hosted by King Haakon and Queen Maud, took place in May 1906:

    https://regalevents913271078.wordpress.com/2021/11/03/1906-the-first-stortingsmiddag/

    Even though the dress worn by Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner this year was probably pale yellow it could also be seen as white in some photographs. And with the Queen wearing blue and Mette-Marit wearing red it made a perfect combination for a dinner in Norway (red, blue and white of course being the colours of the Norwegian flag).

    You mentioned that Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner wore a diamond aigrette. The Princess owns at least two aigrettes, one in the shape of a pair of wings and another one with rubies. I believe last night the Princess wore the one with the rubies. A perfect way to wear something light but still glittering for an elderly lady who might find a grand tiara too heavy.

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