Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway will finally begin their Official Visit to Britain today, which was initially delayed after the death of Queen Elizabeth II last September. The Norwegian and British Royal Family have been very close for over a century, with a series of State Visits, personal meetings and holidays and also attendance at countless family celebrations and in times of grief, so we are featuring the Norwegian Royal Visits to Britain today!
The British and Norwegian Royal Families are very closely related through the British-born Queen Maud of Norway, a sister of the late Queen’s grandfather, King George V, who married her first cousin, Prince Carl of Denmark, who became King Haakon VII of Norway in 1905. The couple’s first State Visit to the United Kingdom was in 1908, when they were hosted by her parents, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, at Windsor Castle.
The British and Norwegian Royal Families remained close, with King Haakon and Queen Maud frequently returning to Britain for numerous family events, like King George V’s Silver Jubilee in 1935, and the Queen herself passed away while on a visit to the United Kingdom in 1938. In turn, the future King George VI served as the Best man at the wedding of his first cousin, the future King Olav V of Norway and Princess Martha of Sweden in Oslo in 1929, and also hosted the King and Crown Prince in the United Kingdom for the duration of the Occupation of Norway during the Second World War, after which King Haakon attended the Wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1947.
A few years later, the British Royal Family hosted their uncle and great-uncle, King Haakon VII of Norway, on his State Visit to the United Kingdom in 1951, when the Princess Elizabeth deputised for her terminally ill father. King Haakon returned to the United Kingdom for the Funeral of King George VI in 1952 while only Crown Prince Olav, Crown Princess Martha, and Princess Astrid attended the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, when they retrieved Queen Maud’s jewels.
The Queen and Duke’s State Visit to Norway in 1955 was the first outgoing State Visit of her Reign, followed by a visit from King Olav to Windsor Castle in 1959. The Duke of Edinburgh also attended King Haakon’s 80th Birthday celebrations in Oslo in 1952.
In 1962, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh hosted King Olav V of Norway on his State Visit to Scotland, which included an Order of the Thistle Service at St. Giles Cathedral, and a Return Banquet on board the Norwegian Royal Yacht Norge for the Queen (wearing Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara), Duke and British Royal Family.
The Norwegian Royal Family hosted the Queen and Duke for the their second State Visit to Norway in 1981, which began with a Banquet for the Queen (wearing the Vladimir Tiara and Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Necklace) and Duke at the Royal Palace, followed by a Return Banquet hosted by the Queen (wearing the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara) and Duke of Edinburgh in honour of King Olav, Crown Prince Harald, Crown Princess Sonja (wearing Queen Maud’s Pearl Tiara) and Princess Astrid (in her Vasa Tiara) on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.
The British Royal Family hosted King Olav on his State Visit to Britain, which included a Dinner hosted by the Queen (wearing the Vladimir Tiara ), Duke and Queen Mother at Windsor, which was followed by another banquet hosted in honour of the British Royal Family, attended by
A few years later, in 1994, King Harald and Queen Sonja made a rare State Visit to Scotland which began with a State Banquet hosted by the Queen at the Palace of Holyrood House, and also included a Gala attended by Queen Sonja, as we’ll as Dinner of the Royal Yacht.
In 2001, the Norwegian Royal Family hosted the Queen (wearing Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara) and the Duke on their third and final State Visit to Norway.
The extended Norwegian Royal Family joined King Harald and Queen Sonja (in the Norwegian Emerald Parure) for a Banquet at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen (wearing the Vladimir Tiara) during their Official Visit to the United Kingdom, to mark the Norwegian Centenary.
Embed from Getty ImagesEmbed from Getty Images
More recently, the Norwegian Royal Family hosted the now British King and Queen on an Official Visit in 2012, while the then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Norway in 2018. The Norwegian Royal Family came to London for the then Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday Dinner at Buckingham Palace as well as for the Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022.