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The Royals greet the children’s parade

Children's Parade May 17th, 2019 Horse and CarriageHorse and Carriage at the celebration of May 17th, 2019 in downtown Oslo. Photo: Ryan Kelly / NTB scanpix

The Royal Family greet the children’s parade from the palace

The Royal Family upholds a 100 year’s old tradition when they greet the children’s parade (Barnetoget) from the balcony of the Royal Palace in Oslo on the Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17th.

The Crown Prince Couple, Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus started the Norwegian Constitution Day bright and early by greeting the children’s parade at Skaugum at 8.15 am. The Crown Prince family, with the exception of Prince Sverre Magnus, was wearing bunads when they waved to the passing children’s parade from the Asker schools.

The Crown Prince family changed their attire before they met the crowd. None of them was dressed in bunads any longer but had changed into morning suits, top hats, dresses, sunglasses and May 17th rosettes instead.

As expected, Princess Märtha Louise and her boyfriend Durek Verrett were not present on the balcony. Nor is it a tradition that someone outside the Royal Couple and Crown Prince families waves to the children’s parade from the palace balcony. Outsiders view the parade from the palace windows.

115 schools participate in this year’s children’s parade in Oslo. That is fewer than last year; when it was a record-breaking 121 participating schools. Ljan School, which this year celebrates its 125th anniversary, will march first in the parade, followed by Trosterud school, Lusetjern school and Lyse Montessori school.

Brilliant weather

In the whole of Southern Norway, the constitution day was characterized by brilliant May weather, with sun and up to 20 degrees centigrade, which was probably an ordeal for many wearing homespun bunads.

It was King Haakon and Queen Maud who instituted the custom of greeting the children’s parade in Oslo from the palace balcony. The custom was established in 1906 and has been upheld since then. The only exceptions were in 1910, due to the funeral of Queen Maud’s father, King Edward, and during the war years 1940-1944.

The Armed Forces staff music, together with the May 17th committee, led the way. The king’s Guards music corps rear guarded the parade ending in a smoking show at the Palace Square.

A band from Brooklyn in the children’s parade

A drum band complete with cheerleaders from Brooklyn, who marched with Uranienborg and Marienlyst schools, also performed a fast-paced show, which the Royal Family royally enjoyed.

Children in their fineries and bunads cheered, according to tradition, along the whole length of Karl Johan up to the palace, waving Norwegian flags. Many Russ also presented their monkey tricks, among them the Christian Gymnasium. They crept across the Palace Square on all fours.

The police report of good mood, with no undesired events in the Norwegian capital or surrounding areas.

“We have had two instances of fainting by the heat, but other than that, there is a good mood in Oslo,” Operations Leader of the Oslo Police District, Cathrine Sylju, tells NTB.


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Failed salutes

At Værnes, the traditional May 17th salute with 21 salvos was cancelled because the Home Guard had not received the right type of explosives, something which was discovered early in the morning, thus too late to rectify.

There was a serious accident at Mysen where two persons were sent to hospital, one with serious injuries, after an accident in connection with the launch of the May 17th salute at Høytorp fort.

Vipps got into trouble with their “buy and pay service” in the middle of the worst hot dog and ice cream period in the morning. the problems were resolved, after a while and the payment service was thus up and running again.

Since so many do not use cash anymore, schools, associations and the like, are dependent on Vipps for their hot dog, ice cream and cake sales on the Norwegian National Day.

Enhanced security

The police have placed security at the forefront, and Sylju says it’s plenty of police officers in town, armed with handguns.

All the streets of the capital that lead to the areas where the children’s palace passes, were blocked off by fencing, large flower pots, buses and other vehicles.

The Oslo police were armed last year as well. It has, for the first time in history, been decided that the police can carry weapons at major events and popular gatherings during the 17th May celebrations all across Norway.

The police are armed In all the large cities of Norway on Constitution Day. In smaller towns and cities, it is up to the chief of police to assess whether they should be armed. The police have decided to do so in a number of places.

Read also: 17 fun facts about the 17th of May.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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