Royals and top politicians to attend Ari Behn’s funeral

Prime Minister Erna SolbergPrime Minister Erna Solberg.Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix
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Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Høyre/Conservative Party), NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg, Storting President Tone Trøen and Prince Daniel of Sweden will participate in Ari Behn’s funeral.

Royals, ministers, Norwegian politicians and a number of cultural figures are expected to attend Behn’s funeral in Oslo Cathedral on Friday.

The government is represented by Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H), Minister of Finance Siv Jensen (FrP/Progress Party), Minister of Culture Trine Skei Grande (Venstre/Liberal Party), Minister of Petroleum and Energy Sylvi Listhaug (FrP) and Minister of Children and Family Kjell Ingolf Ropstad (KrF/Christian Democratic Party), the Prime Minister’s Office told NTB.

Storting President Tone Trøen will also participate in the funeral. Among the opposition’s party leaders is Ap (Labor Party) leader Jonas Gahr Støre.

Also, NATO Secretary General and former leader of the Labor Party, Jens Stoltenberg, will attend the funeral, NTB confirms.

Prince Daniel attends
The 47-year-old writer, artist and princess Märtha Louise’s ex-husband of 14 years took his life on December 25th.

Ari Behn and Princess Märtha Louise had three daughters together, Maud Angelica (16), Leah Isadora (14) and Emma Tallulah (11).

So far, it is not known which members of the Norwegian royal family will attend the funeral. In his New Year’s speech, King Harald said that the royal family is strongly affected by Behn’s death.

From Sweden, Prince Daniel will represent the Swedish royal house at the funeral, according to VG.

Daniel and Crown Princess Victoria were, according to royal house expert Jenny Alexandersson of Aftonbladet, close friends of Ari Behn and Princess Märtha Louise, writes Se og Hør.

Large security
The funeral will be open to all, but a large number of seats are already reserved for the immediate family, friends, royalty and representatives from official Norway. It is therefore important to attend in good time if you are to get a place in the church, says the family’s spokesman Geir Håkonsund to NTB.

In total, there are 800 seats in Oslo Cathedral. The doors open at 12 and the funeral starts at 1 pm. It is Oslo Bishop Kari Veiteberg who will officiate. In addition to musical elements, hymns and prayer, there will be memorials to Ari Behn to be read by family members, Håkonsund said.

“Those who want to participate must be aware that it is a funeral with a high level of security, and that one cannot enter the church with bags, for example,” says Håkonsund.

There will be an audience queue separate from the entrance to the reserved seats.

The police will implement some traffic control measures in the immediate vicinity of Oslo Cathedral in connection with the funeral. Otherwise, people traveling in the center of Oslo will not be affected by the security measures, the Oslo police wrote in an email to NTB.

Messages and a mural
A condolence memorial has been issued for Ari Behn since New Year’s Eve in Oslo. The memorial will be open until 4 pm on Thursday and at the church at night from 6 pm to 6 am on Friday, January 3rd.

On Thursday morning, around 50 pages were filled with messages from hundreds of people. The day before, there were long queues to sign the memorial, and the church remained open after normal opening hours so that everyone in the queue could write their messages, NTB is informed from Oslo Cathedral.

“You scattered light and made those around you shine,” wrote one.

Messages such as “a splash of color” and “very special” are repeated. Several write that he will be greatly missed and never forgotten. Many people write that they did not know him personally, but still felt that they knew him.

In Bergen, street artists have paid tribute to Behn with a portrait about 6 meters high and 15 meters wide painted on a wall by the old car inspection depot in Fyllingsdalen. It was Dagbladet who first mentioned the story.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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