Norwegian Parliament opens

Norwegian Parliament opens on Oct. 3

Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Ap) hands over the throne speech to King Harald during the opening of the 167th Storting on Oct. 3. Queen Sonja is pictured to the left and Crown Prince Haakon to the right.


During the Storting’s ceremonial opening on Oct. 3, the chairs for the queen and the crown prince were mistakenly changed.

“Shouldn’t happen again,” said the president of the Storting.

The opening of the Storting is a traditional session with no shortage of etiquette. The king sits on the royal throne in the middle, with the queen and crown prince on each side.

The two chairs are almost identical, but the queen’s chair has a closed crown on top, while the crown prince’s chair has an open crown. At the Oct. 3 sessions, however, they were switched because of an error.

“It is true that the regalia on the two chairs were mistakenly changed yesterday, and that will not happen again. We discovered this only after the ceremony was over,” wrote Storting President Masud Gharahkhani (Ap) in an email to VG.

Royal House expert Trond Norén Isaksen believes that the change of seats was a letdown by the Storting.

“In the grand scheme of things, it’s not important, but it is symbolically important and important for etiquette and protocol,” he said to the newspaper.

“Placing her on a prince’s chair is a protocol-related downgrading of the queen, and placing him on a queen’s chair is a protocol-related upgrade of the crown prince,” said Isaksen.

This article originally appeared in the November 4, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway