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A royal celebration in the park

Hurra for 17. mai!

Kari-Helene took the afternoon off, and here she tells us why.

This is going to be a slightly different blog post. I am, for those of you who haven’t heard me go on about it, Norwegian, and today is a special day for everyone from Norway. I took the afternoon off and travelled to Southwark Park in South London to take part in the celebrations for Norway’s National Day. It wasn’t a very warm day so because my national costume is being kept safe at my parents place in Norway, I wore my trusted Duchess Cardigan and Camilla Hat and set off.

We celebrate this day as it is the day when the first constitution of an independent Norway was signed. We had been a part of Denmark for around 300 years and in 1814 we were passed over to Sweden, but with our own constitution. In 1905 Norway became its own country with our own Royal family. The first Queen of Norway was Queen Maud who was a part of the British Royal Family. Martha Louise is the great grand-daughter of Queen Maud.

We start the day by walking in a parade. Right at the front is the Norwegian flag, then follows the important people, usually someone like the mayor of the city, then comes all the schools carrying their individual banners and a selection of bands playing traditional songs. The special thing about the parade in London this year was that the Norwegian princess, Martha Louise, and her family recently moved to London and walked at the front of the parade!

There aren’t that many Norwegian schools and clubs in London, but those who walked in the parade had made a wonderful effort. How adorable are the boys and girls in their national costumes?

After the parade we gathered at the pavilion in the park for speeches and musical entertainment. The Princess gave a speech, but the best speech of the day was given by Anna and Anna, two amazing girls with a lot of charisma. They proclaimed that with one Norwegian parent each, together they were a whole Norwegian.

After the speeches everyone chills out in the park. There were games for the children and most importantly, there were ice cream, waffles, hot dogs and Solo for sale (Solo is the Norwegian version of Fanta). When I was a child my dad used to say that I could eat as many ice creams as I wanted that day. I was always disappointed when I only managed three or four.

There were also a magician in the park, but I have to say that he was my least favourite part of the day. He really hadn’t done his research very well when he proudly proclaimed that he was expecting to learn how to count to 6 in Swedish (!!) by the end of the day. Otherwise this was a perfect day to celebrate the 17th of May.

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