County visits

For the people who didn’t spend their education memorizing the Norwegian counties as yours truly did; Norway is divided into 19 counties – which in turn is divided into municipalities. (If you’re interested in random factoids; there are 430 municipalities.)

 

The royal family has made a habit of making special visits to the counties, so they can meet people who may not normally get a chance to meet the royals. These county visits roughly follow the pattern of a state visit; they’re three days long, usually, and the royals tend to do two of them a year. (Haakon and Mette-Marit does one, and Harald and Sonja one.)

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“Our” royals?

A lot of the time, when someone is about to make an argument against having a monarchy- if they diverge from the ever faithful “they’re living on our taxes” argument, or the “it’s an old-fashioned form of government” one- for some of the countries we usually end up with the ever true and tried one: “They’re not XXX nationality, they’re from YYY.”

 

In a lot of ways, it is true.

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Helt Konge

Some years ago, the Norwegian language adopted a new use of the word King. It was not used solely to refer to King Harald anymore.

 

From being a substantive, it also mutated into being an adjective. Things that formerly were cool were suddenly “konge”/”king.”

 

And, as always, the newspapers gripped hold of this fascinating new meaning, which allowed them to make less than clever puns when they talked about the King, or the royal family.

 

The picture text in this article on the Norwegian holiday residences, state that the King and Queen have it “helt konge” at their summer house.

 

It is also used about their visit to Nordland. And, of course, when they opened the new playground – the playground was, according to the paper, helt konge.

 

A boat trip in sunny weather this summer was also described by the same words. As was the new Lexus the royal family acquired.

 

Whereas, the deficit in the royal budget was described as not “helt konge”…

The Humanitarian Foundation

At the time of their wedding, Haakon and Mette-Marit started a Humanitarian foundation, which  gives out a sum of money to various cases, on their wedding anniversary.

 

Crown Prince Haakon has previously joked that this is a way for him to remember his anniversary.

 

This year, the board of the foundation decided that the money should go to the Fundación Xochiquetzal from Nicaragua. Crown Princess Mette-Marit visited this organization during her visit to Nicaragua last year.    The organization, which focuses on social project, received 500,000 NOK. The sum will be used for micro-credit loans, to help youths who have formerly been part of the sex-trade, to start their own businesses.

 

Pictures from BA

Royal Magazines

It is not always easy to find royal magazines. Even in Europe.

Or, more precisely, it is not always easy to find them outside the geographic scope they publish for. Where many newspaper/magazine kiosks will have Cosmopolitan, Elle or Vogue, often in more than one language, they often don’t seem to cater to those of us who’re into royalty.

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First royal book

In 1996, I received my first copy of a book that would prove to give ample fruit to the interest in future investigations on the subject. The city was London, with its many bookshops, and in one of those… I received my first copy of Kings and Queens of England and Great Britain, by Eric R Delderfield.

The edition of the book, which I acquired, may not be quite up to date today – after all, Charles and Diana are no longer married; the Queen has two more grandchildren; Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother have passed away, et cetera. However, it is still an interesting book to rummage through, for the longer historic lines, and details… even if the more current history is not quite up to date.

Today, for basic information, I suspect one would just go to Wikipedia, instead of to an actual book.