Review: Kongens hus : Alle kongeparets hjem

Kongens hus : Alle kongeparets hjem by Queen Sonja

I picked this up at the library, after I saw it exhibited at the Open Palace tour in Oslo. It is a beautiful book filled with photographs and interesting text about all the residences that the King and Queen inhabit.

The book is worth looking through for the photographs alone. How the interior is decorated, and not just the public rooms. The pictures of the private apartments are filled with the Queen’s art and the King’s sailing trophies. The pictures of Queen Sonja’s art on the walls remind me of the pictures of the art in the renovated palace in Copenhagen.

Also, pictures of the holiday residences are shared. Some of the places are rarely seen inside by the public.

In addition, if you read Norwegian – the snippets the Queen shares for each residence makes the book worth reading. There is not much new information, but it is well written and makes the book.

Her perfectionism is shown through the story of her sleeping in every bedroom in the palace prior to the renovation so she would know exactly what needed to be done. The only negative is the lack of comments on the uproar on the cost of the renovation.

Her stories are supplemented by facts from the architect Thomas Thiis-Evensen and art historian Ole Rikard Høisæther.

Well worth the read.


Royal Residences: Slottet – the Open Palace tour #22

Just before I left Oslo, I took the guided tour of the Palace. It was the first day it was open this season – which kind of showed in some aspects. (A television set in the Council of State room hadn’t been turned on, and our guide didn’t quite know how to do it, for example.)

I booked the ticket early, as soon as I noticed that it went on sale in March. (It seems to typically go on sale in the end of March/Beginning of April) The tour was in the end of June.

You enter the palace from the back, where they had put up a tent for checking tickets.



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Moving into the Palace

Earlier this year, in an effort to combat the financial crisis, the Norwegian government set out an emergency financial package. Part of that package was 12.6 Norwegian Kr to renovate the exterior of the residence of the Crown Prince, Skaugum. Additionally, something was to be done about a longtime drainage problem around the property, that had resulted in mold and rot in the building.

The work began, but has resulted in some changes in the life of the Crown Prince and his family.

The ongoing renovations was the reason for change of scenery on the National Day. The Children’s parade in Asker are usually greeted by the Crown Princely family from the steps of Skaugum. Instead, this year, they were greeted from the entrance to the property. (As seen by Mette-Marit and Sverre Magnus in the picture.)

And now, an additional change has come. Haakon, Mette-Marit and their children have temporarily moved into the Palace in Oslo, for the duration of the renovation, the court reports. It was speculated that they would move into Bygdø kongsgård, which is the summer residence of the King and Queen, and boasts a bit more garden to act as play area for the children.

School and kindergarten won’t be out for a month, so the children will have to be transported back to Asker for their schooling and child-minding.

I suspect the family will be out of the palace, perhaps to their spiffy newly bought summer house in Risør or the King and Queen’s summer house, as soon as the children are out of school.