The Norwegian constitution will celebrate its bicentenary on May 17. (Trust me, I will probably mention this a lot during the coming year…).
The committee, who is arranging the celebration, sent an invitation to the Swedish and the Danish court (in addition to the Norwegian, I would presume.) to invite them to the celebrations at Eidsvoll on May 17.
Eidsvoll is the place where the constitution was signed in 1814.
NRK revealed that the Danish Folketinget passed on the acceptance from Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik. They had accepted the invitation and would participate. Nobody from the Swedish royal house was listed as attending. The arrangement committee demurred, and said that they wouldn’t comment on it.
Acting PR person at the Swedish court said that the Swedish king has a principle, that he does not visit other countries on their special days, such as their national day.
Both the initial revelation and the Swedish court’s justification received criticism, on both sides of the border. An editorial in Expressen called the decision “lacking in history knowledge.” Especially, the writer points out that since it was the King’s ancestor, who invaded Norway in 1814, and ended up uniting the two countries… It seemed particularly wrong to call the bicentenary celebration just a national day.
(Swedish politicians who were invited to the celebration accepted, citing the brotherhood between the two countries.)
After much back and forth in the media in the two countries, the Swedish court has made a historic turnaround. The King and Queen will be attending the celebration after all. The court is citing that they’ve received new information – it will be a special event in the evening. And not part of the standard celebrations. Which of course, makes all the difference.
They’re also announcing that the royal palace in Stockholm will host a special seminar on May 5 about the 200 years of peace between Norway and Sweden.