19 APRIL 2004             Click here to send this news item to a friend

Some 260 guests, including Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria, attended the christening of Norway's Princess Ingrid Alexandra in the Royal Palace chapel in Oslo.

The three-month-old infant, who was born to Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit on January 21, was carried to the font by her grandfather, King Harald. Once inside, Bishop Gunnar Staalsett presided over the hour-long ceremony. "A new heir to the throne is carried to the baptismal," he said. "A new page has been added to our history."

Afterwards the royal family brought the baby out onto the balcony of the palace, where they were cheered by hundreds of well-wishers. A local gospel choir meanwhile sang a specially-composed song, entitled Welcome To The World Our Princess.

Unfortunately two of Ingrid's most high-profile godparents, Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, were unable to attend. Both future kings are preparing for their weddings next month.

The little princess is destined to become Norway's first female monarch in 600 years. This is because a clause in the country's constitution, which prohibited females from acceding to the throne, was eliminated in 1990. Norway's last female ruler was Queen Margrete, who reigned from 1380 until 1412.

Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit with their baby daughter at the ceremony. The infant is destined to become Norway's first female monarch in 600 years
Photo: AFP
Click on photos for gallery

Norway has also issued a new stamp to commemorate Ingrid's christening. The ceremony in the chapel of Oslo's Royal Palace lasted just over an hour
Photo: AFP

princess ingrid, prince haakon, princess metter-marit



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