14 APRIL 2008

Young Scandinavian royals led the celebrations in Norway this weekend as the new national opera house was officially opened in the capital amid a blaze of colourful fireworks seen for miles across the Oslo Fjord.

Crown Prince Haakon and his wife Princess Mette-Marit - elegant in an ivory gown and black jacket - were joined by Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and Denmark's Queen Margrethe at the gala event on Saturday.

"The opera house rises as a new and monumental landmark," said King Harald, speaking at the inaugural concert. "This house, for many generations to come, will be filled with music, dance and song."

"We've gained a place for major theatrical and musical events," he added.

The largest cultural centre to open in Norway for 700 years, the £424-million white marble and glass landmark has been praised by architects and locals alike. It has been described as symbolising the icebergs and winter landscape of the country.

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Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden joined Norwegian royals Princess Mette-Marit and Prince Haakon at Norway's new national opera house on Saturday. The opening night audience was treated to musical performances and a firework displayPhoto: © Rex Click on photos for gallery
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King Harald, joined by his wife Queen Sonja, gave a speech at the opening ceremonyPhoto: © Getty Images
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The inauguration was accompanied by a spectacular firework display which was reflected in the waters of the Oslo Fjord. The first opera to be staged at the new venue when the season kicks off in August will be Porgy And Bess Photo: © Rex