The Norwegian royal family are always actively involved when the Nobel Peace Prize – which this year went to the European Union – is awarded in Oslo. As Crown Prince Haakon's eldest child and heir, Princess Ingrid, eight, will one day oversee proceedings, and so was taken along for some early training by her mother, Mette-Marit.
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Both joined this year's Laureates and 200 children at a gala held before the main awards ceremony. Ingrid looked suitably focused as the day began with the Save the Children's Peace Prize Party. "Friends don't fight" was the diplomatic theme of the event, which was organised and hosted by pupils from Kampen and Valerenga primary schools. Later, Mette-Marit joined the rest of the Norwegian royal family, including King Harald and his wife Sonia, in Oslo City Hall for the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony – a tradition which dates back to 1905 and takes place in Oslo each year.
The European Union (EU) was named as 2012's winner, recognised for transforming the continent from conflict to unity following the ravages of World War II. The Eurozone was also urged to apply that strategy to overcome the stringent austerity measures currently affecting millions of people and causing massive social unrest. Key leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande joined the royals at the prestigious ceremony and watched as Prize committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland decorated EU chiefs – President Jose Manuel Barroso, EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and president of the EU Parliament, Martin Schulz – with the coveted medals. In his awarding address, Mr Jagland said the bloc had been instrumental in turning "a continent of war" into one of peace. "In this process, the European Union has figured most prominently," he said, as thunderous applause rippled around the hall filled with royalty, statesmen and dignitaries.
Over in neighbouring Sweden – where the rest of the Nobel Prizes are handed out – the Swedish royals were also out in force. Crown Princess Victoria looked stunning in a cascading emerald dress, and took pride of place alongside her parents King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia. Her sister Madeleine had also flown over from New York for the event, and brother Carl Philip completed the family line-up. All watched as the finest minds in medicine, literature, science and economics were awarded for their contributions.