Norwegian royals kick start National Day in traditional costume

The Norwegian royal family were out in full force on Saturday to celebrate their country's national day.

The festivities kicked off with Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and their children eagerly greeting the crowds of youngsters from 117 schools who were participating in the Asker municipality children's parade.



Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Prince Haakon with Prince Sverre, Princess Ingrid and Mette-Marit's eldest son Marius Høiby

Dressed in traditional folk costume known as bunad, the royal family-of-five eagerly got into the spirit of things as they stood on the steps of the Skaugum Estate in Oslo. Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit led the celebrations, smiling and proudly waving Norwegian flags to the scores of children who marched past.

The family's pet dog Milly Kakao also played a starring role, obediently standing with the royals and sporting a matching ribbon with the Norwegian colours around her neck.


The Norwegian royal family watched the children's parade from the Skaugum Estate in Oslo

In keeping with tradition, the royal family then moved up to watch the children's parade from the palace balcony, where they were joined by Prince Haakon's parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja.

Princess Mette-Marit, 40, looked to be having a whale of a time, as she stood by her two youngest children Prince Sverre Magnus and Princess Ingrid Alexandra and pointed out the celebrations below. The mother-of-three and Queen Sonja added a touch of modernity to their traditional wear as they whipped out their sunglasses and soaked in the sunshine.


From left to right: Prince Sverre Magnus, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, King Harald, Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Queen Sonja

This year's 17 May festivities were particularly special as Norway was marking 200 years since it became an independent nation with its own written constitution.

In the evening, King Harald and Queen Sonja and Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit travelled to Eidsvoll — the village where the constitution was written up in a short time span of six weeks, back in 1814.

The royals enjoyed an open-air show and were joined by their neighbouring ruling monarchs Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark and King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, who were celebrating the peace between the countries.


Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Prince Haakon

While the children's parade was a highlight of the day, it was also the occasion for senior school leavers nationwide to celebrate the end of their school days by parading on floats bearing slogans and playing music.

The bicentenary is being celebrated with numerous events throughout the year, with particular emphasis held in the month of May.

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