haakon-shaves-beard

Crown Prince Haakon shaves off his beard during birthday gala! Find out why

The 43-year-old underwent a dramatic transformation at King Harald and Queen Sonja's celebrations

Gemma Strong

Crown Prince Haakon had a surprise in store for guests at a special gala dinner in honour of parents King Harald and Queen Sonja's 80th birthdays on Tuesday evening. The Norwegian prince decided to shave off his beard midway through the celebrations! At the start of the night, Haakon was still sporting his well-groomed facial hair, and the beard was in place as he joined European royal guests on the balcony of Oslo's palace halfway through the evening. But at some point during the gala itself, Haakon slipped away from the festivities, only to return totally clean-shaven. Photographer Heiko Junge confirmed that the prince had taken off his beard "as part of the entertainment during the gala dinner", but did not elaborate further.

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Crown Prince Haakon shaved off his beard during the birthday celebrations in Oslo

Tuesday's celebrations featured a glittering guest list of European royals, who descended on Oslo to honour Norway's King and Queen. The Swedish and Danish royal family stepped out in force for the event, while Britain was represented by Prince Edward's wife, the Countess of Wessex. The highlight for spectators came just ahead of the dinner, when all of the royals stepped out onto the balcony to greet the public, as the crowds below sang a birthday song for Harald and Sonja.

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The 43-year-old was still sporting his facial hair when the royal family appeared on the balcony

Guests then returned inside to sit down to an exquisite banquet, dining on king crab, salmon tartar with grilled cucumber, oyster-maize and radishes to start, followed by calf with peas, green and white asparagus for main, and a dessert of limestone and oxalis mousse with lemon and gingerbread, according to Royal Central. On Wednesday, the guests are set to enjoy a lunchtime cruise on the Norweigen royal ship followed by a mini cruise in the Oslo Fjord, before attending a big dinner at the Norwegian Opera.

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