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Lady Gudrun

Unity on show as Norway's royals sail in

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It is a paradox, but when the Norwegian royal family arrived in Sweden yesterday to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the break up of the Norway-Sweden union, the tone was very much focused on that which unites the two countries.


The Norwegian king, queen and crown prince were welcomed with curtsies, hugs and kisses from Crown Princess Victoria when they arrived on the Royal Yacht Norge for a two-day official visit.


The king and queen had arrived after a turbulent journey. They had sailed all the way from Olso on the vessel, which is nearly 70 years old, and had endured some pretty rough weather on the way. Hardly a pleasure cruise, even for accomplished sailor King Harald.


Crown Prince Haakon flew in to Stockholm to join his parents. He was not joined by his wife, Mette-Marit, who is pregnant and suffering from low blood pressure. Nothing serious, but she needs to take it easy, the Norwegian royal palace insists.


The first day of the official visit was filled with culture, exhibitions and fine words about all the things that Sweden and Norway have in common. At Waldemarsudde, the former home of Prince Eugen, now a museum, and also celebrating its centenary, King Carl Gustaf inaugurated an exhibition entitled Myth and Landscape – The Dissolution of the Union and Cultural Affinity.


The two royal couples came together and took a walk around the house – Queen Silvia in a beige outfit and Queen Sonja of Norway in a blue dress with white spots, both wearing similar wide-brimmed hats.


In the shadow of a large statue of the god Oden and surrounded by paintings of war-like vikings and valkyries (the latter both clothed and unnclothed), the Swedish king officially opened the exhibition.


Queen Sonja presented the Prince Eugen Culture Prize to Norwegian singer Merete Lökkenberg Meyer and Swedish poet Jenny Tunedal.


The queen talked warmly of Prince Eugen’s sense of justice and his sympathy for Norwegian freedom during the fight for independence a century ago.


The only reminder of rivalry between Norway and Sweden was provided by King Harald:


“We are twin souls as much as we are good neighbours,” he told an audience in Stockholm’s Norwegian Church, but added that despite this it was still “particularly pleasing when we beat Sweden on the sports field.”



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Good Afternoon To You, My Gentle Friends,


It sounds as if the Royal Visit went fairly smoothly, and was quite an elegant event, all in all . . .


However, I think that the King's remark about beating his "good friend and neighbour" on the sports field being rather a pleasure might have been - shall we say, politely - a tad bit unnecessary . . . ( Also, shall we say politely - it was rather lacking in manners, and most "un-royal" ) . . .


Have a most thoughtful afternoon . . . forthwith . . .

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Good Morning To You, My Gentle Friends,


I do feel that it is most important for Royal Families, Reigning Monarchs, Presidents, and Rulers, to give their "Subjects", a dignified, united picture of their lifestyle . . .


Of course, what they do in their private life should remain private, and that is as it should be . . .


However, the public 'face" that they present to the Nation that they Preside over should be a calm, sensitive, and very steady one, which will give the public a sense of Pride in the Person whom they have chosen to Lead their Nation . . .


Have an absolutely splendiferous morning . . . forthwith . . .

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