19th May 2015 Oslo, Norway

Syttende Mai

Although I have now been in Norway for a few months, I always knew that my “induction” would not be complete until I had experienced Grunnlovsdagen on the Seventeenth of May. Despite hearing and reading a lot about the significance of Constitution Day, Sunday’s festivities exceeded my already high expectations.

Children parade past the  Royal Palace in Oslo
Children parade past the Royal Palace in Oslo

The photographs look great. They captured the resplendence of the bunad national dress, the effulgence of the flowers and the flags, the delightfulness (and delight) of the parading children, and the splendid role of the Royal Family.

But the cameras only gave a sense of the visual. What was so striking for me was the feeling of the day. Being amongst so many happy people celebrating being Norwegian in a wonderful way, really does have to be felt in person to be appreciated properly.

National heritage is an important ingredient of our lives. I enjoy occasions to celebrate mine, and it was a privilege to be with Norwegians as they celebrated theirs this week. Gratulerer!

Sarah Gillett CMG CVO
HM Ambassador