King and Queen visit Northern Norway

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In the Newton Room at Stangnes School. Photo: Anders Wiklund/Scanpix

On Tuesday 18 June, The King and Queen began their official visit to Northern Norway at the invitation of King Harald V and Queen Sonja. The day was spent in Harstad. The King and Queen were accompanied by Minister for Trade and Nordic Cooperation Ewa Björling, and a delegation of Swedish business representatives.
The King and Queen summarised the day as follows:
It has been a lovely day here in beautiful Northern Norway. We had a varied programme during the visit to Harstad, from today's engineers at Statoil to future talents at Stangnes School. Lunch was held in the stunning setting of Røkenes gård. It was extremely interesting to find out about the cultural life of Harstad during our tour of the town.
Kungaparen i Harstad. Foto: Kungahuset.se

Kungaparen i Harstad. Foto: Kungahuset.se

3.53 p.m. The King and Queen arrive at Thon Hotel for the meeting with the Swedish business delegation. The delegation comprises some ten companies for which Norway is a major market. The delegation is led by Jens Spendrup, Chairman of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
Photo: Christian Lagaard, the Norwegian Royal Court
3.44 p.m. The choir Vox Arctica performs folk song 'Uti vår hage' for the royal couples. The final stop on the tour of the town.

3.35 p.m. 150 dancers from Harstad kulturskola perform extracts from the show Moments.

3.29 p.m. Second stop during the tour of the town. Musicians Edvard Sundquist, Paulos Solbø and Håkon Asvald play swing jazz for the royal couples.

3.24 p.m. First stop, the arts centre choir Vox Artica sings beneath the town wall.

Kungaparet på stadsvandring i Harstad. Foto: David Sica/Stellapictures

Kungaparet på stadsvandring i Harstad. Foto: David Sica/Stellapictures

3.23 p.m. Start of The King and Queen's tour of Harstad.
Curator Joakim Borda visar utställningen Pioneer Voices som lyfter fram kvinnliga pionjärer och avantgardekonstnärer. Foto: Kungahuset.se

Curator Joakim Borda visar utställningen Pioneer Voices som lyfter fram kvinnliga pionjärer och avantgardekonstnärer. Foto: Kungahuset.se

3.07 p.m. The royal couples arrive at Galleri Nordnorge, where curator Joakim Borda shows them round the exhibition Pioneer Voices.

Festival exhibition Pioneer Voices


Harstad has been the venue for the festival Festspelen i Nordnorge since 1965. It began as a music event, but has developed into an international festival featuring the performing arts, film and literature. Festspelen takes place 22—29 June. In 2013, Norway celebrates the 100th anniversary of universal suffrage and this year´s Festspel includes the exhibition Pioneer Voices, which highlights female pioneers and avant-garde artists.

Find out more about the Festspel exhibitionexternal link.

1.30 p.m. Lunch is served at Røkenes gård. Chair of the municipal council Marianne Bremnes gives a welcome speech on the theme "turn your gaze northward". This is followed by lunch, which comprises Northern Norwegian specialities.

12.30 p.m. Arrival at Røkenes gård.

Røkenes gård


In 1777, Røkenes gård was granted royal assent to run inn and trading activities. The inn has been owned by the Kulseng family for ten generations and is now managed by Kristian Fredrik Kulseng. The main building is thought to have been built in around 1750, while what is known as Fjøset (the barn), the lunch venue, was built in 1899.
Kungen och Drottningen tar del av experiment i Newtonrummet. Foto: Kungahuset.se

Kungen och Drottningen tar del av experiment i Newtonrummet. Foto: Kungahuset.se

11.59 a.m. Headmaster Ludvig Forthun greets and talks about the Newton initiative, which is a Scandinavian collaboration. The purpose is to use interactive experiences and experiments to encourage interest in, and knowledge of the science subjects among young people. The Newton Room at Stangnes municipal secondary school opened in 2007. The school enjoys a close partnership with businesses, both through work experience places and financial support to buy technical equipment.
Promenad till Stangnes skola. Foto: David Sica/Stellapictures

Promenad till Stangnes skola. Foto: David Sica/Stellapictures

11.56 a.m. The King and Queen visit Stangnes school.
Via länk berättar Edvin Danielsen, plattformschef, om jobbet ombord på Norne. Foto: Kungahuset.se

Via länk berättar Edvin Danielsen, plattformschef, om jobbet ombord på Norne. Foto: Kungahuset.se

11.25 a.m. Video conference with Norne-skipet, which is currently 180 km off the Norwegian coast. The vessel is working on deposits at a depth of 380 metres and 2,000 metres beneath the seabed. Norne is twice as big as a passenger ferry of the type that runs routes to Finland or Denmark, and is kept in position with the help of 12 anchors. Statoil's Harstad office is the centre of operations for oil and gas extraction in the Norne oil field. Norne-skipet is the production and storage ship that is used at Norne oil field.

11.03 a.m. Inside Visjonariet. Geophysicist Jan Ove Hansen talks about geology and explains how sand and stone between Greenland and Norway have created the oil deposits over hundreds of millions of years. Now ultrasound enables us to search the seabed for deposits.

10.50 a.m. Regional manager Hans Jakob Hegge continues to talk about environmental work. Norway is the nation that produces the most energy with the lowest CO2 emissions when oil and gas are extracted.

10.37 a.m. In a conference room, regional manager Hans Jakob Hegge talks about Statoil's history in Northern Norway. The office in Harstad, which was founded in 1976, now has 280 employees. Statoil intends to employ a further 250 people in Harstad over the next seven years. The oil has transformed many parts of Northern Norway from being depopulated areas, to areas where one nursery a year is opened on average per municipality.

10.31 a.m. Statoil's regional manager Hans Jakob Hegge extends a welcome to The King and Queen after a short concert featuring cymbals and flute. He talks about all the different nationalities that work at Statoil in Harstad.

10.25 a.m. The King and Queen arrive at Statoil's office in Northern Norway.

I land. Foto: Kungahuset.se

I land. Foto: Kungahuset.se

Vid kajen i Harstad. Foto: Anders Wiklund/Scanpix

Vid kajen i Harstad. Foto: Anders Wiklund/Scanpix

10.07 a.m. The King and Queen arrive at Harstad and disembark.

I väntan på det svenska och norska Kungaparets ankomst. Foto: Kungahuset.se

I väntan på det svenska och norska Kungaparets ankomst. Foto: Kungahuset.se

Photo: Christian Lagaard, the Norwegian Royal Court

King and Queen visit Harstad, 18 June


Harstad is located on Norway's largest island Hinnøya and is the central town in Harstad municipality. The town of Harstad was first established in 1848. With its population of approximately 20,000, Harstad is Northern Norway's third largest town and a strategic trading centre in the region.
The main industries are agricultural, engineering, shipping and oil. The oil industry has increased in size in recent years as a result of exploration operations in the Barents Sea.  Both the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (Oljedirektoratet) and Statoil are represented in Harstad. The town is renowned for its vibrant cultural life all year round, and proximity to forests, mountains and archipelago. The town is characterised by the daily stops of the Hurtigruten passenger ferries in Harstad harbour en route to the north and south.

Find out more about Harstadexternal link

Kongeskipet K/S Norge, med det svenska och det norska Kungaparet ombord, ankommer till Harstad. Foto: Kungahuset.se

Kongeskipet K/S Norge, med det svenska och det norska Kungaparet ombord, ankommer till Harstad. Foto: Kungahuset.se

Kongeskipet K/S Norge


During their official visit to Northern Norway, The King and Queen are travelling on the Royal Yacht of Norway, Kongeskipet K/S Norge. The Royal Yacht was a gift from the Norwegian people to Norway's then King Haakon VII, following a nationwide collection in 1947. K/S Norge is now owned by H.M. King Harald V, who is an active user of the yacht for both national and international journeys. K/S Norge is one of the world's two remaining royal yachts, after the British royal yacht Britannia was taken out of service in 1997. The second is the Danish royal yacht Danneborg. 

The King and Queen's official visit to Norway


The official visit to Norway is taking place from 18-19 June, and will include Harstad and Tromsø. The purpose of the visit is to strengthen the already excellent relationship between Sweden and Norway, which enjoy partnerships within essentially all areas. Norway, which is Sweden's principle export market, has just over 2,000 Swedish companies and roughly 70,000 Swedish citizens working in the country.

The programme will focus on resources and development in the northern areas, climate and environmental challenges, development of the Swedish-Norwegian education and research partnership, labour market issues and increasing interest in the region among Swedish businesses.

The most recent official visit of The King and Queen to Norway took place in June 2005 to mark the 100th anniversary of the dissolution of the union in 1905. The Norwegian King and Queen made an official visit to Sweden in September 2005.