Swedish royals drop bicentennial Norway constitution celebrations / News / The Foreigner

Swedish royals drop bicentennial Norway constitution celebrations. Norwegian historians and royal cognoscenti censure Norway’s parliament and Sweden’s monarchs regarding non-appearance at this year’s historic event following an official parliamentary invitation. TRH King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia took their decision not to come due to prior engagements, NRK reported, Monday. "The King does not visit other nations on their national day," Annika Sönnerberg, acting information manager at the Swedish Palace said. Norway's state broadcaster also wrote that TRH Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark have also been invited to attend the 17th May bicentennial celebrations outside Eidsvollsbygningen, a historic manor house.

17thmay, norwayconstitution, norwegiannationalday



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Swedish royals drop bicentennial Norway constitution celebrations

Published on Monday, 6th January, 2014 at 13:06 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 9th January 2014 at 21:38.

Norwegian historians and royal cognoscenti censure Norway’s parliament and Sweden’s monarchs regarding non-appearance at this year’s historic event following an official parliamentary invitation.

TRH Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
TRH pictured at the Wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling in 2010.TRH Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Photo: Holger Motzkau Wikimedia Commons


TRH King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia took their decision not to come due to prior engagements, NRK reported, Monday. "The King does not visit other nations on their national day," Annika Sönnerberg, acting information manager at the Swedish Palace said.

Norway's state broadcaster also wrote that TRH Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark have also been invited to attend the 17th May bicentennial celebrations outside Eidsvollsbygningen, a historic manor house.

They have accepted, according to the Norwegian broadcaster.

History                     

17th May 2014 marks 200 years since the Norwegian Constitution was signed at Eidsvoll, eastern Norway.

King Frederik VI of Denmark at his coronation
King Frederik VI of Denmark at his coronation
Frederiksborg Castle/Wikimedia Commons
A union was established with Denmark in 1380, lasting for 434 years up to 1814. In 1536, the Norwegian Council of State was dissolved, and national sovereignty transferred to Denmark.

At the start of 1814, Norway was part of the absolute Denmark-Norway monarchy, established by King Frederik III of Denmark in 1660.

The history of Norway’s union with Sweden up until 1905 was preceded by Denmark-Norway having allied itself with Bonaparte in the Napoleonic Wars in the years leading up to 1814.

Bonaparte was defeated at the Battle of Leipzig the year before, and peace negotiations were opened in Germany’s Kiel.

The ensuing Treaty of Kiel between the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway was concluded on 14th January 1814.

Denmark’s King Frederik VI was forced to cede his Norwegian territories to Sweden as punishment for Denmark-Norway’s support for France. Norway then entered into a union with Sweden. Celebrating 17th May under Swedish rule was banned by royal decree.

However, Norway had succeeded in establishing its own constitution before the union came into effect.

Assertions and divisions

The story of Norway’s constitution started when Prince Christian Frederik of Denmark – who then became Christian VIII, King of Norway – sent a letter to a number of European heads of state as soon as he heard of the Treaty of Kiel and learned that it meant Norway would be ceded to Sweden. In it, he laid claim to the Norwegian throne.

Consituent Assembly at Eidsvoll, 1814
Consituent Assembly at Eidsvoll, 1814
Oscar Wergeland (1844–1910)/Wikimedia Commons
Appointed vice-regent in Norway in 1813, part of his mandate was to resist any attempt by Sweden to take over Norway.

The Prince, who believed he was heir to the Norwegian throne, and was entitled to take over as king as soon as Frederik VI ceased to be the reigning monarch, then embarked on a journey north along the Gudbrandsdalen Valley (Oppland County), over the Dovre Mountains, to Trondheim (Sør-Trøndelag County) to whip up popular support.

Prince Christian Frederik and a group of highly placed Norwegian representatives then met on 16th February, 1814. This was known as ‘The Meeting of Notables’, and comprised 15 public officials, seven military officers and six businessmen in addition to the Prince.

The Constituent Assembly’s 112 elected representatives subsequently arrived at Eidsvoll Verk On 10th April 1814. Six weeks of negotiations and divisions followed.

Norway’s constitution was signed at Eidsvoll in the east of the country on 17th May after the Constituent Assembly voted unanimously to elect Christian Frederik as king of the self-declared Norwegian state.

“They should join in the celebrations”

University of Oslo Professor Emeritus Ole Kristian Grimnes views the Swedish royals’ non-participation at the event as “unfortunate”, should they not wish to attend the event at Eidsvoll.

Lion sculpture outside parliament
Lion sculpture outside parliament
John Erling Blad/Wikimedia Commons
According to him, the House of Bernadotte – the current royal house of Sweden, which has reigned since 1818 – was instrumental in Norway getting and being allowed to keep its constitution. Professor Grimnes feels Their Highnesses should reconsider.

“TRH should come because it is a major event in the Norwegian nation's history. They should be with and rejoice with the Norwegians. It was, so to say, thanks to the House of Bernadotte that we got a constitution, which we wouldn’t have had if we’d continued being under the Danes,” said Professor Grimnes.

Dag Nordbotten Kristoffersen, parliament’s project manager for the work leading up to this year’s bicentennial, declared “we’re not going to comment regarding who we invite to our main events at Eidsvoll for reasons of protocol.”

Awkward

He also declined to answer NRK’s question for his opinion about national opinion surrounding Denmark’s royals coming, but not Sweden’s.

The Danish Parliament's debating chamber
The Danish Parliament's debating chamber
Heje/Wikimedia Commons (2009)
The Danish Parliament confirmed TRH’s attendance before Christmas. Historian Tor Bomann-Larsen, author of a book about TRH Norway’s Haakon VII and British-born Queen Maud, criticises the Norwegian parliament’s refusal to elaborate about who they have invited.

“It’s also not an entirely seemly move by the hosts to place King Carl XVI Gustaf in this position. Everyone understands the King of Sweden has declined since it has been announced that Queen Margrethe [of Denmark] has accepted,” said Mr Bomann-Larsen said.

“A slight amount of subtle diplomacy would perhaps have been appropriate to ensure either no or both countries’ heads of state came,” he concluded, not wishing to elaborate on why he thought the Swedish monarchs will not be attending.

Further details about this year’s celebrations, together with the Constitution’s entire wording, can be found here (external link).




Published on Monday, 6th January, 2014 at 13:06 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 9th January 2014 at 21:38.

This post has the following tags: 17thmay, norwayconstitution, norwegiannationalday.





  
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