True to tradition, the Royal Family is on the Palace Balcony greeting the Children's Parade in Oslo. They came out on the balcony a little before 10:30, when the Children's Parade was approaching the Palace Square. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess and their family started the day at Skaugum Estate, where they greeted the Asker municipality Children’s parade early this morning.The school children of the municipality of Asker just outside Oslo however, are particularly favoured on May 17th. Early in the morning, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit greet the youngsters as they parade past the Royal Family's country home at Skaugum. The couple receive flowers from two of the children. This has been a tradition for many years.This year was the first time Prince Sverre Magnus was allowed to participate in the children's parade in Asker. He joined his older sister, Prinsesse Ingrid Alexandra and other fellow students from Jansløkka elementary school after they had finished their greetings at Skaugum.This year children and youths from the schools at Norstrand, Tonsenhagen and Nøklevann march at the front of the parade. Norstrand school celebrates it's 100th anniversary this year, and Tonsenhagen and Nøkelvann their 50th.Approximately 60.000 children take part in the parade, and The Royal Guard Norwegian Military Marching Band will bring up the rear.
Princess Märtha Louise celebrates with Norwegians in London today. Together with her husband, Mr Ari Behn, she attended the Church Service at the Norwegian Seamen's Church. Later, the whole family will take part in the celebrations in Southwark Park.
It was King Haakon and Queen Maud who introduced the custom of greeting the children’s parade from the Palace balcony in 1906. The custom has been upheld ever since. The only exceptions were in 1910, when the Royal Family was in England for the funeral of Queen Maud’s father, King Edward VII, and during World War II from 1940 to1944.
Today the terms May 17th and children’s parade are virtually synonymous, but this has not always been the case.