State visit to Norway - programme

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will pay a state visit to Norway at the invitation of His Majesty King Harald V from Tuesday 9 to Thursday 11 November 2021. Their Majesties will travel to Oslo and Trondheim, and will be accompanied by foreign minister Ben Knapen.

The state visit affirms the outstanding relations between Norway and the Netherlands. Both countries share the same values and jointly seek solutions to major international challenges. The main themes of the visit will be bilateral and international cooperation, climate change, the energy transition and sustainability.

The Netherlands and Norway attach great importance to a well-functioning international legal order, the rule of law and an open market economy. As like-minded partners, the Netherlands and Norway also often act in tandem within international organisations such as the UN, the WTO and NATO. In order to maintain their prosperity for future generations, both countries focus on fostering innovative, inclusive and sustainable solutions for the stewardship of the North Sea and the safeguarding of food security, and on the development of new technologies powered by clean and sustainable energy sources.

The state visit will begin in Oslo, where the King and Queen will be welcomed by King Harald V and Queen Sonja at the Royal Palace. King Willem-Alexander will then lay a wreath at the National Monument, commemorating the victims of the Second World War.

This will be followed by a lunch at the Royal Palace.

The main theme of the afternoon programme will be climate change. The shrinking sea ice in the Arctic region is visible evidence of climate change, which is affecting the region’s liveability and economic development. Norway is engaged in a dialogue with the indigenous Sami population and with young people to talk about their concerns, exchange ideas for solutions and explore new opportunities in the Arctic. At the Fram Museum, dedicated to polar expeditions, an event will take place at which young Norwegians and Dutch students will speak about the impact of climate change on life in the Arctic.

In the evening King Harald will host a state banquet at the Royal Palace at which both heads of state will give a speech.

On Wednesday morning, a seminar on human rights and freedom of expression will be held at the Deichman Library. Various NGOs will discuss freedom of expression and hate speech. The royal party will visit the library, which was named best public library in the world this year, and attend part of the seminar.

Next, the King and Queen will speak with Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. This meeting will be followed by a government lunch at Akershus Fortress, at which the King will give a short speech.

In the afternoon a meeting will take place on the naval vessel HNLMS Rotterdam about defence cooperation between the Netherlands and Norway. The vessel is currently involved in a training exercise in Norwegian waters and will moor in Oslo’s port. Among the topics to be discussed is the mountain and winter training in northern Norway, which has been undertaken annually for the past 50 years.

Prior to the meeting, a reception for the Dutch community in Norway will be held on the HNLMS Rotterdam.

In the evening King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will host a concert by cellist Harriet Krijgh for members of the Norwegian Royal House and invited guests at the new premises of the MUNCH museum.

On Thursday 11 November the state visit will continue in Trondheim and focus on the sustainable stewardship of our oceans and the transition to sustainable energy sources. In Trondheim’s port area, the King and Queen will visit Powerhouse Brattørkaia, an energy positive building that will produce more solar power than it consumes over its lifespan, including construction and demolition. Crown Prince Haakon will give a speech about ocean management. The royal party will also visit a laboratory at the Norwegian Centre for Plankton Technology, where research is being done on seaweed cultivation.

The King and Queen will then visit Maritime Robotics to take a closer look at their maritime research devices, including autonomous vehicles and maritime drones. They will also speak with students and researchers of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology about maritime developments. Holland Circular Hotspot and the counterpart it inspired, Nordic Circular Hotspot, will sign a partnership agreement.

In the afternoon there will be a lunch with the mayor at Stiftsgården, the King’s official residence in Trondheim.

At the campus of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology a panel discussion will be held, centring on the North Sea as a platform for the energy transition, with a focus on hydrogen and wind energy. Representatives of Dutch and Norwegian companies and researchers will interact with students. The King and Queen will attend part of the discussion and look at students’ research on new sustainable energy forms.

The state visit will conclude with a visit to Nidaros Cathedral, built in the 11th century as a memorial to King Olav II. It is here that Norwegian monarchs are inaugurated. The cathedral has a special altar for the Sami community. After a short guided tour, the Royal party will enjoy a performance at this altar by Sami singers.