Norway celebrates King Haralds 25th anniversary as monarch

Norway celebrates King Haralds 25th anniversary as monarchNorway’s King Harald, center, and Queen Sonja, left, receive Prime Minister Erna Solberg at The Royal Castle in Oslo, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in preparation for the 25th anniversary of King Harald’s ascension to the throne on Sunday, Jan. 17. (Cornelius Poppe/NTB Scanpix via AP) NORWAY OUT

HELSINKI (AP) — Norway is celebrating King Harald’s 25th anniversary as monarch of the Scandinavian country with concerts, candlelight processions, children’s winter events and a gala performance at the University of Oslo.

A service in the Royal Chapel included the royal family, government officials, family friends and royal visitors from Sweden and Denmark. Twenty-one-gun salutes were sounded nationwide in honor of the 78-year-old king and his wife Queen Sonja.

Many of Sunday’s events are being broadcast by Norwegian TV NRK, and the public is able to congratulate the royal couple online or sign a register at the Royal Palace, open until midnight Sunday.

Harald became king when his father Olav died on Jan. 17, 1991. The Norwegian king has a ceremonial role and is not part of the government.

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