Only just over a month had passed since their return to Norway after their trip to Denmark – their very first State Visit as King and Queen – it was again time for the small Norwegian Royal Family to ahead abroad. This time they had been invited to the United Kingdom. In addition to being the country of birth of Queen Maud it was also a very important country to the new independent Norway. It was in great part thanks to the support of the United Kingdom that Norway had been able to break away from the personal union with Sweden and elect Haakon as their new king in 1905. So it was no big surprise that his second State Visit went to the United Kingdom.
- The Journey to the United Kingdom
- Day 1 – Arrival and Welcoming ceremonies
- Day 2 – Garter investiture ceremony and State Banquet
- Day 3 – Guildhall reception and luncheon
- Day 4 – Hunt and Banquet
- Day 5 – Family Dinner and a Performance
- Day 6 – Family Dinner and a Concert – end of the official visit
- Private part of the visit – Buckingham Palace
- Additional Information: Honours and Orders awarded
In between the State Visit to Denmark and the one they were to embark upon in November the Norwegian King had also opened his first session of Parliament, which took place on October 22nd. Here the Queen had also been present.
But now it was time to head abroad again, to the west, to see King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. On November 9th the King, the Queen and their little son Crown Prince Olav drove from their residence at Bygøy to the Central Railway Station in Oslo. There they were met by a waving crowd and representatives from various authorities, like the Government, the Presidents of the Parliament and Oslo City’s mayor. Accompanying the Royal Family on their journey were the Court Marshal Rustad and his wife the Chief Court Mistress. Miss Fougner, lady-in-waiting to the Queen and Captain Krag, aide-de-camp to His Majesty were also part of the Royal party travelling to London.
As the train slowly left the platform the King and Queen appeared at the window of their carriage and waved to the people who had gathered to wish them a safe journey. Instead of crossing the North Sea directly the Royal Family first headed towards Copenhagen. They arrived the Danish capital the following morning and were received by their aunt, the Empress Dowager of Russia Marie Feodorovna. Even though it was not a state occasion many official representatives had still made their way to the railway station to greet the Their Majesties. Norwegian representatives included the Minister to Denmark Professor Hagerup and his wife. She offered the Queen a lovely bouquet of flowers. Also from the Norwegian legation came the Legation Secretary Mr Huitfeldt and the Norwegian General Consul Mr Nordstrand. Representatives from the British Legation were also present headed by the British Minister to Denmark Sir Alan Johnstone.
The Danish Royal Family had the day before hosted a banquet at Fredensborg to which a visiting Biritsh military deputation had been invited. It had earlier in the day been received by King Frederick VIII at the Amalienborg Palace complex. And here the deputation had by command of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom made it known to the Danish King that it had pleased his British Majesty to appoint him an honorary Colonel in the British Army. They had even brought with them the uniform, which King Frederick VIII had then duly worn at the Fredensborg banquet. The appointment and the banquet also coincided with the 65th birthday of King Edward VII. In any case, the Danish Royal Family did travel by morning train in to Copenhagen in order to greet the Norwegian Royal Family before the latter continued their journey. Even the visiting British military deputation was represented at the railway sation to pay their respect to the King and Queen of Norway.
It was in fact quite a busy morning for Royalty at the railway station. Just after breakfast the Danish Royal Family welcomed another Royal visitor to Denmark. This time it was the niece of the late Queen Louise, Princess Hilda of Anhalt-Dessau who arrived with the intention of spending a few days with her Danish relatives. The Norwegian Royal Family had to continue their journey though and they travelled towards Vliessingen via Korsør, Fredericia, Vamdurp and Hamburg . The Danish Crown Princely Couple accompanied the Norwegian Royal Family on the first leg, alighting in Korsør.
Once in Vliessingen the Norwegian Royal party boarded the British Royal yacht ”Victoria and Albert”. They had a smooth crossing of the channel and arrived Spithead just outside of Portsmouth a little earlier than expected. While the Royal yacht made its last miles towards Portsmouth the welcoming party consisting of the Prince of Wales, the Norwegian Minister to Norway Professor Fritjof Nansen, the Norwegian Legion Secretary Mr Irgens, the Lords Colebrooke and Hamilton of Dalzell and two chamberlains also made their way south to Portsmouth by train. The four latter would be attached to the Norwegian Royal Family during their visit.
Arrival to the United Kingdom and welcoming ceremonies
In Portsmouth harbour an impressive reception awaited the Norwegian Royal Family. Neither King Haakon nor Queen Maud had been strangers to the United Kingdom since their wedding in 1896. They had regularly visited Queen Maud’s family. Especially Maud was very happy to return back to Sandringham and her beloved Appleton House on the Royal estate as she didn’t seem to enjoy life in Copenhagen very much. But this time they came as the ruling King and Queen of a newly independent Kingdom and the reception was accordingly majestic. The ships in the British Fleet stationed at the navy base had been anchored in two lines. All of them had hoisted the Norwegian flag to welcome Their Majesties and their little son. As the Royal yacht sailed up harbour there were gun salutes from both the reserve fleet and from the land based batteries. On the quay a military band was lined up and they began to play the Norwegian National Anthem as soon as the Royal yacht was within hearing distance.
At twelve o’clock the Prince of Wales, dressed in the uniform of an Admiral in the British Navy, went onboard the Royal yacht under the thundering sound of another round of Royal gun salute and the British National Antheme. As soon as the Prince set foot on the deck his Royal Standard was hoisted and now flew next to the Norwegian Royal Standard. He was warmly received by his brother-in-law and sister, King Haakon and Queen Maud, and he in return welcomed them to Britain on his father’s behalf. Professor Fritjof Nansen boarded next and was also heartily greeted by the Norwegian King and Queen. They then proceeded to take lunch onboard before disembarking.
In his uniform of an Admiral in the British Navy King Haakon inspected the Guard of Honour lined up on the jetty with the Prince of Wales following closely behind. Across his chest the King wore the red Sash of the Order of the Bath with its Star pinned to the uniform. He also wore the Collar of the Norwegian Royal Order of St Olav with the Star. He also seems to be wearing the Neck-tie and Star of the Order of St. John. Queen Maud was described as wearing precious sabel fur.
Once the inspection was done the Royal Party boarded the special train that would take them to Windsor. Again there were sounds of gun salutes and more music. All this wonderful display of ceremony must have made a big impression on the young Norwegian Crown Prince, probably more so than on his parents.
At Windsor Railway Station a large welcoming party had gathered headed by Their Majesties King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Other family members present were Queen Maud’s sister, HRH Princess Victoria, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Connaught with their children TRH Prince Arthur and Princess Patricia of Connaught. Present were also the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, the latter being the sister of King Edward, Princess Louise. His Majesty was dressed in the uniform of a Field Marshal in the British Army and with the Sash of the Norwegian Order of St. Olav across his chest (1).
In addition to the Royal Family members of the Court had also met up at the station, among others the Earl of Sefton, Master of the Horse and Privy Councellor and the ladies-in-waiting to Her Majesty the Duchess of Buccleuch and the Countess of Antrim. Also present was Major-General Sir Frederick Stopford, the Major-General Commanding the Brigade of Guards and General Officer Commanding London District as well as other State and Local Dignitaries.
As soon as King Haakon and Queen Maud had alighted the train they were welcomed by King Edward and Queen Alexandra and the rest of the Royal Family. The welcome was both warm and emotional as it was after all a family reunion. Then the Norwegian King received a welcoming address by the Mayor of Windsor and the Aldermen. As he was handed the address King Haakon thanked the Mayor and expressed his great pleasure of being back in the United Kingdom and in Windsor. The wife of the Mayor had in the meantime handed Queen Maud a lovely bouquet bound with a ribbon in red, white and blue – the colours of both the British as well as the Norwegian flag.
The railway station had been handsomely decorated with flowers and Union Jacks alongside Norwegian flags. The pillars holding up the roof on the platform where the Royal train stopped had also been decorated with ribbons in the colours of the Norwegian flag. Lined up was also a Guard of Honour in their splendid uniforms which the two Kings inspected together.
From the railway station the Royal party made their way up to Windsor Castle in carriages from the Royal Mews drawn by four horses each. In the first carriage drove the two Kings together with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Connaught. The two Queens, with the impressed Norwegian Crown Prince between them, Princess Victoria and Prince Arthur of Connaught followed in the second carriage. Several other carriages with the small Norwegian entourage and representatives from the Court made up the rest of the Royal procession. Both sides of the street leading up to the palace were lined with soldiers standing to attention and the Royal procession was escorted by the mounted Life Guard.
On this first evening of the visit a family dinner was held. The Royal Families were seated in the Oak Dining Room while the rest of the entourage and Courtiers were served in the State Dining Room. As it was a family occasion more than a State occasion as such it has not been possible – at least not so far – to find any description of what they wore or what they were served. It is very likely though that although it was a family supper important jewels were worn. Probably and most likely not the grandest of parures or pieces, but certainly pieces that would add more glitter to the occasion.
Day 2 – Garter ceremony and State Banquet
The following day started without any official engagements. The two Kings went hunting and the two Queens went for a drive around the town of Windsor. They then gathered for lunch. Already before the departure from Oslo it had been published in various newspapers that the Norwegian King would be awarded the Order of the Garter during the visit. And in the evening of the second day the grand ceremony took place in Windsor.
This special ceremony had not been performed since 1855 when King Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia and Emperor Napoleon II of the French had been invested with the Order. These were not the last Royal knights to receive the Order of course, but in any of the subsequent cases no such elaborate and solemn ceremony had been performed. Well, maybe not so solemn for everybody as it has since been revealed that Queen Maud had fought very hard not to burst out in laughter at some point during the ceremony. And other Royal ladies present were seen pinching themselves in order to try and stop giggling. But King Edward probably wanted such a grand ceremony to show everybody that it was indeed something special when he invested his son-in-law made King with the Most Nobel Order of the Garter.
The ceremony itself took place in the Throne Room. But ahead of this all those previously knighted and who were able to be present for the ceremony gathered in the Waterloo Room. All of them were dressed wonderfully in their splendid robes and insignias. At seven o’clock they then formed a procession and made their way to the Throne Room. It must have been quite a sight. The heavily decorated room, with the State Portrait of King George I, King George II and King George IV hanging on the wall and the splendid Throne of Kandy placed at the far end wall must have been impressing in its own right. But once filled with all the Knights, the officers in their splendid uniforms and the ladies in their glittering robes and jewels it must have looked absolutely heavenly, especially for anybody who appreciates the pomp and ceremony connected to the monarchy.
King Edward took his place on the throne at the end of the room. Queen Alexandra took her place to the King’s left. She was dressed in a sparkling black dress due to the fact that she was still in mourning for her father, the late King of Denmark. Over the dress she wore the distinctive heavy mantle of the order and its blue Sash and Star. Then the Royal Knights, which included the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Connaught, Prince Arthur of Connaught and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, took their place at the end of the large table closest to the throne. Other members of the Royal Family present were HM The Queen of Norway, HRH the Princess of Wales, HRH Princess Victoria of Wales, HRH Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, HRH Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, HG the Duke of Argyll, HRH the Duchess of Connaught, HH Prince Philip of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha and TH Princess Victoria and Princess Marie Louise (reported with the names Louise Augusta) of Schleswig-Holstein.
Once all the Knights had taken their place the Order’s Chancellor, the Bishop of Oxford, read out aloud the Statues of the Order and declared His Majesty the King of Norway a Royal Knight Companion of the Order. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Connaught then escorted King Haakon into the room. The insignias of the Order were carried in front of him on large scarlet cushions trimmed with golden fringes. All the Knights, including King Edward, rose. The British King then addressed his son-in-law and signalled to him to take place at his right hand side. The cushion upon which the Garter rested was then presented to King Edward. He removed it and with the help of the other Royal Knight Companions they placed the Garter just below King Haakon’s left knee. King Edward then proceeded to fasten the Star of the Order to the tunic of the Norwegian King. Finally King Haakon received the Chain of the Order from his father-in-law.
After the ceremony a grand State Banquet was held in St George’s Hall. Knowing King Edward’s fondness of food the menu was not surprisingly quite extensive:
Turbotins à la Galliera
Cailles à la Diane
Côtelettes de Pré Salé à la Minute
Poulardes du Mans à la Palermitaine
Bécassines sur Canapés
Solade à la Fraçaise
Asperges vertes, Sauce Mousseline
Poires à la Reine Alexandra
Gradins de Patisseries
Crôutes à la Royale
Paniers de Glaces à la Norvegienne
Just as the investiture ceremony the State Banquet must have been an amazing sight to behold. Sadly it has not been possible to find any description of it as of yet other than it took place right after the Garter ceremony. Dress uniform was worn and as such it is more than likely that King Haakon wore his uniform of an Admiral in the British Navy together with his newly acquired Collar of the Garter. As part of the exchange of honours during this visit King Edward had been made an honorary General in the Norwegian Army. It is possible that this had been decided during the planning of the visit, as was usually the case, and as such the appointment was confirmed on the first day and that even the corresponding uniform was presented to the King. If so, it is also possible that he donned the new Norwegian uniform during the banquet as a way to display his appreciation of the honour.
A black and white illustration from the banquet shows that King Edward had his daughter, the Queen of Norway, by his right hand side. She in turn had by her right side the Prince of Wales. The elderly lady sitting to the Prince’s right has not been identified, but based on the precedence at court it was most likely the Duchess of Connaught or Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. Another sister of the King, the Duchess of Argyll, was sitting to his immediate left. On the other side of the table the Norwegian King is sitting between Queen Alexandra and the Princess of Wales, with the Queen sitting to his left. To the right of the Princess of Wales can be seen the Duke of Connaught.
The Royal ladies are depicted wearing grand jewels, though it is not easy to identify them due to the fact that it is based on an illustration and not a photograph.
George IV’s State Diadem
Elaborate Diamond necklace
Various Diamond rivières to form a sort of choker
Sadly it is not possible to identify her tiara as it is not illustrated with very much detail. It does look like a tall tiara though, so it could be the Diamond and Pearl tiara received from her parents as a wedding gfit in 1896
The Princess of Wales
Her tiara has also been depicted with little detail, but again it is a very tall tiara and based on that it could perhaps match her Boucheron Loop tiara
Day 3 – Civic Reception and Luncheon at the Guildhall
On the third day the Norwegian Royal Couple took a special train from Windsor to Paddington Station in London. They had been invited by The City of London Corporation and a grand civic reception awaited them on their arrival to the City. Accompanying them were the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, among others. They drove in an open carriage drawn by greys from Windsor Castle to the station, with an escort by Lifeguards. As the Royal carriages proceeded down Castle Hill the castle guard of the 3rd Grenadier Guards saluted them and many people from the public had met up to watch the procession.
At Paddington station they were welcomed by the Mayor of Paddington Herbert Lidiard. He presented an address to which King Haakon made a gracious reply. The daughter of the Mayor handed the Queen a beautiful bouquet of lilies-of-the-valley. Lined up within the festively decorated station was a Guard of Honour of Grenadiers with band and outside waited a Sovereign’s escort of the Royal Horse Guards with standard. After the address and reply the King proceeded to inspect the Guard of Honour while the band played the Norwegian National Anthem. Meanwhile the rest of the Royal Party bar the Queen of Norway rode directly to the Guildhall to there await the arrival of the Norwegian Royal Couple. Once the King had inspected the Guard of Honour he and the Queen entered the open State carriage and drove off amid cheers from the enthusiastic crowd gathered close to the station. Joining the King and Queen in the State carriage was the Earl of Sefton. Making up the Royal procession were three other carriages. In the first of these sat the Norwegian Lord Chamberlain and the Chief Mistress of the Norwegian Court with Lord Hamilton of Dalzell. Queen Maud’s lady-in-waiting Miss Fougner drove in the third carriage together with Lord Colebrooke and Professor Nansen, the Norwegian Minister to the United Kingdom. In the last carriage followed Colonel Knollys, Captain Krag, aide-de-camp to the King of Norway and Captain Fortescue. A large number of soldiers in their splendidly coloured uniforms had been stationed along the route. Towards Bayswater Road were stationed men of the 2nd Battalions of the Grenadier Guards and Coldstream Guards, Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire) and South Wales Borderers. Further east soldiers of the 1st Battalions of the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots and Irish Guards and the 2nd Scots Guards lined the streets while detachments of the 2nd Life Guards, Royal Horse Guards, the A Battery (Chestnut Troop) Royal Horse Artillery and the King’s Dragoon Guards were stationed at intervals along the route. Ordinary people had also taken to the streets and the Royal Couple were cheered by the crowds along the entire route.
When the Norwegian sovereigns reached Oxford Circus the procession made a halt. A detachment of the Dragoon Guards, accompanied by the band of the regiment, had been stationed all around the junction and again, behind the soldiers, were enthusiastic onlookers. Here the King received the addresses of welcome from the City of Westminster and the Boroughs of Marylebone and Holborn. A brief reply to them was made by His Majesty before the procession commenced their drive towards the City and the Guildhall.
At the Guildhall their Majesties were received by the entrance by the Lord Mayor, Sir William Treloar, donning his crimson and ermine robes. The scene was made a feast for the eyes with the help of those present as they had dressed in splendid and colourful uniforms, levee dress, diplomatic attire and Privy Councillors’ uniforms. Once the initial greeting was concluded the King and Queen, together with the rest of the Royal personages, were invited inside. A fanfare by the City trumpeters announced the entry of the Royal procession into the Library. First came the Duke of Fife with Her Royal Highness Princess Patricia of Connaught, then His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught with Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales. Her husband His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales followed escorting Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Connaught. The Lord Mayor with Her Majesty the Queen of Norway by his side came next and then finally His Majesty the King of Norway with the Lady Mayoress.
The King was dressed in his uniform of an Honorary Admiral in the British Navy. Pinned to his tunic were the Stars of the Orders of the Garter, the Order of St. John and the Order of St. Olav. From his left shoulder to his right hip he wore the blue Sash of the Order of the Garter and around his neck the heavy Collar of the Order of St. Olav. His Majesty also wore the Neck-tie of the Order of St. John. The Prince of Wales was also in naval uniform, in that of vice-admiral in the British Navy. He wore the red Sash of the Order of St. Olav across his chest with the corresponding Star together with the Star of the Order of the Garter. This was also worn by the Duke of Connaught with his uniform of Field Marshal. The Norwegian Order of St. Olav had only been awarded to him the previous day by King Haakon.
News reports differ slightly in describing what the Queen and the Princess of Wales wore (the other Royal ladies are not mentioned). Some say that the Queen’s outfit was red while most reports seem to suggest that it was in fact purple. The Princess of Wales was said to have worn the same colour and it was also mentioned in one report that she was wearing two diamond studded Orders. She had in fact at that time been awarded three different British Orders: the Order of the Crown of India, the Order of Victoria and Albert and the Royal Family Order of King Edward VII. Which two of these she wore is not known, or whether she in fact wore all three of them – which would probably be the most likely option.
In the Library the address of welcome was read. It was then presented to the King together with a splendid casket in solid gold which had been elaborately decorated. Surmounting it were symbolic figures of “the City welcoming the Hardy Norsemen”. An enamelled Norwegian Royal Coat of Arms was seen on the front panel together with miniatures of famous London buildings; the Mansion House, the Guildhall, the Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral, also in enamel. The casket rested on a silver plinth, supported by the City dragon and Viking ships. At the base were the initials “H” and “M” in diamonds and rubies. It is a magnificent work of art, which today is displayed on the gallery in the Ball Room at the Royal Palace in Oslo. Having received the address King Haakon made a brief reply thanking the Lord Mayor and the Corporation of the City of London for the gracious welcome which had been extended to him and to the Queen.
The Royal Party together with their host then retired for a moment into the Drawing Room and here various presentations were made to the Royal Guests while in the meantime the rest of the guests made their way to the Great Hall to find their seats around the luncheon table. Once they were seated the Royal procession made its way into the Great Hall amidst ovations and the smattering sound of a trumpet fanfare. Leading the procession were King Haakon and the Lady Mayoress with Queen Maud and the Lord Mayor following closely behind. The King was seated to the right of the Lord Mayor while the Queen was on the latter’s left. To the right of the King was the Lady Mayoress and to the left of the Queen the Prince of Wales.
Luncheon lasted for about an hour and the gathered party ate and drank their way through an extensive menu:
Chartreuse de Homard à la Reine
Aspic des Huîtres à la Biscaie
Cailles en Casserole à la Grand Veneur
Cotelettes de Prê-Salé à la Norvégienne
Epigrammes de Faisans á la Perigord
Barons of Beef
Perit Poulets tarcis aux marrons
Langues de Bæut à la Moderne
Patés de Gibier au fumet
Chaud-froid de fois gras de Strasbourg
Gelée aux Tangeriennes
Gelée aux Raisins
Charlotte de Russe
Tartelettes à la Biscottini
Caises de Milleiruits à la crème
Moet & Chandon
Dry Imperial, 1898
Gitt Mumms, 1898
La Rose, 1888
At very end the Lord Mayor first proposed the loyal toast and then proposed a toast to the health of the King and Queen of Norway. King Haakon replied and again thanked the Lord Mayor for the warm and friendly welcome. He then went on to propose a toast for the Lord Mayor and the Corporation. The Lord Mayor acknowledged the compliment and then the luncheon was over. It was time for the Royals to return to Windsor Castle and they were escorted by the Lord Mayor to their awaiting carriages. They again made their way through the streets of London to Paddington Railways Station from where they left at 3:30 by special train bound for Windsor. The reports in the newspapers end here. No mention of any official events in the evening, so it is very plausible that only a small family dinner concluded the third day of the State Visit.
Day 4 – More hunting and another grand Banquet
On the fourth day both Kings went hunting, mainly pheasants and rabbits. No official events had been scheduled. But it is safe to say that during both the hunts and also the time spent at the Castle nobody was left alone to be idle. The Norwegian Minister, Dr Nansen was also a guest of Their Majesties and stayed at the Castle during the official part of the State Visit. And several politicians and decision makers were present, both during the meals and other moments during the day. A lot of important issues concerning the newly independent Kingdom of Norway were surely discussed. One such issue was an assurance from the United Kingdom that they would come to the support of Norway should the country’s borders be violated. As a newly independent country it was important for Norway to get such an assurance as the independence could be precarious. The Norwegians were still fearful of an attack coming from the East, i.e. either from Russia or from Sweden.
As a nod to the visiting monarchs and their fellow countrymen Norwegian music was played during the Change of the Guard at the Castle.
More music was enjoyed in the evening after a second State Banquet. A concert was held in the Grand Reception Room for the Royal guests and those other present during the banquet. Those included foreign emissaries with the Swedish Minister Count Wrangel in the company of his wife and the Danish Minister Bille being two of them. Very little about the banquet has been revealed in the press reports apart from the rather obvious point of the British King escorting the Norwegian Queen and the Norwegian King escorting Queen Alexandra to the table. The wife of the Norwegian Minister, Mrs Nansen, had His Grace the Duke of Argyll to her left while Dr. Nansen escorted the Countess of Shaftesbury.
The valuable Gold Service was used to set the table.
Day 5 – Hunting, Family Dinner and Performance
Even though there was rain in the air the two Kings went out hunting. A lunch had been planned outside, but because of the weather the plans had to be changed and hunting party returned back to Windsor Castle for lunch.
That evening, after the Royal Families had dined alone in the Oak Room, they joined the rest of the guests, who had dined in the State Dining Room, in the Waterloo Gallery to watch a performance of “Robin Hood” by Mr Lewis Waller’s Company. Finally a “soupé” was served in St. George’s Hall to end the day.
Day 6 – More hunting, another family dinner and a concert – end of the official part of the visit
The morning of Saturday November 17th had been set aside for more hunting for the Kings. However, due to the heavy autumn rain the whole thing had to be cancelled. So the morning, and indeed the afternoon too, was spent inside Windsor Castle.
In the evening the Royal Family gathered for a family dinner in the Oak Room, while the entourage and members of the household dined in the State Dining Room. A concert followed, so it is more than likely that the ladies were again wearing beautiful jewellery. But so far it has not been possible to find any reports in the press describing what was worn.
While the Royal Families and their guests gathered for dinner that evening, a particular group also gathered for dinner in the centre of London. On the occasion of the visit of the King and Queen of Norway somebody came up with the idea of organizing a dinner for all the Norwegian seamen currently present in London. They cabled a message to Their Majesties and they received a reply from the Norwegian King thanking them for the kind message.
Day 7 – Church Service and the Royal Mausoleum
The last concert at Windsor Castle had marked the end of the official part of the visit. From Sunday onwards the visit was to take on a more private nature.
So, after the Church Service held in the chapel at Windsor Castle, the Royal guests visited the Royal Mausoleum to pay their respects. Then a visit was made to the Royal Gardens. Other than that it was a quiet day for the Royal Families, though the servants must have been up to their ears with chores to do. Everything had to be ready for the next day when the Royal Families were to move to Buckingham Palace.
Day 8 – Moving to Buckingham Palace
Some press reports had hinted at a delay in the change of residence. It was originally planned for Monday, but earlier in the week some newspapers had mentioned that it would instead be on Tuesday. Be that as it may, on Monday the King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the King and Queen of Norway travelled by train to London. They were accompanied by Princess Victoria and Crown Prince Olav. From the railway station they drove in procession to Buckingham Palace. It was a splendid sight even though both Kings were travelling in civilian clothes and not military uniforms.
Lunch was taken in the Palace and in the afternoon some visits were made and some shopping done.
In the evening Queen Alexandra and Queen Maud went to a Richter concert at Queen’s Hall.
Day 9 – Audiences
Most of the following day was spent at Buckingham Palace. King Haakon received deputations from various associations. The Norwegian Club, the Viking Club and the Royal Institute of Health had all asked to be received by the Norwegian King. A deputation from the Fishmonger’s Company was also given an audience.
That evening King Haakon went to the theatre.
The going-ons during their private visit
The following day was a rather quiet day, though King Haakon held a few audiences at the Palace. It was suggested that he had received Mr Edvard Grieg among others in some news reports. But those reports were later confirmed to be false as Mr Grieg was back in Norway residing at the Hotel Westminster in Oslo for an audience. The reports had been based on a simple misunderstanding. The King had indeed received a person with the name of Edward, but it was not the famous composer but instead Sir Edward Gray, who was at that time the British Minister of Foreign Affairs. Later in the evening some of the Royals went to the Gaiety Theatre.
On Thursday came what must have been seen as a highlight for many of the “ordinary” Norwegians present in the British capital. They had of course not been able to witness the grandeur of the banquets at the sheltered Windsor Castle. But this day the Norwegian Royal Couple were actually stepping out in public as a reception was held for the Norwegians living the United Kingdom. The venue was the elegant Hotel Ritz where lunch was first served and then a reception held where fellow countrymen were presented to Their Majesties.
The Royal Couple then later accompanied Queen Alexandra to the Royal Opera. In the Royal Party were also the Duke and Duchess of Connaught and their daughter Princess Patricia of Connaught.
In the morning of the day that would be their last at Buckingham Palace for a while the previous Lord Mayor of London and his sheriffs came to pay their respects and also to deliver the splendid Coronation gift from the people of England. Once the engagements at the Palace were over the Royal Party was again on the move. They now travelled up to Sandringham House where they would spend some time. Queen Maud was again able to stay at her beloved home on the British Isles: Appleton House. And certainly the Royal Couple – and Queen Maud especially – had expected to spend more time here than in the end they were able to. For the Norwegian Government it was seen as imperative that now that the State Visit to the United Kingdom was over a State Visit had to be made to one of the other European super powers: Germany. Somehow the Royal Couple themselves were not so keen. The German Emperor, “Cousin Willy”, was not exactly their favourite member of the extended family. There were talks of King Haakon paying the Emperor a visit on his own. In addition to the importance of visiting Germany as soon as possible another issue was raised with the Royal Couple. And this was the celebration of Christmas. The Royal Couple probably had counted on having to go to Germany and as such they could have stayed on in the United Kingdom and celebrated Christmas there. But this was not seen as a good move by the Norwegian Government. According to them, as the new King and Queen of Norway, the Royal Couple should celebrate Christmas in their new home: Norway. It would not seem “appropriate” that the Sovereign of the newly independent country would distance himself from his nation in this way. The King and Queen gave in and agreed that celebrating Christmas in Norway probably would send out a positive signal. They would then pay a visit to Germany on their way home to Norway. But first they would celebrate both the birthday of Queen Maud (November 26th) and the one of Queen Alexandra (December 1st) at Sandringham.
(1) Very few newspaper articles describes what the Royal Party waiting at Windsor Railway Station to welcome the Norwegian Royal Couple wore. And the few that do seem to suggest that King Edward was wearing the Sash of the Garter. However, this is not very likely. According to protocol, a way to honour the guests and the country they represent the host would be wearing the highest order of the guesting country if previously awarded. In the case of King Edward he was awarded the Order of St. Olav back in 1874. And from the very few illustrations made from the encounter at Windsor Railway Station the King is seen wearing a sash from the right shoulder to the left hip, so the opposite of how to wear the Order of the Garter but correct if he would be wearing the Order of St. Olav. It is thus more likely that he would be wearing the Norwegian order to welcome the Norwegian King rather than the English Order of the Garter. He probably would have worn the star of the Garter though, in addition to the Sash and Star of St Olav.