Norway’s King and Queen Begin Visit to Italy

  April 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm by

King Harald V and Queen Sonja have begun their state visit to Italy today, spending the day meeting with the country’s President, Prime Minister and other government ministers.

The couple were welcomed at the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome for the official welcoming ceremony by President Sergio Mattarella and his daughter Laura. The two heads of state inspected the traditional military guard of honour, before heading inside for an audience. The Queen’s bright read outfit allowed her to stand out from the backdrop of both the outside and inside of the Palazzo.

During their meeting, King Harald and President Mattarella spoke of the current refugee crisis facing Europe, and praised the efforts of each other’s countries to the press afterwards.

A lunch was then hosted at the Palazzo Chigi, residence of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Much was made in the Italian and Norwegian media about a supposed ‘breach of protocol’ when the Prime Minister was first to extend his hand for a handshake towards King Harald upon meeting, but apparently the duo shook hands earlier according to the Norwegian spokesperson accompanying the King and Queen.

During the afternoon visits to the Italian Senate and the Chamber of Deputies were made.

In the evening, President Mattarella hosted a state dinner in honour of the visiting royals. For the dinner, Queen Sonja wore a purple gown featuring both lace and ruffles, paired with the smaller version of Queen Maud’s Pearl and Diamond Tiara. Sonja has never been one to shy away from bright colours (the Big Bird dress anyone?) nor mixing elements that others would deem ‘perhaps a little too much’.

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One Response to Norway’s King and Queen Begin Visit to Italy

  1. Alessandro Drago says:

    Dear Sirs, surely I am not aware of all the subtleties of the royal etiquette, but I think that normal good education should come first than some funny medieval rules. To deny to shake hands for so petty reasons seems to me not just an insult to common sense, but also to our Prime Minister who represents our Country. I am sure that most people in Norway, including some good friends of mine, are not so happy about such an arrogant attitude.

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