NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Norwegian royal visit to Orkney is first official Scottish engagement

Crown Prince and Princess of Norway

Norway's Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit are visiting Orkney on their their first official engagement in Scotland.

The annual St Magnus International Festival has chosen 2017 to mark the anniversary of Orkney's patron saint St Magnus's death 900 years ago.

The visit is aimed at celebrating the historical and cultural ties between Orkney and Norway.

The royal couple will take part in a number of engagements over the weekend.

Harvey Johnston, convener of Orkney Islands Council, said: "Orkney's ties with Norway are long and enduring and I am sure that the royal couple will feel a genuine affinity for the islands during their visit."

Shared history

Leslie Burgher, honorary consul for Norway in Orkney, said: "It is in recognition of the importance that is attached to our shared history with Norway that their Royal Highnesses have agreed to come and mark the 900th anniversary.

"The trip has already created considerable interest in Norway and we look forward to giving our royal visitors a flavour of Orkney's produce, culture and history during their stay."

Orkney's historical ties to Norway date back to when the islands were populated by Norwegians in the late 700s.

Norway's National Day - 17 May - is celebrated in the islands and at Christmas a tree is delivered to Orkney as a gift from Norway.

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