On the occasion of the centenary of the peaceful dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway, there will be a Flag Ceremony and Service of Thanksgiving on
Tuesday, the 7th June 2005 at 11a.m.
In the presence of the Norwegian Ambassador, Mr Tarald Brautaset, the Veteran Norwegian Royal Guard will perform a Drill Display and a Flag Raising Ceremony at 11am in the quadrangle of the City Chambers. The ceremony will be followed by a Service of Thanksgiving in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh by the Very Revd. Gilleasbuig Macmillan and Revd. Thorbjørn Holt.
7th June - Background information
The Union between Norway and Sweden was established in 1814 following the Peace of Kiel which ended almost 400 years of Danish rule. The King of Sweden also became King of Norway. However, Norway established internal self-rule, based on its own constitution, adopted on 17 May 1814.
Towards the end of the 19th century the struggle for full independence intensified. On 7 June 1905, the Norwegian Storting (parliament) unilaterally decided no longer to recognise King Oscar II as King of Norway, thus dissolving the Union. A referendum overwhelmingly supported the decision taken by the Storting.
A period with tension building up in both countries followed. But through negotiations between Norwegian and Swedish representatives a mutually agreed formula for a peaceful ending of the union was reached in Karlstad (Sweden). On 26 October 1905 Sweden officially recognised Norway as an independent and separate state. The British government formally recognised Norway four days later, on 30 October 1905. The union between the two countries had lasted for 91 years.
A second referendum decided to establish a monarchy. Prince Carl of Denmark accepted the offer to become king and took on the Norwegian crown under the name of Haakon VII. He was married to Maud, daughter of King Edward VII. With their young son, Olav, the new royal family arrived in Norway on 25 November 1905.