Photo: Thea Gunnes.Photo: Thea Gunnes

History of the Norwegian Embassy in London

Since 1949 the office of the Norwegian Embassy has been located at 25 Belgrave Square.

Norway regained its national independence from a 90-year union with Sweden in 1905. The peaceful dissolution of the union was the result of negotiations between the two countries. A few months later, in 1906, the Royal Norwegian Legation was established in London. Until the second world war, Norway's bilateral diplomatic missions were called legations and the diplomatic envoy had the title of minister. Since 1945 the missions have been called embassies and the heads of missions have been appointed as ambassadors.

The first minister appointed to the London post was Dr. Fridtjof Nansen. He had by then already spent some time in London successfully soliciting British support for Norwegian independence. Being a man of considerable international reputation and extremely well connected in the British capital, he was the obvious choice as the first Norwegian envoy in London, where he served from 1906 to 1908.

Today, the London Embassy is among Norway's largest bilateral missions with representatives from several ministries. The Embassy has a staff of 29, not including the Innovation Norway office, which is located at Charles House, Lower Regent Street.

WW II the Norwegian royal family and government sought refuge in Britain following the German Nazi occupation of Norway in 1940. London therefore became the centre for support by the king and government to the resistance movement, and also the headquarter for Norway's participation in the joint allied war effort. Britain naturally became Norway's closest ally. After the war, the two countries were among the founding members of NATO.

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