King Harald and Queen Sonja spent several days visiting the Southern part of Chile as the end of their state visit. They weather allowed them to get on a boat trip and see the dramatic views of the southernmost part of the country near the Magellan straits, and the visit has been considered successful.
But there was also some actual drama as they were surrounded by demonstrators while walking over the town plaza in the city of Punta Arenas. The demonstrators were angry about Norwegian firms establishing fish farms in the country, and surrounded the visitors, who were unable to walk on. The royal couple were at no point in actual danger (apparently), but decided to try to defuse the tension by listening to representatives of the demonstrators, and let the Norwegian ambassador reply on their behalf.
Their car cortege was again surrounded the following day, but the demonstrators backed off after handing the Norwegian representative their petition.
More info (in English) on the visit to Punta Arenas: https://www.royalcourt.no/nyhet.html?tid=168544&sek=27262
and on the visit to the far south: https://www.royalcourt.no/nyhet.html?tid=168676&sek=27262
Majestic views of the Magellan straits
Picture NTB Scanpix
Queen Sonja with a demonstrator (and some worried-looking security guys)
The King and Queen stopped to speak with the Chileans protesting Norwegian aquaculture. Photo: Heiko Junge, NTB scanpix
Information (in English) and pictures on the Norwegian Royal website https://www.royalcourt.no/nyhet.html?tid=168406&sek=27262
The King and Queen were greeted by President Sebastián Piñera and the First Lady of Chile, Cecilia Morel Montes. Photo: Heiko Junge, NTB scanpix
King Harald laid a wreath at the monument commemorating Chile’s founding father, Bernardo O'Higgins. Photo: Heiko Junge, NTB scanpix
King Harald and Queen Sonja arrive in Santiago today for a five-day state visit to Chile, on the invitation of HE President Sebastian Pinera.
The official part of the programme starts tomorrow 27 March, with a welcoming ceremony, wreath laying at the Bernardo O´Higgins monument, an official luncheon, and visits to the Supreme Court and the Congress. In the evening, there will be a business dinner featuring Norwegian produce, “Taste of Norway”.
On Thursday, their Majesties will attend a business seminar, attend a ceremony marking the return artefacts and material from the Kon-Tiki Museum to Easter Island, meet representatives of the Norwegian community in Santiago, and host an official dinner for Chilean and Norwegian guests.
The following day the King and Queen will visit Punta Arenas in the Southern part of the country, where they will open a Chilean-Norwegian seminar on the Antarctic, attend a theme luncheon focusing on the Antarctic, visit KSAT, and (weather permitting) take a boating trip on the Strait of Magellan.
They return to Norway on March 31.