The King of Norway and leading Norwegian politicians are among those to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II following the death of the British monarch. The British Embassy in Oslo has opened a book of condolence.
Queen Elizabeth II, the UK's longest-serving monarch, has died aged 96. She passed away this afternoon at Balmoral Castle after reigning for 70 years. The news was announced by the BBC.
Queen Elizabeth II shared close ties with Norway. Her first foreign visit after becoming Queen was to Norway in 1955. There are also close family ties between the British and Scandinavian Royals.
There are more than 10,000 British citizens living and working in Norway. Leading figures in Norway have been quick to offer their thoughts.
Condolences from King Harald
“The Royal Family is deeply saddened to receive the news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has passed away,” read a statement on the website of the Royal Court.
“Our thoughts are with His Majesty The King and the members of the Royal Family on the loss of Queen Elizabeth,” said Norway's King Harald.
“For nearly a century, Her Majesty devoted her life to the service of the Commonwealth, following the British people through good days and bad, in times of happiness and sorrow. We also send our condolences to the British people,” he added.
On Friday morning, many Norwegian newspapers dedicated their front page as a memorial to the British monarch.
VG and Aftenposten were among the newspapers to feature a full-page image. Normally red, VG's masthead was printed in black and the cover featured the words: “15 prime ministers, 14 presidents, 7 popes, one queen.”
Prime minister sends his thoughts
Norway's prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre also sent his thoughts to Great Britain. He said that a “historic era and a long life in the service of Great Britain has come to an end.”
“For seven decades, she has represented continuity and unity, also in the close relationship between our two countries and our royal families. Our warmest thoughts now go to the many people in Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations who have lost a beloved monarch, and to the Queen's close family,” added Støre.
Reaction from leading Norwegian figures
NATO secretary general and former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg said on Twitter he was “deeply saddened” by the news.
“Over more than 70 years, she exemplified selfless leadership and public service. My deepest condolences to the Royal Family, to our NATO Allies the United Kingdom and Canada, and to the people of the Commonwealth, he added.
Former Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg offered her thoughts in a statement on Facebook:
“Queen Elizabeth has contributed to pride in happy times and to unity in troubled times. Both within and far beyond the UK's borders. I would say that in a way she has been the queen of the whole world and a safe grandmother.”
British Embassy in Oslo
Richard Wood, British Ambassador to Norway, thanked the King for his words.
The British Embassy in Oslo has announced that the Embassy will be open to the public in the days to come, for those who wish to sign a book of condolence.
We will update this article with more reaction from Norway as it comes.