The procedures surrounding the State Opening of the Storting may be traced back to the election of the King at Eidsvoll in 1814. There, the King was escorted by trusted officials, and – like today – his entourage took their positions alongside the King on the podium. The procession of senior officials consists of the Government’s guests. When the King arrives at the Storting, he is received by a deputation comprising seven Members of the Storting, who accompany the King for the duration of his stay on the premises.
Article 74 of the Constitution relates to the State Opening of the Storting. This article states that as soon as the Storting has been constituted, proceedings shall be opened by the King, or whoever he appoints for the purpose. The King makes a speech during the Opening informing the Storting about the matters that are to receive particular attention in the time ahead. The Constitution also states that no deliberations may take place in the presence of the King. It is for this reason that the President does not recommend that the Speech from the Throne be submitted for deliberation, or that the sitting be adjourned, until after the King has left the building.
The full order of the day for the State Opening of the Storting is as follows:
1. When His Majesty the King is ready to be received, the President of the Storting takes his seat and declares the sitting of the Storting lawfully called to order.
2. The procession enters the Storting Chamber. The Members of the Storting remain seated.
3. The King and the royal entourage enter the Chamber. Everyone rises when they appear at the entrance to the Chamber.
4. The first verse of the Royal Anthem (Kongesangen) is sung.
5. The King reads the Speech from the Throne.
6. The King and the Members of the Storting take their seats.
7. The State of the Realm Address is read by the responsible Minister. The King and the Members of the Storting remain seated.
8. The King and the Members of the Storting then rise and the Prime Minister presents the State of the Realm Address to the King.
9. The President comes forward and receives the Speech from the Throne and the State of the Realm Address from the King.
10. The President speaks, closing with the traditional words “May God preserve our King and country”, joined by the Members of the Storting.
11. The first verse of the National Anthem (Ja, vi elsker) is sung.
12. The King and royal entourage leave the Chamber. Everyone remains standing until the procession of senior officials has also left the Chamber.
13. The Secretary General of the Storting enters and bows to the President to indicate that the King has left the Storting premises.
14. Before the sitting is adjourned, the President recommends that the Speech from the Throne and the State of the Realm Address be submitted for deliberation at a subsequent sitting.
15. The sitting of the Storting is adjourned