The Norwegian flag wavered alongside the Malaysian one throughout Putrajaya, and Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were smiling brightly when the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife officially welcomed them to Malaysia. The couple arrived from Norway yesterday but it was not until today that they attended the first of many events in the area.
On this bright and sunny day, there were no flashes as the couple arrived and got out of their car with tinted windows, but the sound of clicking cameras among the present members of the press was unmistaken. The focus remained on the couple throughout the ceremony but the camera noise died away as a Malaysian military marching band took over and saluted as well as greeted the royals.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon then showed his respect to the soldiers as he walked past each and every one of them before disappearing into the residence of the Prime Minister – the great palace of Dataran Perdana.
Next on the list was a visit and audience with the Malaysian King Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the Royal palace Istana Negara in central KL. The visit was a brief one and soon the Norwegians were off to their next appointment in their busy and tightly packed schedule.
At the Mandarin Oriental Hotel where they will be staying during their visit in Malaysia Their Royal Highnesses met with the press for a short photo session and comments about their impression of KL so far. After that, they went back to Putrajaya where they attended a dinner hosted by the Prime Minister.
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will be in Kuala Lumpur until Wednesday 10th March. Over the past couple of weeks there have been speculations as to whether Mette-Marit would be able to travel to Malaysia because of her severe neck problems. During today’s events however, both she and the Crown Prince seemed fine and in high spirits.
She has not fully recovered though and therefore her participation in the program for the coming days has been limited. That means that she will most likely not be delivering a speech at the opening of the gender equality seminar tomorrow afternoon at the KL Convention Centre. The Crown Prince will take over for her and he will also be speaking at other events and seminars during the day.
Read also the report from Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama:
New Straits Times has previously published this interview with the Crown Prince Couple in Oslo:
Reports in Norwegian press:
NRK: Nekter å snakke om uenighetene
Dabladet: Varsler tøffere krav til handelspartnere
Aftenposten: På tur for norsk næringsliv
rb.no: Kronprinsparet til Malaysia