Princess envy

The progressive royals of Scandinavia may enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle than their counterparts in the UK, but the public still wants its money's worth.

And according to Monday’s Expressen, Norwegian royal-watchers have been casting envious glances towards Öland where Crown Princess Victoria celebrates her birthday every year.

“Victoria Day,” gushed the paper, “has become an accepted Swedish summer tradition where the whole population can celebrate its Crown Princess”.

How many of them actually do join in the celebrations is unclear, but it seems that the day’s increasing profile has reminded Norwegians that they also have an heir to the throne with a summer birthday. The problem is, Crown Prince Haakon, who turned 31 on July 20th, prefers to go to Greece for his big day.

But he might be celebrating at home next year. A four-page report in the Norwegian magazine Se&Hørs implored him to “be more like Victoria” and the editor claims to have been flooded with emails from readers yearning for a ‘Haakon Day’.

“Victoria Day is absolutely fantastic – we’re very jealous of you,” Trond Stenåsen told Expressen. “It’s a big public party where your Victoria meets the people from morning until evening.”

It sounds as though being a royal is a dog’s life – especially if you happen to be a royal dog. And, as it happens, Expressen’s royal story on Tuesday centred on the crown canines, Jambo the labrador and Zila the Slovakian Hound.

Apparently they’re having a great time with the royal family at Solliden on Öland. “The king has always had a good eye for dogs and often they accompany the family on holiday,” said the palace information assistant Morgan Gerle.

“On Öland there are lots of opportunities to both play and exercise,” added the paper, although it didn’t clarify whether this was for the benefit of the dogs or the king.