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UTOEYA

Prince Charles meets massacre survivors

Britain's Prince Charles on Tuesday met survivors of Norway's island massacre last year as he and his wife Camilla visited Oslo as part of a Scandinavian tour.

The prince had requested the meeting with several survivors of the July 22nd killings on Utøya island, where right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik shot dead 69 people, mainly teenagers attending a summer camp.

The now 33-year-old Breivik, who has said he was on a crusade against multi-culturalism and Europe's "Muslim invasion", had earlier set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people.

Prince Charles lost his grand uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten, with whom he was close, in a 1979 attack by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

The meeting took place behind closed doors at the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, in the presence of Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja.

Before the meeting with the Utøya survivors, including the head of the Labour Party youth movement which had organised the summer camp, Eskil Pedersen, the prince laid a wreath at the national monument in Oslo.

He also held talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, but they made no public statements.

On Wednesday, Prince Charles is set to visit Norway's second largest city, the picturesque Hanseatic port of Bergen, where he is scheduled to visit a marine research ship and a Norwegian Royal Navy frigate.

On Thursday, he and Camilla continue their Nordic tour, first travelling to Sweden, followed by a visit to Denmark.

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ROYAL

Has King Harald snubbed Sweden’s royal wedding?

Norway’s King Harald is not attending the wedding of “Europe’s coolest royal couple” Sofia Hellqvist and Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip on Saturday, leaving Scandinavian royal watchers puzzled.

Has King Harald snubbed Sweden's royal wedding?
Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip marry on Saturday in Stockholm. Photo: Swedish Court
According to the Norwegian Royal Court, Queen Sonja is scheduled to attend the wedding along with Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and Princess Märtha-Louise and her husband Ari Behn. 
 
However, Harald himself will be absent. 
 
“The King has another private engagement, and will not be at the wedding,” a court spokesperson told Dagbladet. 
 
The spokesperson would not clarify whether Harald had been invited or not.
 
Last year, Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustav ruffled Norwegian feathers by at first declining to attend the bicentenary of the Norwegian constitution. 
 
He later relented and attended the ceremony on May 17. 
 
Kjell Arne Totland, a Royal expert with TV2 told Dagbladet that it was quite common for Norway’s King and Queen to attend events alone. 
 
“In April Harald went alone to Copenhagen for the 75th birthday of Queen Margrethe,” he said. “Both King and Queen were invited both to there and to Stockholm, but this time it is the king who has other plans for the weekend.” 
 
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