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Ghana crown jewels stolen in Oslo

Ghana's King Otomfuo Osei Tutu II has had baggage that his country's embassy confirmed contained crown jewels stolen in Oslo, Norwegian police said on Friday.

"On Wednesday around 1pm, a suitcase belonging to the king of Ghana was stolen in the lobby of a hotel (the Radisson Blue Plaza)", Inspector Marius Erlandssen, in charge of the investigation, told AFP.

The suitcase was at the top of the pile of luggage belonging to the Ashanti sovereign and his entourage when it was taken, he added.

"His personal belongings have great value to him … (above all) sentimental value since they have been in his family for a long time," Erlandsssen said, while declining to confirm press reports that the luggage contained jewellery.

However the tabloid Verdens Gang quoted the king's secretary, Kofi Owusu Boateng, as saying, "Anyone who carries something of great personal value with them realises that it is a great loss if it's stolen.

"And for those who know our tradition, it is clear that these crown jewels have a tremendous value."

Ghana's embassy in Copenhagen, which is also accredited in Norway, told AFP that Norwegian press reports that the suitcase contained jewellery were correct, but declined to comment further.

"We have video footage of a man leaving (the hotel) with the suitcase. We are working on identifying him. There might be other people involved," Erlandssen said.

King Otomfuo Osei Tutu II is in Oslo to attend a conference organized by the Norwegian-African Business Association on Friday. He arrived in the Norwegian capital on Wednesday and is scheduled to leave on Saturday.

The Ashanti monarch, one of Ghana's most traditional tribal leaders, is one of the country's most revered figureheads and the government regularly consults with him. Ghana became a republic in 1960, three years after gaining independence.

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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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