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Royal house expert wants constitutional amendment – law professor calls it a non-problem

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Princess Ingrid Alexandra was allowed to be with her father Crown Prince Haakon and grandfather King Harald at work when she participated in the Cabinet meeting in connection with her 18th birthday. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB

Of NTB | 26.04.2024 06:33:06

Policy: In a chronicle in Aftenposten Trond Norén Isaksen attacks an issue that appeared for the first time in 17 years on 19 April.

At the same time as the king was sick, Crown Prince Haakon was on his way home from the USA. The government thus had to hold a cabinet without a regent for the first time since 2007. It is allowed to do so according to section 41 of the Constitution. Later in the day, when the crown prince was safely back on Norwegian soil, an additional cabinet was held to appoint new ministers.

– In Norway, for the first time since 1905, there is now an adult heir to the throne in the second generation, but at the age of 20, Ingrid Alexandra does not have the opportunity to act as regent, he writes.

– Such a change will make the monarchy more efficient, reduce the pressure on the often double-working crown prince and also give Princess Ingrid Alexandra valuable experience for her future as head of state.

– This is about creating more monarchy. I think that is probably quite far in the Storting, also because the Constitution already has a well-functioning system for such cases, says Holmøyvik to NTB.

He points out that the monarch has a formal and mainly ceremonial role in today’s cabinet. The decisions that the King in the Cabinet of Ministers writes off are in reality already taken in advance of the government.

Nor does Holmøyvik believe that there is any danger of abuse or a lack of legal certainty that would require a royal signature.

– It is only for the sake of pomp and splendor. There are many things about the Constitution that we need to change before this.

However, the royal house expert will change this paragraph. Trond Norén Isaksen believes that section 41 must be changed so that the heir to the throne’s first-born can also act as regent.

Law professor Eirik Holmøyvik at the University of Bergen is an expert on the Constitution, and is very skeptical about both whether the constitutional amendment is necessary and whether it can be implemented. To amend the Constitution, a two-thirds majority in the Storting and an intermediate parliamentary election are needed.

– From that perspective, there is neither a practical nor a legal need for the number two in the line of succession to be able to step in as regent. There, the Constitution has rules for the government to adopt royal resolutions only in these very special cases, says the professor.

(© NTB)

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