King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway certainly know how to throw a party! The royal couple are holding two days of celebrations this week in honour of their 80th birthdays, attended by a huge number of royals from across Europe. Representing the UK on the glittering guest list is the Countess of Wessex, who stole the show as she stepped out for a gala dinner on Tuesday evening. Prince Edward's wife was dressed in a beautiful emerald green gown, and looked every bit the belle of the ball as she arrived on the arm of Icelandic President Gudni Johannesson for the glamorous event in Oslo.
The Countess of Wessex made a glamorous appearance at the birthday gala dinner
Sophie was in good company at the gala. Other royal representatives included Queen Margrethe, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark. The Swedish royal family were out in force too; King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and pregnant Princess Sofia, who is expecting her second baby, were also in attendance. Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, and King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands were also at the celebrations, as was Prince Albert of Monaco.
A host of European royals attended the celebrations, including King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
The reason for the impressive royal gathering is the King and Queen's 80th birthdays – King Harald celebrated his in February, while wife Sonja's is in July. The highlight for spectators came just ahead of the gala dinner when all of the families stepped out onto the balcony at Oslo palace to greet the public, as the crowds below sang Happy Birthday to the King and Queen. The royals then returned inside to sit down for the banquet, where they dined on king crab, salmon tartar with grilled cucumber, oyster-maize and radishes to start, followed by calf with peas, green and white asparagus for main, and a dessert of limestone and oxalis mousse with lemon and gingerbread, according to Royal Central. On Wednesday, the guests are set to enjoy a lunchtime cruise on the Norweigen royal ship followed by a mini cruise in the Oslo Fjord, before attending a big dinner at the Norwegian Opera.
The families delighted crowds by stepping out in force on the balcony of the palace