Nils Olav, an Edinburgh Zoo penguin and Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King's Guard, an elite unit tasked with protecting the Norwegian royal family, inspects soldiers of his regiment as they visit him in Edinburgh, Scotland, Friday Aug. 15, 2008, where he was presented with a medal
Here we go again with one of those stories so bizarre to be hard to believe, those ones that makes me happy about writing this blog. First of all, if you have thought about Norwegian people as particular serious folks maybe now you'll change your mind:
This is a story of a penguin called Nils Olav waddled into the history books Friday when he was knighted by a visiting royal Norwegian regiment in Scotland. The king penguin became the first black-and-white pint-sized Norwegian Sir with wings after inspecting the Norwegian King's Guard, over for Edinburgh's annual Military Tattoo. Nils Olav already has medals for good conduct and long service. He made honorary colonel-in-chief of the elite Norwegian King's Guard in 2005. And on Friday he was knighted. Not bad for a 3-foot tall penguin. Nils Olav was made an honorary member of the King's Guard in 1972 after being picked out as the guard's mascot by lieutenant Nils Egelien. The king penguin was named after Egelien and Norway's then-King Olav V.
The knighthood ceremony began Friday morning with speeches and a fanfare before Nils arrived, under escort with the King's Guard Color Detachment. Nils then reviewed the troops lined up outside the penguin enclosure at the zoo, waddling down the row of uniformed soldiers, occasionally stopping to crane his neck and peer inquisitively at their crisp uniforms. Nils was then knighted by British Maj. Gen. Euan Loudon on behalf of Norway's King Harald V. Loudon dropped the king's sword on both sides of Nils's black-and-white frame, and the penguin's colonel-in-chief badge, tied to his flipper, was swapped for one symbolizing his knighthood. He's a "Sir" now..
Deadline Press & Picture Agency
King penguin Nils Olav walks past soldiers from the Norwegian King's Guard after he was given a Knighthood at Edinburgh Zoo August 15, 2008
To tell the truth Nils Olav is not a penguin but three..
When the first penguin died he was replaced by a second penguin, who inherited Nils Olav's name and rank.
The current Nils Olav, the third penguin to serve as the guards' mascot, was promoted from honorable regimental sergeant major to honorary colonel-in-chief in 2005. So its complete name should be Sir Nils Olav III, Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King's Guard...
Sir Nils Olav III, Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King's Guard