The Nobel Banquet
The solemnities of the Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo City Hall are followed by festivities. The Nobel Banquet is held at the Grand Hotel in the centre of Oslo on the evening of December 10. Some 250 guests in full dress are welcomed by the Nobel Committee before in due course finding their places at the round tables in the banqueting hall – laid for the occasion with the special Nobel dinner service – to enjoy a five-course gourmet meal.
The Laureate’s table is right in the middle of the hall. Seated with the Laureate are the Nobel Committee and its permanent secretary, the President of the Storting, the Prime Minister, and – since 2006 – the King and Queen. Other guests include Ministers, members of the Storting, and prominent representatives of public institutions, idealistic organizations, and cultural and commercial life.
Traditionally, three speeches are given at the Nobel Banquet. First, the deputy chairman of the Nobel Committee speaks in honour of the Laureate, often giving the address a humorous slant. The Laureate speaks second. Finally the President of the Storting delivers an after-dinner speech.
The Nobel Banquet was formerly held in alternate years at the Grand Hotel and Hotel Bristol, but is now always held at the Grand, which also has a special Nobel suite.