The award ceremony

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in a solemn ceremony in the Oslo City Hall on December 10. Seated on the podium are the Laureate, the Nobel Committee and its permanent secretary. Maintaining a tradition that goes back to 1905, the ceremony is attended by members of the Royal Family. The rows of seats behind the Royal Family are occupied by representatives of the Government, the Storting, the Corps Diplomatique and other specially invited guests.

It has become a further tradition for the award ceremony to take place in a setting of speeches and artistic performances. In the first speech, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee gives a presentation of the Laureate and accounts for the Committee's choice. The chairman then calls on the Laureate to come forward and be presented with the Nobel Diploma and the Nobel Medal. In addition, the Laureate receives a large sum of money (currently 10 million Swedish crowns), but this is dealt with separately and does not form part of the ceremony. The presentation of the award is followed by the Laureate's speech, the so-called Nobel Lecture. This gives the Laureate the opportunity to deliver a full and personal statement of his or her peace message.

The award ceremony has not always taken place in the City Hall. In the earliest years, from 1901 to 1904, the award was presented in the Storting. From 1905 up to and including 1946 (there were no awards in the war years), the presentation took place at the Nobel Institute. From 1947 to 1989, the ceremony was held in the Aula of the University of Oslo. When even that auditorium gradually became too small, the ceremony was moved to the Oslo City Hall. It has room for about 1,000 guests in addition to press and television teams.

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Award ceremony 1905

(© The Norwegian Nobel Institue)

The first Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in the Nobel Hall of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in 1905. The newly elect King Haakon VII is seated in the middle of the first row.

Award ceremony

(© Photo: Odd-Steinar Tølefsen / The Norwegian Nobel Institute)

From the award ceremony in the Oslo City Hall in 2006.