Penguin Knighted in Norway

Posted Aug 17, 2008 by Carolyn Neblett
Nils Olav, a 3-foot tall king penguin, was knighted on Friday. This is in addition to his medals for good conduct and long service. In 2005, he made honorary colonel-in-chief of the elite Norwegian King’s Guard.
The name Nils Olav actually covers three penguins. The original, a resident of Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland, 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 guards then adopted him since they often toured the zoo during their visits to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, an annual military music festival.
The penguin was named after Egelien and Norway’s then-King Olav V. When the penguin died, he was replaced by a second penguin, who inherited the name and rank.
The knighthood ceremony for the third penguin to take the namesake began Friday morning with speeches before Nils arrived. Nils then waddled down the row of uniformed soldiers guided by his handler.
Nils was then knighted by British Major General Euan Loudon on behalf of Norway’s King Harald V.