August 23, 2008

Sir Nils Penguin first winged knight

The king penguin known as Nils Olav waddled his way into history when he was knighted by the Royal Norwegian Guard. Sir Nils Olav resides at Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland, and is the world's first knight with wings.

King Penguin Sir Nils Olav inspects Royal Norwegian Guard in Edinburgh, Scotland
The knighting ceremony took place in Edinburgh on 15 August, just after Sir Nils inspected the visiting King's Guard regiment, in town for the annual Military Tattoo.

In a 2005 ceremony, Nils Olav had been made Colonel-in-Chief of the Guard. Just prior, he'd held the rank of honourable regimental sergeant major. Over the years, Sir Nils has worked his way up the ranks to become the highest-ranking bird in any armed or winged forces in the world.

King Penguin Sir Nils Olav, honorary member of Norwegian King's Guard, resides at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland.
Retired Guard Major Nils Egelien explains the king penguin's relationship with the Guard: "It all started in 1961, when the King's Guard of Norway came to the Military Tattoo, and we were very very interested in the king penguins. In 1972, we came back again, and adopted a king penguin in the name of Nils Olav, with the rank of lance corporal. . . . In 1982 he was a corporal, in '87 a sergeant, and in 1993 a regimental sergeant major."

The current Nils Olav is actually the second king penguin to be adopted by the Guards. The first penguin died in 1987 and was replaced by the then two-year-old Nils, now the world's most famous penguin.

There's a bronze statue of Sir Nils at the Edinburgh Zoo. Another was supposed to be made for Norwegian King Harald V. Does anybuddy know if the king fur a king statue exists?

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