Sir Nils Olav: Norway's Colonel-in-Chief of Royal Guard is King Penguin

    Norway has a king penguin called Sir Nils Olav as Colonel-in-Chief of their royal guard.

    Sir Nils Olav is Colonel-in-Chief of Norway's Royal Guard. The one thing that you wouldn't expect, however, is that Nils is actually a king penguin who lives in Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland.

    Originally starting his career as the Royal Guard's mascot, he rose in ranks over the years. He went from corporal in 1982 to Sergeant in 1987, Regimental Sergeant Major in 1993 to Honourable Regimental Sergeant Major in 2001, until finally he was promoted to Colonel-in-Chief in 2005.

    Nils was named after the organiser of the adoption, Major Nils Egelien, and Norway's then-King Olav.

    In 2008, Nils was even presented with a knighthood by King Harald V, the King of Norway, in a lavish ceremony that was attended by hundreds of people, including 130 Guardsmen. According to the zoo, Nils was on his best behavior all day and "stood proud" as he was knighted.

    Edinburgh Zoo and Norway have had good relations for many years and Nils is held in high regard amongst Norwegian Guardsman. He is visited every few years by the Guardsmen while they are performing at Edinburgh's Military Tattoo.

    Do you like this fact?