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Nils Olav

Nils Olav

These socks celebrate Nils Olav (1972-1987), the first king penguin to join the Norwegian Army.

The unit adopted Nils as a lance corporal in 1972 and, seemingly unaware of his unprecedented status, Nils climbed through the ranks swiftly.

His successor, Nils Olva II, continued the legacy, receiving a knighted by King Harald V, who commented humbly that the penguin was “in every way qualified” for the honour.

Coming from his unconventional beginnings in Edinburgh Zoo, very few would have predicted Nils Olav would reach Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King’s Guard. He achieved the impossible – and did so with much grace and humility

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