Until the completion of the Palace, members of the Bernadotte dynasty resided in Paleet, a magnificent town house in Christiania bequeathed to the State in 1805 to be used as a royal residence. King Charles III of Norway never saw his Palace completed, but his successors Oscar I, Charles IV and Oscar II used it regularly during their stays in Christiania (now Oslo). They spent most of their time in their Swedish capital Stockholm, but tried to spend some months in Norway every year. Oscar II was a frequent visitor, but preferred to use his seaside villa at Bygdøy during his summer holidays, while his Queen Sophia mostly stayed at the country residence of Skinnarbøl near the Swedish border for the sake of her health. Oscar II was absent from his Palace during 1905, the year of the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden, but his son, Crown Prince Gustaf, paid two short visits in his vain attempts to save the union.
The Bernadotte dynasty resigned their Norwegian throne in 1905 and was succeeded by the Danish prince Carl, who took the name of Haakon VII when he accepted his election as king of completely independent Norway. He was the first monarch to use the Palace as his permanent residence. The palace was designed by the Danish-born architect Hans Ditlev Franciscus Linstow (1787-1851). The project was initiated in the Norwegian parliament in 1821, the foundation stone was laid down by the king in 1825, and the building was completed in 1849, during the reign of Oscar I.
During the reign and residence of King Olav V from 1957 to 1991, the Royal Palace was not renovated and insufficiently kept up. When the current monarch, King Harald V, started a comprehensive renovation project, it was criticized due to the amount of money needed to bring the Palace up to a satisfactory state. Since public tours began in 2002, the general public has been able to view and appreciate the renovation and splendour the palace now boasts.
- List of official residences