14 Invested with the Order of the Falcon

president of iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson awarded 14 individuals with the Order of the Falcon at the presidential residence, Bessastaðir, this New Year’s Day.

The award is the highest public honour in Iceland and is given out twice annually, on New Year’s Day, and June 17, Iceland’s National Day. The Order of the Falcon recognizes contributions to Icelandic society in a number of fields, including charity, scholarship, art, science, and leadership. The award is Iceland’s only order of chivalry and was founded in 1921 by King Christian X of Denmark.

Among the recipients of the order this year include actress Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir for her contributions to drama and television, epidemiologist Unnur Anna Valdimarsdóttir for her research, and systems engineer Örn S. Kaldalóns for his promotion of the Icelandic language in the tech sector.

A full list of this year’s recipients can be found here, in Icelandic.


President Presents Optimism Award, Invests Twelve With Order of Falcon

Twelve people were invested with the order of the Falcon at a reception at the Bessastaðir presidential residence on New Year’s Day. Shortly before Christmas, the order council passed a motion to present the badge in the same manner regardless of the recipient’s gender. A day later, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson awarded the Icelandic Optimism Award to poet and writer Fríða Ísberg.

Until now, women invested with the Order of the Falcon have worn a knight’s cross or a grand knight’s cross on a bow but men on a ribbon. On December 5, 2021, the order council passed President of Iceland’s Guðni Th. Jóhannesson’s motion to make the ribbon the same for people of all genders.

All recipients now wear Iceland’s Order of the Falcon on a ribbon, regardless of gender.

The order is Iceland’s only order of chivalry, founded by King Christian x of Denmark, grandfather to the current queen of Denmark, in 1921 when he and queen Alexandrine visited Iceland. It was created and presented for the first time on July 3. With the foundation of the Republic of Iceland in 1944, the President of Iceland became the Grand Master of the Order of the Falcon.

The Icelandic Optimism Award was formerly known as Brøste’s Optimism Award, founded by the Danish Peter Brøste in 1981. Fríða has worked as a writer for a long time despite her young age. Fríða was nominated for the Nordic Literary Prize for her first short story collection, and despite only publishing her debut novel Merking a few months ago, her books already have been or are set to be translated into 14 different languages.

The twelve people invested with the Order of the Falcon on January 1, 2022:

  1. Professor Áslaug Geirsdóttir, Reykjavík, for her work in the field of geology and climate research.
  2. Bjarni Felixson, former sports reporter, Reykjavík, for his work in the field of sports, social affairs, and communication.
  3. Writer Gerður Kristný Guðjónsdóttir, Reykjavík, For her contribution to Icelandic literature.
  4. Entrepreneur Haraldur Ingi Þorleifsson, Reykjavík, for his work in the field of innocation and social affairs.
  5. Education Specialist Jóhanna Guðrún Kristjánsdóttir, Flateyri, for her contribution to education and culture in her region.
  6. Family Physician Katrín Fjeldsted, Reykjavík, for her contribution to healthcare and social affairs in addition to her public service.
  7. Designer Kristín Þorkelsdóttir, Kópavogi, for her pioneering work in the field of design and contribution to art.
  8. Ólafía Jakobsdóttir, former mayor, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, for ehr work in the field of nature conservation and cultural affairs in her region.
  9. Musician and composer Sigurður Flosason, Reykjavík, for his contribution to jazz music and work in music education.
  10. Professor emeritus and Head Civil Engineer Sigurjón Arason, Kópavogur, for research and development in seafood production.
  11. Ambassador Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Reykjavík, for public service.
  12. Professor Emeritus Trausti Valsson, Reykjavík, for his contribution to planning studies and national discourse.



Fourteen Awarded Order of the Falcon

Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson awarded 14 individuals with the Order of the Falcon yesterday, June 17 (Icelandic National Day). The Order of the Falcon is the only chivalric order in Iceland, originally founded by King Christian X of Denmark and Iceland on July 3, 1921. Honorees are selected by the President of Iceland and a five-member council.

This year’s recipients include ornithologist and falcon enthusiast Ólafur Karl Neilsen for his research into Icelandic birdlife; former Governor of the Central Bank Már Guðmundsson for his work on behalf of the government; producer and activist Rakel Garðarsdóttir for her efforts on raising awareness of food waste and environmental issues; and filmmaker Egill Eðvarsson, for his contributions to television programming and Icelandic cinema.

Complete List of Honorees:

  1. Már Guðmundsson, economist and former Governor of the Central Bank
  2. Dagný Kristjánsdóttir, professor of Icelandic literature
  3. Edda Jónsdóttir, visual artist and gallerist
  4. Egill Eðvarðsson, filmmaker
  5. Felix Valsson, anaesthetist and intensive care physician
  6. Jón Kristinn Cortez, choir director and music instructor
  7. Lára Stefánsdóttir, headmaster
  8. Margrét Kristmannsdóttir, former Deputy Chair of SA (Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise)
  9. Ólafur Flóvenz, geologist
  10. Ólafur Karl Nielsen, ornithologist and Chair of BirdLife Iceland
  11. Páll Halldórsson, pilot-in-command
  12. Rakel Garðarsdóttir, activist
  13. Rósa Björg Jónsdóttir, library and information specialist
  14. Þorbjörg Helgadóttir, former dictionary editor at the Arnamagnæan Institute in Copenhagen.


The award is bestowed twice a year, on January 1 and June 17.

Iceland’s COVID-19 “Trifecta” Invested with Order of the Falcon

COVID-19 Iceland

Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason, Director of Health Alma Möller, and Director of Civil Protection Víðir Reynisson were invested with the Order of the Falcon by Iceland’s President yesterday. The order is a recognition of the trio’s work preventing the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in Iceland. The three have become known as þríeykið (the trifecta) among the Icelandic public, and have been highly praised for their leadership of Iceland’s successful response to the novel coronavirus. Iceland currently has 5 active cases of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Border Screening Going Well

The trifecta held a briefing in Reykjavík today to review Iceland’s newly-started initiative of screening travellers entering the country for COVID-19. Both Icelandic residents and foreigners can opt for a COVID-19 test upon arrival to Iceland or to undergo a 14-day quarantine. A total of 2,332 travellers were tested at the border between Monday and Wednesday, five of whom tested positive (not all five infections were active).

In the briefing, Þórólfur stated that these numbers were more or less what authorities had expected. He added that although screening had gone well overall, there had been a few hiccups, mostly in communicating test results to travellers. Authorities are working on shortening the wait time for results so that all those arriving through Keflavík Airport have their results within 12 hours and those arriving at other entry points within 24 hours.

Alma expressed her concern regarding an approaching nurses’ strike, as nurses are employed both in border testing and contact tracing. She stated that if the strike does occur, it is clear that authorities would need to apply for an exception in order to continue screening.

Thanked the Teams Behind Them

When asked how they felt about being invested with the Order of the Falcon, Víðir, Þórólfur, and Alma all stated they had accepted the award on behalf of the teams that have been working hard to contain the spread of the coronavirus, who are not visible to the public but have been crucial in the fight against COVID-19 in Iceland.

Sixteen Receive Order of the Falcon

Order of the Falcon

Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson invested 16 individuals with the Order of the Falcon yesterday. The award is conferred for contributions to Icelandic society in a variety of areas. The president invests around one dozen Icelandic citizens with the Order of the Falcon twice a year, on January 1 and June 17 (Icelandic National Day). It is also conferred on a few foreign nationals each year.

This year’s recipients include several well-known figures, such as RÚV news anchor Bogi Ágústsson, who was awarded for his contribution to media and Nordic co-operation. Actress Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, star of 2018 film Woman at War, was awarded for her contribution to Icelandic drama. Musician Jakob Frímann Magnússon, keyboardist and one of the founders of Icelandic rock back Stuðmenn, was also awarded yesterday for his contribution to Icelandic music.

Tatjana Latinovic, recently elected Chairperson of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, was awarded for her contribution to the business sector, equality, and immigration issues. A complete list of recipients is available on the presidential website in Icelandic.

President Invests 14 with Order of the Falcon

Order of the Falcon

President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson invested 14 Icelanders with the Order of the Falcon yesterday for their contributions to Icelandic culture and society. RÚV reported first. Among the group were pop star Páll Óskar and comedian and entertainer Þórhallur Sigurðsson, known as Laddi.

The President of Iceland invests Icelandic citizens with the Order of the Falcon twice a year, on January 1 and June 17. A list of the individuals who received the recognition yesterday follows.

  1. Agnes Anna Sigurðardóttir Managing Director, for contributions to the development of business in her local community of Dalvík.
  2. Árni Magnússon, former school principal, for contributions to school and social issues.
  3. Professor Björg Thorarensen, for teaching and research in the field of law.
  4. CEO Georg Lárusson, for public service.
  5. Guðríður Ólafs Ólafíudóttir, former chairperson of Sjálfsbjargar, for contributions to welfare and humanitarian affairs.
  6. Archaeologist Guðrún Sveinbjarnardóttir, for contributions to archaeological research.
  7. Haraldur Briem, former Chief Epidemiologist, for contributions to public health and healthcare.
  8. Kristín Aðalsteinsdóttir former professor, for contributions to pedagogy.
  9. Margrét Frímannsdóttir, former member of parliament, for public service.
  10. Musician Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson, for contributions to Icelandic music and equality issues.
  11. Supreme Court Attorney Ragnar Aðalsteinsson, for contributions to human rights and rights activism.
  12. Tómas Knútsson, mechanical engineer and founder of the “Blue Army,” for contributions to environmental conservation.
  13. Filmmaker Valdís Óskarsdóttir, for contributions to Icelandic and international filmmaking.
  14. Actor and musician Þórhallur Sigurðsson, for contributions to Icelandic culture.