Literature laureate Alice Munro, who was not present, received the most enthusiastic applause here Tuesday at the ceremony where this year's 12 other winners received their Nobel Prizes from Sweden's King Carl Gustaf.

At the start of the ceremony, the chairman of the Nobel Foundation board, Carl-Henrik Heldin, sent "warmest greetings" to the 82-year-old Canadian author, who did not travel to Stockholm for health reasons. Instead, her daughter Jenny Munro accepted the prize in her place.

Meanwhile in Oslo on Tuesday at the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Heldin recalled South Africa's Nelson Mandela, who died last Friday, and his fight for freedom, democracy and humanism.

Indeed, Swedish Crown Princess Victoria missed the Nobel gala as she was representing her country at Tuesday's memorial event for Mandela in Johannesburg.

The prize consists of a medal, a diploma and 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.5 million).

The first prizewinners Tuesday were physicists Peter Higgs and Franois Englert.

Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, while the Prize in Medicine went to James Rotham, Randy Schekiman and Thomas Sudhof.

Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller received the 2013 Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel. EFE