After a troubled ten-year courtship, opposed by the late King Olav V and the Norwegian establishment, the current King Harald V of Norway finally got to marry his Miss Sonja Haraldsen on the 29th of August 1968. As a commoner, Sonja did not have a smooth start to her royal life.
Since Harald’s accession to the throne in 1991, he and Sonja have lifted the Norwegian monarchy into the realm of the new millennium.
King Harald V
Among the Norwegians, King Harald is widely known for his great ability to show empathy and compassion – and not to forget his dry wit. He is a man that will make you laugh.
Where his father, King Olav V, was known as the people’s king, King Harald could well be described as a king among his people. Every woman and man in need of support can be sure to have him watch their back. He is a man so down to earth, so loyal to his family and his people, that if you came upon him in the street, your first reaction would probably be to give him a hug.
King Harald is a world class sailor and a gold medallist, both in European and World championships.
Queen Sonja had a tough start to her royal life, fighting the old world misogyny of the Norwegian court. As the country’s new crown princess in 1968, it took her a long time just to get her own office.
Alongside her husband, she has been a driving force behind the modernisation of the Norwegian royal house.
Through her interest in art, she has contributed significantly to the preservation of royal buildings and royal collections.
Queen Sonja is an avid outdoors person and has visited most sections of the majestic Norwegian landscape – often accompanied by her good friend, Queen Margrethe of Denmark.
Like Queen Margrethe, Queen Sonja is also an artist – and in more recent years she has had several exhibitions, presenting her own work. In 2017, in connection with Queen Sonja’s 80th birthday, Queen Maud’s old stables at the royal palace in Oslo were opened as an exhibition area. We strongly recommend that you pay them a visit, the next time you are in the Norwegian capital.
One can argue that by taking a closer look at someone’s children, you will also be able to say something about their parents. The King and Queen’s two children, Princess Märtha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon Magnus, are compassionate, passionate and grounded individuals – and a big credit to their father and mother.
The below video is from the fantastic vaults of British Pathé. Visit their YouTube channel to see more of world history.
Read more about Norwegian history in Northern Norway | memories from Værøy in Lofoten