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After a troubled ten-year courtship, the current King Harald V of Norway married his Sonja Haraldsen on the 29th of August 1968. As a commoner, Sonja did not have an easy 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.
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 named 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 natural 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 deeply rooted misogyny of the old 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 greatly to the preservation of royal buildings and royal collections. Queen Sonja is an avid outdoors person and has visited most of the beautiful 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, the old stables at the royal palace in Oslo was opened as an exhibition area.
Recommended read: The Queen Sonja Art Stable
To read more about The Royal House of Norway in general, visit their website on www.royalcourt.no
Main photo: King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway in 2016. | Photo: Jørgen Gomnæs – Det kongelige hoff.