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  #121  
Old 09-24-2017, 09:10 PM
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Wonderful posts, Royal Norway! Thank you!
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  #122  
Old 11-08-2017, 02:05 PM
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The monarchy is very popular in Norway? Believe that the monarchy will still exist many years in this country? The Republican movement is strong?
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  #123  
Old 12-15-2017, 02:26 PM
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Part 1 of 2:

I have received some PMs about this topic again - and I also want to answer some questions in various threads here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blog Real View Post
The monarchy is very popular in Norway? Believe that the monarchy will still exist many years in this country? The Republican movement is strong?
See post 110 for all the polls during King Harald V and some of the wery few polls during King Olav V and read my posts 116, 117 and 118 where I go through the personal popularity of Norway's 3 monarchs and their impact on the popularity of the Norwegian monarchy and scandals who have threatened it.

But to put it short:

Is the monarchy popular? Yes, it is.

Most polls have since 2003 shown that the support for the monarchy is at around 65%, while the most serious polls (done for NRK, VG and Aftenposten) have shown that the support is at around 70% (very high in a country where the Law of Jante is still very present - read about it in my 3-quoted post 120).

But that has started to change since 2014 - How? Despite the (well deserved) criticism of the CP couple who started in 2013 (which you also can read about in post 120) and the ridiculous criticism from Dagbladet of the court's finances (which you can read a bit about in post 117), the support for the monarchy has increased to above 80% in the polls done for NRK. Internal polling done for the palace have also shown much higher support since 2016.

Why? The commentators/experts think it is due to the King's enormous personal popularity (very popular from 1992 to 1997, a more difficult period from 1998 to 2003 and more popular than ever since 2007 - his popularity numbers are higher than those of all the other monarchs). And the experts/commentators now think that some of his personal popularity has rubbed of to the monarchy. Why is the King so popular? Read about it in posts 117 and 118:

I will now say that The Norwegian monarchy (along with the British monarchy) is that european monarchy with the highest support.
Read about the UK polls here:

Yes, some of the polls in Denmark show the support at above 80%, but some of these polls don't give people the opportunity to awnser ''don't know/no opinion''. The very few Danish polls who ask the question as the Brits/Norwegians does, show the support at around 70% (even seen some at 50%s and 60%s).

That was also the case in the Netherlands where the TNS NIPO polls were in the 80%s (some in the 90%s). The Maurice de Hond, Synovate and Ipsos polls (which includes the ''don't know/no opinion'' questions) have the support in the 70%s and 60%s (one poll in 2015 at 50%).

Will the monarchy continue to exist for many years in Norway?

Republican experts believe that. Many of them say (including Norway's foremost Republican professor Trond Nordby) that it will be completely impossible to abolish the Norwegian monarchy. - Why? Norby has said in several documentaries over the years (and most commentators agrees with him) that if Haakon (as Monarch) becomes so controversial/unpopular that the politicians decides to do something in the Storting (the parliament), they wont have a chance to get it through.

Why? This is not Australia who has a foreign Head of State.

To abolish the monarchy will be very difficult:

1. The MPs must agree on a model (that will take years).

2. Some of the republicans want the president of the Storthing as head of state (that will never be accepted).

3. The monarchists will demand a referendum (all the republicans agrees with that).

4. Then they will ask something like this: Shall we continue to have a apolitical constitutional monarchy or the model the republicans agrees on. Either an parliamentary elected president of the Storting (most likely) or a parliamentary elected president or perhaps an apolitical president elected by the people.

5. Non of these models are likely to have a chance against the monarchy (who will likely win with 70% to 80%).

6. And most importantly, no one can agree on a model.

7. And as another commentator said during the Silver Jubilee in 2016, if Spain (not likely to happen any time soon) or Belgium (not likely to happen any time soon) or Sweden (not likely to happen any time soon) or the Netherlands (not likely to happen any time soon) was going to abolish their monarchies, Norwegians will most likely responds like this: Are they that stupid. And it will not have any impact on the Norwegian monarchy.

Is the Republican movement strong?

1. It's so small that it's ridiculous.

2. They have a site who no one knows about.

3. The media laughs at them and never give them any coverage.


And to another poster:
I wrote this about the King in a post in the ''Annual Gala for Stortinget'' thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROYAL NORWAY View Post
He's Norway's superstar and Haakon will in my (and most other Norwegians) eyes, never be able to fill his shoes.
Then wartenberg7 responded with this post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by wartenberg7 View Post
I´m sorry, but that was said about Harald when his father was still alive, too! I believe Haakon will make a great monarch as he is a great Crown Prince, too!
My response - a quote from post 120:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROYAL NORWAY View Post
Another challenge for the CP couple is (according to an expert) that Norway likes older monarchs. Olav was allways in the backround until King Haakon deid in 1957 (60 years ago yesterday). And many did not understand how he would be able to take over from his popular father.

It was the same with Harald, he was always in the backround until King Olav died in 1991. And many (himself included, as he has said in interviews) did not understand how he would be able to take over from his immensely popular father, but as I wrote in one of the quoted posts above, Harald was a shy but popular crown prince who never interfered in political affairs. So he can't be compared with Haakon.

And unfortunately for Haakon, King Harald is now more popular than both his father and grandfather, so the politically-interested Haakon is going to have an even bigger task taking over after his father than what Harald and Olav had.

And bear in mind (as you can see in post 116, 117 and 118 where I describes the popularity of Norway's 3 monarch), the last two accessions to the throne were in a time when the Norwegian media didn't touch the monarchy.

And to Muhler who responded to a post I wrote in ''The Year with the Royal Family - Review by NRK'' thread. - He wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
What do you think the CP-couple should do to redress the problems they, at least in your opinion, have?
Where should I start:

The problem is that it's not me who has that opinion (I've actually defended them when it comes to much of what the media criticizes them for).

How should the CP-couple redress their problems?

Stop doing the things I writes about in the two quotes in post 120 (which I think you've already read). Here's a quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROYAL NORWAY View Post
I urge those who are interested to read the Wikipedia article about it. In addition to their explanation, I must add that the Law of Jante (Janteloven in Norwegian) is much more present in Norway than in the other Scandinavian countries: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php...ecial%3ASearch

I will now try to explain how the Law of Jante has affected Haakon and Mette-Marit's popularity:

As I said in post 109: After the criticism from people/media calmed down after the wedding in 2001, both Haakon and Mette-Marit become very popular (I would say even more popular than what Frederik and Mary are in Denmark now). They got some criticism for the controversial journey they went on in 2010/2011, but it calmed down quickly. Their approval ratings were above 80% until early 2013.

This was because we liked that they were like us, we liked that Mette-Marit had a history and we liked that Haakon was a caring stepfather to Marius.

In the last 3 years, this has unfortunately changed. Let me make some examples:

They have been criticized for:

1. They took the children out of the public school etc.

Most Norwegians reacted like this: They think they're better than everyone else. They don't think that the public school is good enough for them. Who the heck do they think they are.

2. Being friends with wealthy people, politicians, actors and for going on luxury boat-trips etc.

Most Norwegians reacted like this: They are snobbish. They are not like the King. They live like royalty did in the past. They are trying to reintroduce the nobility in Norway etc.

3. Haakon: He interferes in politics, uses the royal court's money to build organizations and is bad at dealing with the media.

Most Norwegians reacted like this: He behaves like a politician. He is arrogant etc.

4. Mette-Marit: She's even worse at dealing with the media and gets cranky when she gets asked critical questions. And she uses expensive clothing.

Most Norwegians reacted like this: She is arrogant. She can't handle criticism. She is snobbish. She is too grand etc.

Queen Sonja was also criticized for being snobbish, a bit cold and too grand, but it has calmed down over the past 10 years. Her popularity has gone through the roof here after her 80th birthday, and I will now call her very popular and admired, but not beloved as the King. There have been 4 TV documentaries/program about her since July.
Continues in next post -
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  #124  
Old 12-15-2017, 02:26 PM
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Part 2 of 2 - Did not get space enogh for everything in one post:

I wrote this in a post in the ''Crown Prince Haakon's Current Events'' thread in October:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROYAL NORWAY View Post
There has been a calm time for the CP couple (no so-called scandals or criticism) after the 80th birthday celebrations in May, but he has to stop building (or getting involved in) organizations as the SIKT conference and the Global Dignity thing.
Some posters then wanted to know what I meant. - I responded with these two posts:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROYAL NORWAY View Post


1. Because this isn't the UK, Denmark or Sweden, where things like this is not a problem.

2. Because this is Norway where the Law of Jante is stronger than ever - read here:
Norway: Republic or monarchy?

3. Because most norwegians (including pro-monarchy experts/commentators) dosen't like that their future constitutional monarch uses the royal court's money to build political organizations.

4. Because this is a big part of the reason why their popularity has gone downhill since 2013 (read about it in the post in point 2).

5. Because to see Haakon in jeans speaking to young leaders (between the age of 20 and 40) yesterday (as part of the SIKT conference) was just ridiculous.

6. And to see a laughing Mette-Marit interviewing the chairman and former chief editor of VG today (with her mother and Haakon present) as part of the SIKT conference was even worse.

I wrote this in September after their County Trip:
Quote:
This has been a wonderful trip, and it has reminded me of why I like Haakon and Mette Marit (something I needed to be reminded about.
However, these 2 days have reminded me why I have problems with them (especially with Haakon).
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROYAL NORWAY View Post
1. As I said in post 299, most Norwegians (including pro-monarchy experts/commentators) dosen't like that their future constitutional monarch uses the royal court's money to build political organizations.

2. Both the SIKT Conference, the Global Dignity thing and other things he's involved in shows his political opinions.

3. He was also accused by a Progress Party member (one of two parties in the government) some years ago for being a supporter of the Labour Party, which I can understand since I'm a labour supporter myself, but he as an future apolitical constitutional monarch has to be careful with what he does/says.

4. And it doesn't help that he's a personal friend of Jonas Gahr Støre, leader of the Labour Party since 2014, Minister of Health between 2012-2013 and Foreign Minister between 2005-2012.

5. And many ask themselves - what happens if Jonas becomes prime minister while Haakon is one the throne?

6. And then we have all the other things that Norwegians don't like with Haakon and Mette-Marit, which I've mentioned in (the 3 quoted) post 120 in the ''Republic or Monarchy'' thread.

7. But all that being said, they have given a good impression lately, and their new PR people have (so far) done a good job.
And here's another quote from post 120:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROYAL NORWAY View Post
There has been a calm time for the CP couple (no so-called scandals) after the 80th birthday celebrations in May.

Many of the courtiers has according to Dagbladet and other commentators been concerned about the future of the monarchy after King Harald (and that with good reasons), and there have been articles about that Haakon and Mette Marit are trying to get back on their feet when it comes to their poularity/standing in the Norwegian people.

We also know that new PR advisors have been employed to help the CP couple.

And as some of you know, the CP couple have been on their annual county trip in Norway this week (I've covered it in the current event thread), and they've made a good impression.
But as I wrote in PMs (as a response) to some posters here in november, the calm time for the CP couple (without no so-called scandals or criticism) is now unfortunately over.

In November, they were again (and rightly so) criticised for some financial stuff regarding their foundation and this photo which was taken some weeks ago in connection with Eurosurf 2017 in october - the media discovered it in November and dubbed it ridiculous:
https://scontent-arn2-1.xx.fbcdn.net...67&oe=5AA71A86

And if that wasn't enough, the royal court's widely criticised Communications Director Marianne Hagen (a friend of Haakon and Mette-Marit) was appointed by the Prime Minister to become statssekretær (a role in the government). Ole Edvard Wold-Reitan (an even closer personal friend of the CP couple) then become acting Communications Director after pressure from Haakon.

And now their foundation is accused by several pro-monarchy MPs for interfering in political matters.

I and most others here in Norway have just given up on Haakon. He is hopeless.

I also agree with the experts about the fact that Haakon has damaged the monarchy's standing in the political elite and in the media.

Political elite:
Strong pro-monarchy parties without any debate:

Conservative Party: (Centre-right) 45 of 169 MPs in the Storting. Largest party in the government. Its Leader is Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Centre Party: (Centre) 19 of 169 MPs in the Storting. Supports the Opposition block led by the Labour Party.

Christian Democratic Party: (Centre to centre-right) 8 of 169 MPs in the Storting. Supports the government, but is not a fan of the Progress Party.

Pro-monarchy parties, but with some debate:

Labour Party: (Centre-left) 49 of 169 MPs in the Storting. Largest pary in the Storting and leader of the Opposition block. Used to support a republic in the 1930s, but turned into one of the strongest pro-monarchy parties. That's changed after 2013. - Why? Due to Haakon being political. There is now much debate in the party, but they continues to support the monarchy.

Progress Party: (Right-wing) 27 of 169 MPs in the Storting. They support the monaarchy, but there is debate in the party. - Why? Due to Haakon being political.

Republican parties:

Liberal Party: (Centre) 8 of 169 MPs in the Storting. Supports the government, but is not a fan of the Progress Party (although it looks like they will join the government after in January). Supports an elected head of state, but many of their present and former MPs are monarchists (including their leader).

Socialist Left Party: (Left-wing) 11 of 169 MPs in the Storting. Supports the Opposition block. led by the Labour Party. Strong republican party who supports an elected head of state.

Red Party: (Far-left) 1 of 169 MPs in the Storting. Want to change everything - their ideology is Communism.

All the youth wings (except for those of the Conservative Party, the Centre Party and the Christian Democratic Party) support an elected head of state. That is a bit funny. - Why? Because young Norwegians love the King and supports the monarchy in record high numbers. 82% of people under 30 and 85% of people in the age group 30-39 support the monarchy according to a poll done for NRK. And other youth organisations accuses the political youth wings for being out of touch with the large majority of young Norwegians.

Media:
1. More and more papers have declared themselves republican since 2014. - Why? Due to Haakon being political.

2. Dagbladet (who has wanted a republic for many years) went to war against the monarchy last year and had more critical articles/front pages on one issue (the financing of the monarchy) than I have ever seen before. They have written 81 articles on it (most in 2016) and had about 30 to 40 front pages about it (most in 2016). - Why? Because Haakon has made it easier to criticise the monarchy. Read about it (as I mentioned in my response to Blog Real above) in post 117.

3. But the funny thing about this is that we already know about their revelations and most of the other media outlets have not paid attention to it.

4. And even more funny, the support to the monarchy has (as I wrote in my response to Blog Real) increased.

What do I think about the possibility of Hakkon bringing down the Monarchy? I'm a bit worried.

What does the pro-monarchy commentators/experts think? They (including Kjell Arne Totland) is a bit worried.

But as you can see in my response to Blog Real (and as Trond Nordby says), it will be almost impossible to abolish the Norwegian monarchy, and Haakon has to make a lot of mistakes for that to even being talked seriously about.

The monarchy is Norway's most prominent symbol of independence and to abolish it will be the same as spitting ourselves and our 3 monarchs in the face.

King Haakon VII: The iconic monarch who said no to Hitler and devoted his life to Norway. Books/movies are still being written/made about him and everyone here knows who he is.

King Olav V: The King who supported his father during the war and devoted his life to Norway.

King Harald V: Our amazing monarch who has devoted his life to Norway and supported the Norwegian people with his visits to victims of natural disasters, his support to people who struggle, his amazing speeches (his world famous 2016 garden party speech has become pensum in Norvegian Upper secondary school) . - Read about him in posts 117 and 118.
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  #125  
Old 12-15-2017, 03:11 PM
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I believe that Norway should remain a monarchy. To be sure, the first chosen king of the new Norwegian monarchy was a Prince of Denmark. Prince Carl was trained in royal duties and responsibilities.
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  #126  
Old 12-15-2017, 03:15 PM
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Thank you, Royal Norway, for a most comprehensive, detailed and well-based post. - Living up to the high standard we know we can expect from you.

The thing that interest me most personally, is Haakon and Mtte-Marit's public standing. And it was interesting to read why they get the amount of heat they get these days and what the consequences are.

It seems to my detached view to be two-fold:

The "pettiness" of the Norvegians. Which you aptly describe as the Law of Jante ( the tall poppy syndrome in other countries). I.e. overspending and over-dressing. - All that is of course in the eyes of the beholder. And if you ever visit the male-fashion-thread few on this planet would accuse certainly Haakon of overdressing...
Yeah, yeah, I'll be serious.
The other main issue is poor-PR skills. They don't leave a good impression on the viewers, who may already be biased against them. That is a hole from which it's difficult to struggle up from.

Another matter is Haakon and Mette-Marit rubbing shoulders with the "elite" and in today's world that's a bad idea, even though at all time, also NRF royals, have rubbed shoulders with the rich and powerful. It's pretty difficult to avoid in their position! - Combine that with pettiness/the Law of Jante and that leaves a negative impression.

And then there is the third factor. Ironically that becomes more prevalent the more a monarchy and/or a primary royal is popular.
It's basic psychology actually.
If there is someone in a unique position, like King Harald, you admire and like, you have to compare him with someone lesser. Yes, you guessed it, Haakon.
The more you like King Harald, there more there is a tendency to detract from Haakon, - because there are no one else around to detract from instead.

So I wonder: Would Haakon and Mette-Marit have had similar problems with their public image, had there been someone else around to take the public disapproval instead?
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  #127  
Old 12-15-2017, 05:55 PM
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It's not that his older sister perfectly fits into the image of what a princess should be do and nor did her husband. So, they could have been the 'detractors', so it's not that there is nobody who could have that function (for example, in Belgium Laurent (also a brother of) effectively fulfills that role for the royal family).
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  #128  
Old 12-15-2017, 06:46 PM
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Yes, but she's no longer an active member of the NRF, right?

If she was I believe she would get almost all the bad press!
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  #129  
Old 12-15-2017, 07:02 PM
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Muhler, You're very welcome! And thanks for the kind words!

The thing with Haakon and MM is that they was quite popular pre 2013 despite already then being criticised of networking with the political/wealthy elite and their controversial journey in 2010/2011.

Can they got their popularity back? A year ago, I would have said yes. - How?

Stop using the royal court's money to build political organizations (several MPa is after him for it).

Stop being a personal friend of politicians (including a potensial prime minister).

Stop being political.

Stop involving their foundation in political matters, including school policy (several MPa is after him for that to).

Stop the way they are dealing the media.

Stop hiring personal friends as advisors.

Stop building (or getting involved in) organizations as the SIKT conference and the Global Dignity thing.

Get their finances in order.

Never rent out properties at Skaugum illegally again.

Get your kids back in the public school. I know that sounds harsh, but politicians, school people and a bunch of professors (including the prime minister and all the party leaders) didn't like it.

Today? No, the damage is already there.

They (mostly Haakon) are criticized for everything now: Silly photos with dogs (see that picture above), his jeans, his office furniture, the way they have ruined the beautiful reception rooms after Crown Princess Märtha (the King's mother) at Skaugum etc.

Last year he was pressured to answer questions from Dagbladet about his personal fortune - Scandinavian posters can watch it here:


Here he was persuaded to answer critical questions about his organizations and his closeness to the elite.


He was then persuaded to reveal his private fortune:
http://norwaytoday.info/finance/crow...ivate-fortune/
Quote:
An interview that led to the Crown Prince requested Communications Manager from the Royal Palace, Marianne Hagen to provide information about his private wealth.

In a text message she informs that the Crown Prince’s fortune is at “about nine million and is invested in mutual funds in Norway and abroad, in addition there are the private properties at Skaugum, Flatholmen and Uvdal.”
The newspaper points out that there is talk about the real wealth, not taxable wealth.

The Crown Prince is not subject to taxation and therefore can not be found in the tax records.

Dagbladet has requested general manager Carl Fredrik Solli in PrivatMegleren to estimate the value of Skaugum, something he says is difficult, because the property is so special.

He estimates between 150-200 million kroner for the farm, which has been in the royal family since 1929.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
So I wonder: Would Haakon and Mette-Marit have had similar problems with their public image, had there been someone else around to take the public disapproval instead?
No, I don't think so. It has more to to with the things he does.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
It's not that his older sister perfectly fits into the image of what a princess should be do and nor did her husband. So, they could have been the 'detractors', so it's not that there is nobody who could have that function (for example, in Belgium Laurent (also a brother of) effectively fulfills that role for the royal family).
1. We can't compare Märtha with Laurent.

2. Märtha is since 2002 not a member of the royal house, and the press seems to like her and Ari more and more (especially after their separation).

BTW, I agree with Muhler about the third factor he mentioned. As Carl Erik Grimstad (royal expert, MP for the Liberal Party and former courtier) said some months ago, the King's popularity is starting to become a big problem for Haakon.
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  #130  
Old 12-15-2017, 07:59 PM
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I agree it's crucial that royals make sure their finances are as uncontroversial as at all possible.
The Skaugum affair was an unnecessary thing and bound to be found out. So why do it? It questions their general moral.

However, and again looking at it from a detached point of view, Haakon does get heat a bit unfairly I think. But he did expose himself, when it could have been avoided.

Another measure of royals is their workload and commitment and if I have to be honest, this is something Mette-Marit could work a good deal more on.
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  #131  
Old 12-15-2017, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Yes, but she's no longer an active member of the NRF, right?

If she was I believe she would get almost all the bad press!
She still attends several royal events a year (including state banquets). While royal activities are no longer her primary focus I don't think that is sufficient reason to disregard her 'potential' as detractor. In other monarchies not being a full time royal doesn't hinder some princes and princess to still attract a lot of bad press. So, I am not sure that it is for lack of another detractor that the CP couple at times is criticized quite heavily (ML has been on the receiving end as well; as has Ari).
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  #132  
Old 12-15-2017, 08:02 PM
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Yeah, okay. You have a point.
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  #133  
Old 12-15-2017, 08:07 PM
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Do any of the Norwegian RF pay taxes?
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  #134  
Old 12-15-2017, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROYAL NORWAY View Post
1. We can't compare Märtha with Laurent.

2. Märtha is since 2002 not a member of the royal house, and the press seems to like her and Ari more and more (especially after their separation).

BTW, I agree with Muhler about the third factor he mentioned. As Carl Erik Grimstad (royal expert, MP for the Liberal Party and former courtier) said some months ago, the King's popularity is starting to become a big problem for Haakon.
Not sure why we cannot compare Laurent en ML - of course the 'extent' of the controversy is different but my main point was that there are more family members than the king and the crown prince and some of them are not completely controversy-free either. So, it is not for the lack of some controversy around siblings that Haakon takes all the heat - although it is striking that ML and Ari's separation hasn't led to a lot of backlash (which could have happened if they had truly been looking for trouble in the NRF and if the CP would be controversy-free). Thus, if Haakon would not do all the things you mentioned above, the press could still go after 'someone' in the royal family (as they have done in the past).

Yet, as you already stated above; neither of us thinks that it is because of the lack of a detractor that the CP couple isn't as popular. Although it is always hard to measure up to a popular monarch, there is more to it.
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  #135  
Old 12-15-2017, 08:12 PM
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I'd say it is quite hard to strike the right balance as a CP couple. The Norwegian CP couple comes off as rather privileged and not sufficiently in touch with their fellow citizens/understanding of their very privileged position. So, why are Victoria and Daniel able to pull it off - what is it that they do differently? Would Frederik and Mary rank somewhere in between the other two Scandinavian couples regarding this issue?
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  #136  
Old 12-15-2017, 08:34 PM
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I think that's very difficult to answer.

Every country, and the Scandinavian monarchies are not that alike, have their different way of doing things.
It depends on the way the individual monarchies work and the role of the various members and of course whether they are able to stay away from scandals.
But what works in Norway may not work that well in Sweden or Denmark.
And what is cause for criticism in Norway may be considered a trivial or even acceptable thing in Denmark or Sweden.

We can compare how individual royals handle specific things differently and sometimes they can, should and do learn from each other - but there are still IMO so many subtle differences that I don't think we can say that if prince/ss so and so did this and that in country X it would automatically also work in country Y.

Clearly there are a number of things that clearly annoy the Norwegians. Things that to me, may seem not that serious. But I'm not Norwegian, I don't live in Norway. The Norwegian view on royalty, what they do and say and their roles is different from mine.
It may be easier to judge if you come from a country without a monarchy. Or rather; it may be easier to have a more unbiased view if you come from a country without a monarchy.
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  #137  
Old 12-15-2017, 09:54 PM
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A very busy night here, but here are some responses:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
I agree it's crucial that royals make sure their finances are as uncontroversial as at all possible.
The Skaugum affair was an unnecessary thing and bound to be found out. So why do it? It questions their general moral.

However, and again looking at it from a detached point of view, Haakon does get heat a bit unfairly I think. But he did expose himself, when it could have been avoided.

Another measure of royals is their workload and commitment and if I have to be honest, this is something Mette-Marit could work a good deal more on.
That's how it goes when you hire friends as advisors. Haakon has nobody to set him straight.

And as the King said in a interview some years ago: ''I don't want yes-people around me, I want people that challenge me.'' Haakon should take note.

But I do agree that he to some extent is treated a bit unfairly. - And I don't think he is comfortable in his role either (he has said so himself). Haakon is a politically interested intellectual who want to make this world a better place.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
She still attends several royal events a year (including state banquets). While royal activities are no longer her primary focus I don't think that is sufficient reason to disregard her 'potential' as detractor. In other monarchies not being a full time royal doesn't hinder some princes and princess to still attract a lot of bad press. So, I am not sure that it is for lack of another detractor that the CP couple at times is criticized quite heavily (ML has been on the receiving end as well; as has Ari).
1. Märtha doesn't attend state banquets (exept if the head of state is a monarch) or the gala dinner for the parliament.

2. She attended 6 engaments in 2014, 17 engameents in 2015, 6 engagements in 2016 (mostly to do with the Silver Jubilee) and 20 engagements in 2017 (mostly to do with the 80th birthdays).

3. And as I wrote above, she and Ari has for a weird reason received a lot of good press lately.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cepe View Post
Do any of the Norwegian RF pay taxes?
The King, Queen and the CP couple don't pay any taxes.

Princess Märtha and Princess Astrid is not members of the royal house, so they pay taxes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
Not sure why we cannot compare Laurent en ML - of course the 'extent' of the controversy is different but my main point was that there are more family members than the king and the crown prince and some of them are not completely controversy-free either. So, it is not for the lack of some controversy around siblings that Haakon takes all the heat - although it is striking that ML and Ari's separation hasn't led to a lot of backlash (which could have happened if they had truly been looking for trouble in the NRF and if the CP would be controversy-free). Thus, if Haakon would not do all the things you mentioned above, the press could still go after 'someone' in the royal family (as they have done in the past).

Yet, as you already stated above; neither of us thinks that it is because of the lack of a detractor that the CP couple isn't as popular. Although it is always hard to measure up to a popular monarch, there is more to it.
1. Yes, they could, and they went after Märtha when she whined about how terribly the media had treated her when she grow up.

2. Some politicians and commentators also wanted her to let go on the Princess title (due to her working), but the King went out and said no.

3. The Norwegian media is tougher on the royals than the Danish/Swedish media is on their royals, but they don't go after people for no reason. This is not the UK/US.

4. Yes, there is more to it? The main reasons is listed in my above posts, but (as I've written in other threads) the King's popularity doesn't make it easier.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
I'd say it is quite hard to strike the right balance as a CP couple. The Norwegian CP couple comes off as rather privileged and not sufficiently in touch with their fellow citizens/understanding of their very privileged position. So, why are Victoria and Daniel able to pull it off - what is it that they do differently? Would Frederik and Mary rank somewhere in between the other two Scandinavian couples regarding this issue?
1. But at the same time the CP couple are trying to make Norway an even better and more inclusive society (as King Harald and Queen Sonja have done since they married in 1968), but they do it in a wrong and political way.

2. And I wont go so far to say that they are not sufficiently in touch with their fellow citizens/understanding of their very privileged position.

3. Do you follow their work in the ''current events'' threads?

4. I wrote this in post 120: As a female Danish expert said when Queen Margrethe celebrated her 75th birthday: It's much harder to be royal in Norway than in Denmark and Sweden because everyone expects you to be like them (again due to the Law of Jante).

5. And as I've written in some of my other posts: Haakon and MM was as popular as Frederik/Mary and Victoria/Daniel pre 2013. Then they started doing more of the things I listed up in my above posts and their popularity went downhill.
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  #138  
Old 12-21-2017, 03:52 PM
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Part 1 of 2:

VG has polled the "Name of the Year" since 1974. Among the former winners, we find men and women who have done extraordinary humanitarian efforts or people who have done things for sports or culture. King Olav was polled the name of the year in 1975 (the only time a royal has been named).

Articles:
http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/a...17/a/24203879/

https://www.vg.no/spesial/2017/aarets-navn/

1. VG nominates nine candidates.

2. Readers nominate another three candidates.

3. Norwegians then wotes online for one of the 12 candidates.

4. A national poll is conducted. The result of this, together with the net votes, determines who wins.

5. The award is regarded as very prestigious and receives great attention in Norway.

6. People begin voting on Dec 6th.

The candidates:

King Harald: (Age 80) Constitutional Monarch of Norway since January 17, 1991. Reason for the nomination: The whole of Norway's King Harald turned 80 this year. Den folkekjære (means beloved and popular) and unifying king has made himself noted with a speech that embraces the diversity of Norway, which has been praised worldwide: ''Norwegians are girls who love girls, boys who love boys, and girls and boys who love each other. Norwegians believe in God, Allah, the Universe and nothing''.

VG also said this about the reason for the King being nominated this year: King Harald turned 80 and continues to be a folksy leader for the whole country.

Jens Stoltenberg: (Age 58) Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Prime Minister of Norway from 2000 to 2001 and from 2005 to 2013. Reason for the nomination: Stoltenberg has been NATO's Secretary-General since October 2014. At a time when the security situation in Europe is at its most demanding since the end of the Cold War, Stoltenberg appears to gain renewed confidence in continuing as the leader of the Defense Alliance for at least one additional year in addition to the four he has been chosen for.

Kari Hilde French: (Age 68) Norwegian organizational leader and author. Reason for the nomination: After fighting for eight years, Kari Hilde French's son got home from Congo on the national day this year. Now she has launched a book where she tells of the work to get death-sentenced Joshua French home, the encounter with the Congolese leadership and about loneliness and disappointment.

Marit Bjørgen: (Age 37) Norwegian cross-country skier (the most successful cross-country skier of all times). Reason for the nomination: For the third time in her career, the ski-queen took four WC gold in one and the same World Championship. Now the 37-year-old is the most winning cross-country runner throughout the ages with amazing 32 medals in the Olympics and the World Championship. This winter, her last Olympics, and maybe last season in the ski slopes.

Ulrikke Falch: (Age 21) Norwegian actress. Reason for the nomination: The shame star uses her Instagram profile frequently to talk about topics like body pressure, feminism and mental health. With her often humorous appearance, she is a model for many young people both in Norway and in the rest of the world.

Karpe Diem: (Age - both 33) Norwegian rap group from Oslo made up of Magdi Omar Ytreeide Abdelmaguid and Chirag Rashmikant Patel. Reason for the nomination: No Norwegian band has awakened more debate and feelings than the rapduo Chirag and Magdi in recent years. Just two years after the huge success of "Heisann Montebello", which led them to selling out Oslo Spektrum three times in record time, the duo was clear with the movie "Adjø Montebello". The interest was so great that when the tickets were put up for sale, the ticket system broke down.

Faten Mahdi al-Hussaini: (Age 23) NRK host. Reason for the nomination: The 22-year-old is one of the "shameless girls" whom in a fearless way has spoken about extremism and social control. Throughout the NRK series "Faten tar valget" (Faten takes the choice) this fall, she went through the various political parties, and with honest, clear and direct questions she succeeded in communicating Norwegian politics in an understandable way to all those who had not yet decided what to vote in the parliamentary elections.

Christian Berge: (Age 44) He is head coach for the Norway national male handball team. Reason for the nomination: He lead the national team in handball till a sensational final in the World Championship. The former German pro has been hailed by his players for his leadership style and tactical skills. Shortly after the World Championship, the good news came: Berge continues as the coach for the national team, despite job offerings from the German club Flensburg-Handewitt.

Nora Mørk: (Age 26) Norwegian handball player. Reason for the nomination: The handball star experienced the nightmare this fall when private photos from her phone were hacked and scattered on the internet. Since then she has been acclaimed for having stood up with her story, and has become a voice for women who have experienced the same. Despite the fact that she considered dropping the World Championship because of the event, she has started the championship very positively.

Karsten Warholm: (Age 21) Norwegian track and field athlete who competes in the sprints and hurdles. Reason for the nomination: The 21-year-old from Ulsteinvik shocked the athletics world as he sped in to a superb gold at the 400 meter hurdle in the London World Championships - shortly after he found out that Hurdling was what he wanted to do. Warholm's power demonstration prompted several to ask if this was Norway's greatest athletics performance.

Hilde Reikrås: (Age 39) Head of the police operations Dark Room. Reason for the nomination: The investigator was renowned for her efforts in the West Police District's Operation Dark Room, which revealed a series of pedophile networks. So far, 84 cases have been created, involving sexual abuse of at least 300 children. Reikrås has been honored with the Dixi Prize and "The løvetann of the Year" to save children from planned assault.

Ine Eriksen Søreide: (Age 41) Minister of Foreign Affairs. Reason for the nomination: The conservative politician and former minister of defense were appointed Norway's first female foreign minister this autumn. The Labor-mans Daughter, who has been an MP since she was 21 years old, is described by party friends as a politician with a working capacity almost without limitations.

And 15:00 today we got the answer: HM the King has been polled the name of the year. - Article with quotes translated by me:
https://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/...17/a/24216119/
Quote:
The people have spoken: King Harald (80) is a clear winner of the name of the year in VG 2017.

VG's editors Gard Steiro and Jane Throndsen presented the prize at Kongsseteren, where the royal couple are celebrating Christmas together with Princess Märtha Louise, Ari Behn and their three children.

"This was a great honor," said a surprised King Harald. He did not even know he was in any competition.

At the same time he managed to share the credit with his employees.

"What I primarily think of on such an occasion are all our employees who make it possible to do the job we do. They contribute to the outcome of what is clearly appreciated, so there are many about it," said King Harald.

When chief editor Gards Steiro asked King Harald about what he thought was the reason why the people had voted him for, he answered

''Maybe because I've turned 80?

VG's editors also believe that the 80th anniversary has influenced people's choices.

But even more importantly, the celebrated speech at the palace's garden party in connection with the celebration of the 25th anniversary last year.

There King Harald embraced the diversity of Norway. The speech was praised by Minority Norwegians, as well as foreign media. It was also a hit on social media.

"Possibly," but there was no reason in the statement, said King Harald.
Quote:
Everyone's King

The beloved king has a big place in the hearts of Norwegians, just as each of us has a place in his heart.

He clearly showed that in the Palace Park last year.

But he also shows it throughout the year by being present in his countrymen's lives.

King Harald aims to visit every municipality in our elongated country. Until now, he has been visiting over 350.

When he was in Rælingen in October, he told VG that both the Queen and himself think it's nice to meet the inhabitants of our elongated country where they live.

But the King doesn't just come on official visits. Når det stormer som verst – bokstavelig talt (difficult to translate, but something like this: When it storms the most - literally) - he is also seen among his countrymen.

Most recently in connection with the flood in southern Norway in November. Then King Harald visited the flooded areas of Kristiansand and Birkenes.
Quote:
When presenting the prize, editor Jane Throndsen asked what the King wanted to be remembered for.

"It was a difficult question. I Don't know if I've done something that makes me so very remembered,'' King Harald replied.

But the Norwegian people will undoubtedly remember King Harald.
He is very careful and modest when it comes to talking well about himself (as usual).

Quote:
Everyone who receives the prize receives a check of 50,000 kroner (4500 GBP) that they must pass on to a charitable purpose. King Harald gives his money to the Church City Mission Christmas Action.
Heartwarming messages is now pouring in to the King on facebook.
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  #139  
Old 12-21-2017, 03:53 PM
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Part 2:

I've translated a bit more than usual, but I really wanted people to read this, and I have taken some freedoms in word-choices so this is more a summary (and therefore not a violation of the forum rules).

From me: Yes, he is both the most popular person (according to polls) and the person with the highest approval ratings in Norway (more beloved than both his father and grandfather). But did I think he was going to win? No. - Why? Because he has done nothing but what he usually does (that is to be present at hundreds of engagements each year and to held amazing speeches). So I was very surprised and happy when I got the news this afternoon.

Photos of the king receiving the prize from VG's editors Gard Steiro and Jane Throndsen at Kongsseteren today:
https://imbo.vgc.no/users/vgno/image...11febd2ada8d38

https://imbo.vgc.no/users/vgno/image...456092236d6af6

https://imbo.vgc.no/users/vgno/image...4f2f8bcd349274

In the last photo, you can see one of the King and Queen's 20 personal Lakeis (Norwegian word for royal butlers/footmen).

This went a bit to fast so I hope part 1 is readable.

BTW, thanks to all those who used the thanks button on the two long posts I wrote last week.
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Old 12-22-2017, 03:26 PM
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It went very fast when I wrote the two above posts last night and I did not have time to check them before I put them out here (something I almost always do), but I didn't know (before I saw it now) that they were full of writing-errors. That's the worst thing about dyslexia - I don't notice everything I write, and I have difficulty finding the right word. But I have edited the two posts now and added more information about the prize money and stuff. - And thanks to those who used the thanks button.

More information about the King and his prize:

Articles and a tweet in english:

King Harald wins prestigious award “Name of the Year” – Royal Central
Quote:
His Majesty King Harald of Norway has won the prestigious award “Name of the Year 2017.” This was announced by the Norwegian newspaper VG, which hands out the award once a year to the Norwegian who the Norwegian people think has been most important of the year.

“I share this great award with my colleagues,” said the King to VG when he yesterday received the prize in the form of a small statue and a money-prize of 50,000 NOK. The King wants to donate the money to the Norwegian Church’s city mission and their work for lonely people during the Christmas season.
http://norwaytoday.info/culture/vg-a...ld-years-name/
Quote:
King Harald became the sole winner of VG’s online constitution and questionnaire about who is the year’s name in 2017.

VG editors Gard Steiro and Jane Throndsen presented the prize at Royal estate on Thursday, where the royal couple are celebrating Christmas together with Princess Märtha Louise, Ari Behn and their three children.

“It is a great honor,” said a surprised King Harald to the newspaper. He did not even know he was in any competition.

The king says he wants to share the honor with his staff. He has no sure explanation as to why he was voted for this year’s name.

– Maybe since I’ve just filled 80 years old?
Oskar Aanmoen @OAanmoen
King Harald of Norway won the prestigious award "Name of the Year" in Norway. He was voted for by the Norwegian people and competed against 11 other candidates. The prize-money of 50,000 NOK has the King donated to the Norwegian Church's city mission.

More about the King:
As I have written before: He's Norway's superstar and his world famous 2016 garden party speech (called the world's best speech) has become pensum i Videregående skole (Norwegian Upper secondary school). And Trygve Svensson at the University of Bergen (TV2 speech expert) said that he will use the speech that the King held at the Stortingsmiddag (the annual gala dinner for the parliament) in October to teach his students.

Read the full garden party speech and the reasons to why he's so popular in posts 117 and 118.

The reactions:

Ordinary people: 99% of the hundreds of messages on facebook is overwhelmingly positive and heartwarming (as they always is when HM is mentioned).

The pro-monarchy commentators: Overwhelmingly positive.

The republican commentators: Overwhelmingly positive (most of them are calling themselves Haraldlists).

There is of course some people from the Socialist Left Party who complain about the fact that it's wrong to give a prize like that to an unelected head of state, but even they stresses that they ''love the King''. Why? Because they don't dare to say anything else.

Read about the Socialist Left Party and all the political parties in the Storting (and their wiev on the monarchy) in post 124.

And as people can read in the post below, to go against the King means political suicide, and many of the republican politicians/commentators have received death threats for insulting Norway's amazing monarch:
Annual Gala for Stortinget
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