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Her_Majesty 03-22-2011 05:40 PM

Official Visit to the United States - October 2011
Official Visit to the United States

Their Majesties the King and Queen of Norway will pay an official visit to the U.S. from October 11th to 22nd 2011. This visit will take place in the Midwest and New York City. - Official Visit to the United States

fairy tale 10-12-2011 09:12 AM

King Harald and Queen Sonja arrived at St. Paul in Minnesota last night to start their US-visit.
Picture 1 - Picture 2
Innleder rundtur i det norske USA - - Verden -
Google Translation

Maura724 10-12-2011 08:57 PM

I'm so excited about this - I have a ticket to hear Harald speak at Luther College tomorrow morning, as well as a ticket to the royal luncheon! I've been counting down the days. :flowers:

Grandduchess24 10-13-2011 02:01 PM

Besides minnisota and new York are these other places the king and queen of Norway will be visiting?

Iva 10-13-2011 03:11 PM

:previous: They'll also visit Iowa.

FanofMonaco 10-13-2011 04:11 PM

There is a large Scandanavian population running through the middle of the US. I remember the King and Queen of Sweden going to Lindsburg, Ks in the 70's.

iceflower 10-14-2011 03:01 AM


The official entry from the royal website includes some pics of the visit to the Luther
College, yesterday, October 13. You'll also find a link to the King's speech held during
that visit.

** Startet reisen i USA i dag ** translation **

Some nice pics from day 1 can also be found here:

** Royalty in Iowa **

** King Harald wows them at Luther College **

** Photos: Norway’s king and queen at Luther College in Decorah **

fairy tale 10-14-2011 03:19 AM

Thank you, iceflower!!

video from their arrival MN Gives Royal Treatment to Norway King, Queen

2 articles with videos from their visit to Decorah
Norwegian royalty visit Decorah | News - Home
and Norwegian royals visit Decorah - - News & Weather for Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids & Iowa City, Iowa |

iceflower 10-15-2011 02:39 AM

Thank you as well, fairy tale :flowers:

This photoalbum on the official website will be updated during the next days!

On day 2, October 14, King Harald and Queen Sonja visited the St. Olaf College in Northfield
and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

** Utdanning og helse i Minnesota ** translation **

** St. Olaf College Welcomes Norway's King and Queen **

** video: King and Queen of Norway visit St. Olaf **

** Hundreds in Gonda Building cheer Norwegian king, queen **

Maura724 10-15-2011 09:14 PM

8 Attachment(s)
So I had a ticket to the Convocation at Luther College in Decorah on Thursday, and I was also incredibly lucky to get an invitation to have lunch with Harald and Sonja (and roughly 150 other people). It was so cool to see them in person! When they entered the luncheon, they passed right by my table - literally 5 feet from me. :biggrin: A few random thoughts/details from the day:

It was clear that Harald still feels a strong connection to the U.S. (He spent five years in Washington during World War II at the invitation of President Roosevelt.) I think he seemed very sincere in his speech, and I heard several people remarking on his singing of the American national anthem. He knew every word without glancing at his program, and he was singing along with gusto, all of which is more than can be said for some Americans. :whistling: Certainly above and beyond what one would expect from a foreign head of state.

Harald seems very jovial, very easygoing, and like he's having a good time wherever he is. He seemed to enjoy the whole service and looked very relaxed, and I thought it was very funny how he sat down in his seat on the platform and immediately looked through his program. He appeared to be reading the page-long biographies of him and Sonja with interest. (I don't think Sonja ever opened her copy.) During the lunch, I looked over at Harald's table several times, and he was always laughing.

Sonja didn't seem to be having nearly as good of a time as he was - she seemed rather stiff in comparison to her husband. I don't think she smiled at all as they processed in to the Convocation (Harald was quite smiley and friendly-looking), and I thought she looked rather intimidating. During the service, she managed a very small smile when she and Harald were presented with an award, and then she laughed at one point. Other than that, her expression was quite fixed. When she first sat down at the lunch, she seemed somewhat stiff with the guests at her table. She relaxed more as the time went on, but it still seemed to be much more of a "business lunch" for her than it was for him. In the last 20 minutes or so I thought she seemed to grow much warmer, almost grandmotherly when she was listening to the two students at her table. I guess it takes her awhile to be comfortable/natural?

The lady who introduced Harald during the Convocation mentioned his previous visits to Luther College, the first of which was in 1965 when he was still the Crown Prince. She noted that all the college girls were quite taken with the handsome young Prince, and Sonja looked at Harald and nodded. He laughed and had this funny look on his face, like, "I was handsome, wasn't I?" and they both laughed (along with the audience). It was a cute moment between them.

Sonja is very short in real life. (As she and Harald left the luncheon, I heard a lady at the table behind me whisper, "She's a tiny little thing, isn't she?" ;)) I think some of the official photos, like the ones on the Royal House website right now, are photoshopped to make her taller - the one on the homepage makes her look like she comes past Harald's shoulder, and she definitely doesn't. She was about an inch below his shoulder, and her heels looked like they were about three inches, making her 4 inches below his shoulder. My guess on his height is that he's about 6 foot 2 (188 centimeters) - he was taller than most of the men around him, but he wasn't a giant. If you assume his head's about a foot above his shoulder, and then you subtract another four inches, this makes Sonja 4 foot 10 or 11 (147-150 centimeters).

Aside from how incredibly tiny she is :biggrin:, I was also struck by her eyes. I've read that Harald has said that what first attracted him to her was her big brown eyes, and they do look very pretty in photos. However, they're much more striking in person. They're very big and very brown, and they have an unusual (but quite pretty) shape.

We were not allowed to take photos in the Convocation or at the luncheon, but I did get a few of them outside after the service, as well as a few outside the Vesterheim Museum later that afternoon.

genegirl99 10-15-2011 10:21 PM

What a cool experience! Thank you very much for sharing.

fairy tale 10-16-2011 04:51 AM

Thank you so much Maura724 for this insight view. How lucky you are!!! :flowers:

iceflower 10-16-2011 04:17 PM

Thanks a lot for your interesting report, Maura724, I've also enjoyed it a lot!

Yesterday the couple had a day off, King Harald watched an icehockey match
between Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings in Saint Paul.

** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** gallery **

Maura724 10-16-2011 04:39 PM

How funny to see him out doing normal vacation things - I wondered what they would do on their day off! I wonder if Sonja was shopping at the Mall of America nearby in Minneapolis?

iceflower 10-17-2011 02:08 AM


Maura724, we officially send you out to find out more about the whole trip ;):smile:

Yesterday, October 16, King Harald and Queen Sonja visited Augsburg College, attended
a reception and an official dinner in the evening.

** Gudstjeneste i St. Paul ** translation **

Pics can be found here:

** Reflections from a royal visitor **

Maura724 10-17-2011 07:47 AM

If you all can get me tickets to more events, I'm in! :lol:

fairy tale 10-17-2011 04:14 PM


Originally Posted by iceflower (Post 1326931)

Maura724, we officially send you out to find out more about the whole trip ;):smile:

Yesterday, October 16, King Harald and Queen Sonja visited Augsburg College, attended
a reception and an official dinner in the evening.

** Gudstjeneste i St. Paul ** translation **

Pics can be found here:

** Reflections from a royal visitor **

more pictures
Kuningatar Sonja ja kuningas Harald vierailulla Minnesotassa. | Lehtikuva |

and more from the whole visit

iceflower 10-18-2011 02:30 AM


Yesterday, October 17, King Harald and Queen Sonja have visited Duluth:

** Ved Lake Superior ** translation **

** Norwegian Royalty Visit Duluth (Photo Gallery) **

** video: Norway's King and Queen Visit Duluth **

** 1,100 turn out to greet Norwegian royals in Duluth **

Tiggersk8 10-18-2011 03:35 AM

First off...Maura, thank you for your report on the event you attended. It sounds like you had an amazing experience.

Second, I didn't realize that King Harald had spent so much time in the US during WWII. I don't know as much about the Norwegian Royal Family as I'd like, but how lovely that mental image of him just belting out The Star Spangled Banner is to think on. :oD

I could swear I read *somewhere* that Queen Sonja is very, very shy. If true, that could explain why she seemed so stiff during the event. I can't imagine how hard it would be for someone who has to overcome issues w/shyness to take on the life of first being Crown Princess of Norway and then the Queen Consort. I don't know if I could do it.

iceflower 10-19-2011 02:46 AM


Here's some information about October 18:

Before continuing their journey to New York, King Harald and Queen Sonja visited the exhibition
"Cold Recall: Reflections of a Polar Explorer" at Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport.

** Videre til New York ** translation **

** Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja Open South Pole Exploration Exhibit.. **

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