The Queen of Norway Celebrates 80th Birthday
Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway today reaches a milestone birthday: she turns eighty years old.
She was born in 1937 in Oslo, the youngest of Karl August and Dagny Haraldsen’s four children. Following the end of World War Two (during which both her surviving siblings left Norway for neutral Sweden), Sonja studied dressmaking and tailoring (a logical choice as her father was a clothing merchant and ran a store in the capital) at Oslo’s Vocational School before heading to the Swiss finishing school, École Professionelle des Jeunes Filles.
In 1959, Sonja – then aged 22 – met the heir to the Norwegian throne, Prince Harald, at a party. Over the next nine years, the couple’s relationship grew (though their early plans to keep the romance under wraps were thwarted by foreign press agencies) until the Prince’s father, King Olav V, finally relented and gave Harald and Sonja consent to marry. Their engagement was announced in March 1968, they were married that August.
After her marriage, the new Crown Princess took up the role of First Lady of Norway (the King’s wife, Märtha, had died in 1954 before he took the throne) and a full schedule of royal duties alongside her husband. Among her pet interests are art and languages (Sonja has exhibited several of her own photographs in recent years), as well as social issues such as support for refugees, education and vulnerable women.
Sonja became Norway’s Queen Consort in January 1991 upon the death of her father-in-law. That June, the new King Harald V’s reign was consecrated in a ceremony at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.
Queen Sonja and King Harald have two children, Princess Märtha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon; and five grandchildren: Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora and Emma Tallulah Behn, and Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus (along with ‘bonus’ grandson Marius Borg Høiby). The Queen also suffered a miscarriage in 1970.Filed under Norway
Tagged Birthday, Queen Sonja of Norway.