King Harald And Queen Sonja News: December 2002 - November 2003

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Royal Week in Norway

This week marks a string of royal celebrations, from a baptism to a memorial service to a birthday. Meanwhile, King Harald says he thinks his father, the late King Olav, would have embraced the royal family's controversial new members, especially Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Tuesday would have been King Olav's 100th birthday, and the royal family is using the occasion to baptize Princess Martha Louise's baby daughter, Maud Angelica.

King Harald, in an interview with VG, is also seizing the opportunity to try to pass some of the late king's popularity on to the next generation.

"If King Olav had the chance to get to know the crown princess, I'm sure he would have come to the same conclusion as I did," he told VG. "I've grown very fond of her."

Crown Princess Mette-Marit still faces criticism from many Norwegians who haven't reconciled themselves to her admittedly wild past, her son born out of wedlock or her distinctly un-royal style. As one commentator put it recently, "people want glamour from their royalty. They're getting jeans and tennis shoes."

A recent poll showed that the popularity of the monarchy, especially the crown couple, continues to slide and some predict it won't last another generation. King Harald says he won't make any predictions.

"Society has changed and I hope we have the ability to change, too," he said. "We're trying, anyway. Others have to decide whether we succeed."

Tuesday's morning baptismal in the Royal Palace's chapel will be followed by an afternoon memorial service for King Olav in the chapel at the Akershus castle and fortress.

The royal family and assorted relatives will end the day with a gathering on board the royal yacht Norge.

On Friday, Queen Sonja will celebrate her 66th birthday. By then, the royal couple will have moved to their summer home at Maageroe, south of Toensberg.

Aftenposten English Web Desk
Nina Berglund


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    17.4 KB · Views: 304 - Tomorrow (July 4) Queen Sonja turns 66. It will be a small and private affair as King Harald is Spain sailing. (Perhaps with King Juan Carlos and King Constantine? The three usually participate in some Copa del Rey or something like that event.)


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July 2, 2003 - Sonja at Maud Angelica's Christening
Scanpix picture


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;) I loved the color of the attire she wore during the christening. I think Queen Sonja loves light colors though evident in what she wears and she loves pearls. - King Harald and Queen Sonja in Ibiza, Spain. July 7, 2003.


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July 5, 2003 - Norway's King Harald V (left, in orange hat), was right at home on the deck of his vessel, the Fram XV
Photo: © AFP

July 7, 2003 - Valencia, Spain - King Harald of Norway in a Sail Race in Valencia.


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Polfoto 10-07-2003 Danderyd 2003-07-10 The funeral of Prince Carl Bernadotte,92.He was cousin to Carl XVI Gustafs grandfather and he lived in the village Benalmadena in Spain. He is mourned by members of his family. He was also a popular relative to the royal familys in both Norway and Sweden. The funeral took place in the church of Danderyd (a suburb to Stockholm in Sweden) attended by his family and relatives. The Royal family of Norway attended also as well as the Swedish queen and king. Picture: Norways king Harald and queen Sonja
Photo: Bertil Ericson

Polfoto 10-07-2003 - Danderyd - The funeral of Prince Carl Bernadotte - King Carl XVI Gustaf with Queen Sonja and King Harald.
Photo: Bertil Ericson

Polfoto 10-07-2003 - Danderyd - The funeral of Prince Carl Bernadotte - Queen Sonja and King Harald.
Photo: Fredrik Perssson


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1. Picture from

2. - King Harald and Queen Sonja are back in Spain after the funeral of Carl Bernadotte and having a good time.


5. - The website even reflects the King's passion for sailing - which he is off doing at the present moment.


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King Harald guest during ox torture show

Norwegian King Harald was in the audience as an ox was set fire to and chased to die at a show in Spain in June. Animals’ rights activists all over Europe are protesting against the cruelty.

A number of animals’ rights organisations sent formal letters to the Norwegian royal palace after King Harald visited an ox race where the ox was set fire to and chased to die, according to Dagbladet.
The ox race was part of a Spanish festival in Castellon on 29 June. King Harald was attending a regatta along the Spanish coast and was invited to be guest of honour at the festival.

Organisations Fight against animal cruelty in Europe (FAACE), ANPBA in Spain and Initiative Anticorrida in Spain all sent letters to the King, asking him to keep aloof from using ox at these festivals.

“By being there he gives the organisers legitimacy”, Tony Moore at the FAACE told Dagbladet.

Head of information at the Norwegian Palace, Wenche Rasch, confirms the King’s presence at the festival, saying:

“Naturally the King reacted negatively to this entertainment and he understands that animals’ rights activists and others react the same way”.
The King and Queen will go to Brazil for a state visit 7 - 11 October 2003.
Queen Sonja has had her regrets

Norway's Queen Sonja admits that from time to time she regrets the decision she took in 1968 when she made the transition from commoner to queen. The queen has given a heartfelt interview to a new book.

Queen Sonja has taken crown princess Mette-Marit under her wing, and wants her to have the benefit of her experience. Here they attend the wedding of princess Märtha Louise in Trondheim.

PHOTO: Rolf Øhman
THEME: The Royals

"Of course there have been periods in my life when I thought the task was very difficult. There have been moments when I regretted the path I chose in life. When adversity comes one wishes one had chosen differently - but that is how it is for everyone," Queen Sonja said.
"Norway's first ladies" - Norges førstedamer was written by Anne Grosvold and Anne Torjusson Diesen, and the authors have landed an unusually honest royal interview.

The queen remembers vividly the national debate on the future of the monarchy her own engagement ignited, and has vowed to herself to do all she can to prevent new crown princess Mette-Marit from sharing her ordeal.

Queen Sonja thought that she had put the worst memories of her past behind her, but found them all rushing to the surface when her son crown prince Haakon also made a controversial choice of bride.

"It was strange - and painful - to experience how the past caught up with me when crown prince Haakon got engaged. It all came back: the insecurity, the long waiting period, the adjustment to a new existence as crown princess," the queen said.

"No one has any good of being subjected to such pressure for such long periods of time. I think that one suffers from it for the rest of one's life and that is why it was imperative for me that Haakon and Mette-Marit should not go through anything like it."

In June 1959 Sonja Haraldsen met then crown prince Harald for the first time but eight years would elapse before the king would meet his coming daughter-in-law. The reason - he did not, on principle, wish to be influenced by having a personal relationship to Sonja.

Things went much, much faster for Sonja's son and fiancée, one reason being concern for Mette-Marit's little son Marius. Now the queen vows to help her daughter-in-law avoid making the mistakes she made herself.

"But it is important not let yourself be broken by irrelevancies, rumors or lies," the queen advises.
there will be a state visit from Poland 16 - 18 September

and then a state visit to Brazil 1 - 11 October

we can hope for many pictures

Drømmer om fjellgård

GEIRANGER (VG) Dronning Sonja får ikke med seg Kongen på fottur, men har en drøm om å bo på en liten fjellgård. Nå foreslår hun å betale bøndene for å ta vare på naturen.


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H.M. Dronning Sonja var til stede ved den offisielle åpningen av Høstustillingen i Kunstnernes Hus i Oslo, lørdag 6. september. Kunstneren Jan Christensen som er representert på utstillingen. Foto: Scanpix


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Originally posted by Mandy@Sep 11th, 2003 - 11:08 pm
***EXCLUSIVE*** Oslo, 6.9.2003: Saturday, the whole Royal Family, apart from Crown Princess Mette-Marit, was gathered at a family wedding in Oslo. Queen Sonjas niese, Marianne Haraldsen got married to Torgeir Kjos Sörensen. Marianne Haraldsen is the daughter of Queen Sonjas brother Haakon Haraldsen. Queen Sonja and King Harald Photo: Espen Solli / Se og Hör / All Over Press Norway
Mandy (or anyone else) are there pictures of Marianne Haraldsen? I would love to see what her dress was like, her flowers, etc.
From the Scandinavian Royals Message board, Queen Sonja recently went on a private visit to Denmark. Queen Margrethe took Queen Sonja to Odense to show her her art exhib to her art-loving friend.

"The two of them (and their entourage) came within regular visiting hours - much to the surprise of other visitors."


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King Harald and Queen Sonja on their way to the formal opening of Norway's parliament (Storting) on Thursday.



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Great pictures Lyonnaise! Thanks for keeping everybody up to date on Norwegian royal happenings and other events here at LTR.

Kongelig familielunsj på Brasils solkyst

Kong Harald og dronning Sonja var i strålende humør da de møtte sin norsk-brasilianske familie til lunsj i den lille byen Buzios lørdag ettermiddag.

Om de var slitne etter den lange flyreisen fra Norge natten før, viste de det i hvert fall ikke utad.

Kongeparet innleder Brasil-besøket med et par dagers ferie i Buzios, som ligger noen hundre kilometer nordøst for Rio de Janeiro. Her skal de oppholde seg i avslappende omgivelser før de innleder statsbesøket i hovedstaden Brasilia tirsdag.

Ideen til et opphold på det idylliske hotellet Casas Brancas i Buzios har kongeparet kanskje fått fra kronprins Haakon og kronprinsesse Mette-Marit som ferierte her i påsken i fjor.

Prinsesse Ragnhild og Erling Lorentzen møtte kongeparet på flyplassen i Rio lørdag morgen. Senere på dagen sluttet Lorentzens to eldste barn med familier seg til følget i Buzios, der de hadde en hyggelig familielunsj sammen.

Familien Lorentzen vil delta i flere av programpostene i løpet av det nesten ukelange statsbesøket.

Sjarmerende by

Buzios var opprinnelig en enkel fiskerlandsby i praktfulle omgivelser, men så kom Brigitte Bardot - med fotografer i hælene - i 1964, og dermed var byen med ett verdensberømt.

Deretter er det gått slag i slag, og de siste årene har turismen blomstret - uten at det har gått negativt utover byens sjarm. Buzios er blitt et populært weekend- og feriested for en del av Rios innbyggere, og også fra resten av verden strømmer turistene til den sjarmerende byen på Brasils solkyst.

Praktfull utsikt

Fra sine rom har kongeparet nydelig utsikt over asurblått vann og vakre, grønne åser. Hotellet Casas Brancas er bygget i greskinspirert stil og ligger i en skråning over sjøen i en stor bukt omkranset av grønne åser med og uten bebyggelse. Små hoteller og eksklusive sommerhus ligger vegg i vegg med enkle familieboliger, og i bukta ligger små, fargerike fiskebåter for anker tett i tett.

Langs hele bukta er den en praktfull strand og en idyllisk strandpromenade, der kongeparet kan rusle i fred og ro om de skulle ønske det. Sjansen er liten for at noen skulle kjenne dem igjen her langt fra hjemlige trakter.

Skulle de ha lyst på en seiltur, skulle mulighetene også ligge til rette for det. I helgen er det meldt om lett bris, nærmere 30 grader og strålende sol.

(NTB-Wibecke Lie)

In picture: I Brasil. Dronning Sonja og kong Harald kom lørdag til Rio de Janeiro i Brasil. Dagen tilbragte de sammen med prinsesse Ragnhild og Erling Lorentzen.


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This article apparently says that the Palace has modified the rules for showing the royal flag at the Palace. Before the change, the flag was hoisted when the King was in the house, but from now on the flag will be hoisted when the King is in the country.

The flag of the Crown Prince flag will be hoisted when the Crown Prince is acting as regent.

Be sure to check out the "Royal Chit Chat" forum ....
The various versions of 'personal flags' fascinates me, and on behalf of LTR, I would like to obtain a 'collection' of the flags of the various royal personages.
Polfoto 23-10-2003 23.10.2003. King Harald and Queen Sonja held a dinner for the members of the Norwegian Parliament Thursday evening. King Harald and Queen Sonja.


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Alexandria  Posted: Oct 23rd, 2003 - 7:30 pm

"I am no longer ruling the family", King Harald told surprised MPs, adding that his newborn granddaughter cries much higher than him and thus "rules" the family-gatherings.

That's quite an admission.

Wonder what message the King was trying to convey with such a comment :
- a delighted grandfather taking over from a supreme king ?
- maybe we're mortal after all ?
- changes are coming, get ready ?
Originally posted by King Christian@Oct 25th, 2003 - 11:48 pm
Wonder what message the King was trying to convey with such a comment :
- a delighted grandfather taking over from a supreme king ?
- maybe we're mortal after all ?
- changes are coming, get ready ?
I think these are the comments of a proud grandfather. Maud is the King and Queen's first (biological) grandchild. Even though they consider Marius a grandson, he did join their family when he was already a pre-schooler or thereabouts -- not exactly a child you can coo at and make funny faces to. Maud is the first baby that has been in the family since Haakon was born. And being a girl, too, extra easy to dote on her spoil her rotten with pretty clothes and trinkets.
lexandria  Posted: Oct 26th, 2003 - 12:15 am

(King Christian @ Oct 25th, 2003 - 11:48 pm)
Wonder what message the King was trying to convey with such a comment :
- a delighted grandfather
I think these are the comments of a proud grandfather.

Great minds think alike.

.... the first baby ... in the family since Haakon was born. And being a girl, too, extra easy to dote on her, spoil her rotten with pretty clothes and trinkets.

To think, that is all, it takes for you to be alright with the world ? :innocent:
From the Scandinavian Royals Message board and Afterposten: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton meets with King Harald.


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