Celebrating Royal birthdays
Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja mark their 75th birthdays in joint celebration
By Jess Larsen
On May 31 King Harald and Queen Sonja attended a joint celebration of their 75th birthdays.
King Harald, whose birthday was February 21, and Queen Sonja, whose birthday is July 4, decided to have a joint birthday celebration together. They decided May 31 as the day in which the celebration should take place.
The day began with a birthday celebration at Palace Square. Approximately 3000 kindergarten children were invited to the Palace to sing and celebrate with the King and Queen. The Royal family watched and enjoyed the festivities from their balcony.
The public party in Palace Square was also met with gift deliveries from the people to the King and Queen and the City of Oslo provided juice and birthday rolls for all of the young children.
The King’s Guard performed in Palace Square as well. The young children were fascinated by the Guard’s performance. Along with these performances, TM the King and Queen were greeted by a number of people including the mayor of Oslo, Prime minister Jens Stoltenberg, and other public officials.
Later that afternoon the King and Queen attended a church service at the Oslo Cathedral with members of the Royal family.
The celebration continued on to the Opera House where everyone was invited to another festive celebration on the Opera House roof in the evening. The Royal family arrived by the Royal boat Stjernen and was greeted by everyone in attendance.
The celebration at the Opera House was a government-hosted event and was a gift from the people of Norway to the King and Queen as a way of showing their deep appreciation and support for the Royal couple. The festivities included the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, singer Herborg Kråkevik, and other musical performances of all genres as well as speeches by numerous people.
Prime Minister Stoltenberg was the host for the evening and was the first to start the speeches giving the King and Queen a warm welcome from the people of Norway and ending with a cheerful “Gratulerer med dagen!”
The entire day was a fun celebration for all of Norway. All events were free and open to the public.
Along with the celebrations that took place on May 31, the State also put together a number of traveling exhibits showcasing items from the Royal palaces that had never been displayed before. These traveling exhibits are intended for museums and are gifts to the Royals who hope to one day have a permanent Royal museum.
To read Prime Minister Stoltenberg’s speech (in Norwegian), visit http://tinyurl.com/7co658g.
This article originally appeared in the June 8, 2012 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.