Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Royal Profile: Queen Sonja of Norway

Queen Sonja of Norway was born as Sonja Haraldsen on 4 July 1937 in Olso, Norway as the daughter of   Karl August Haraldsen and Dagny Ulrichsen{Source}.

She grew up at 1B Tuengen Allé in the district of Vinderen in Oslo and completed her lower secondary schooling in 1954{Source}. She received a diploma in dressmaking and tailoring at the Oslo Vocational School, as well as a diploma from École Professionelle des Jeunes Filles in Lausanne,Switzerland{Source}. There, she studied accounting, fashion design, and social science{Source}. She also attended the University of Olso, where she earned a degree in French, English and Art History{Source}.

She and then-Crown Prince Harlad of Norway began their courtship in 1959{Source}.  Crown Prince Harald's father objected to the relationship due to her being of non-royal status{Source}.  Once the young crown prince made it clear with his father that he would marry no one unless he could marry Sonja, his father consented to the marriage {Source}.The two were wed on 28 August 1968{Source}.
Together, they have two children, a daughter-in-law, a former son-in-law, a stepgrandson, four granddaughters and a grandson:

  1.  Princess Märtha Louise of Norway (1971)
    1. Mr. Ari Behn (1972, div 2015)
      1. Maud Angelica Behn (2003)
      2. Leah Isadora Behn (2005)
      3. Emma Taullah Behn (2008)
  2. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway (1973)
    1. Crown Princess Mette-Marit (1973)
      1. Mr. Marius Borg Høiby (1997)
      2. Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway (2004)
      3. Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway (2005)
Upon their marriage, she became Crown Princess Sonja of Norway{Source}. She immediately began to perform royal duties both at home and abroad{Source}. She established the The Queen Sonja International Music Competition in 1988{Source}.  It was originally for pianists, but in 1995 the competition became only for singers{Source}. The jury consists of diverse authoritative figures in opera and the winners receive a cash amount and prestigious engagements at Norwegian music institutions{Source}. Queen Sonja accompanied King Harald when he swore his oath to uphold the Constitution in the Storting on 21 January 1991{Source}.  This marked the first time in 69 years that a Norwegian Queen had been present in the Storting{Source}.  Subsequently, the Queen, frequently together with Crown Prince Haakon, has accompanied the King to the formal opening of the fall session of the Storting and the reading of the Speech from the Throne{Source}. In accordance with their own wishes, King Harald and Queen Sonja were consecrated in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 23 June 1991{Source}. In connection with the consecration ceremony, the King and Queen conducted a 10-day tour of Southern Norway{Source}.  The following year, the entire Royal Family conducted a 22-day tour of Norway’s four northernmost counties{Source}.

She shares a birthday with:
  1. Prince Michael of Kent (1942)
  2. Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand (1957)
  3. Princess Rayet bint Al Hashim of Jordan (2008)

Every year in the afternoon of 17 May, the King and Queen visit one of Oslo’s districts{Source}.
This gives them the opportunity to meet the population and gain an insight into the various activities taking place throughout the capital{Source}. The King receives many invitations to events and commemorative activities all over the country, and tries, as far as his programme will allow, to be present{Source}. During Olympic years, he and Queen Sonja can often be seen at events, cheering on "their" team{Source}.  The King and Queen were actively involved in connection with the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer.

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