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Sonja
HM The Queen of Norway (more)

Queensonja.jpg
Queen consort of Norway
Reign 17 January 1991 – present
(&000000000000002600000026 years, &0000000000000161000000161 days)
Consecration 23 June 1991(1991-06-23) (aged 53)
Spouse Harald V of Norway
Issue
Princess Märtha Louise
Crown Prince Haakon
House House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Father Karl August Haraldsen
Mother Dagny Ulrichsen
Born 4 July 1937 (1937-07-04) (age 79)
Oslo, Norway
Religion Christian Lutheran
Norwegian Royal Family
Royal Arms of Norway.svg

HM The King*
HM The Queen*


*Member of the Norwegian Royal House


v · d · e

Queen Sonja of Norway (née Sonja Haraldsen, born 4 July 1937) is the wife of King Harald V of Norway.

Early lifeEdit

Sonja was born in Oslo on 4 July 1937 as the daughter of clothing merchant Karl August Haraldsen (1889–1959) and Dagny Ulrichsen (1898–1994).

EducationEdit

Queen Sonja grew up at 1B Tuengen Allé in the district of Vinderen in Oslo and completed her lower secondary schooling in 1954. 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. There, she studied accounting, fashion design, and social science.

She returned to Norway for further studies and received an undergraduate degree (French, English and Art History) from the University of Oslo.

Personal lifeEdit

Engagement and marriageEdit

See Engagement of Crown Prince Harald and Sonja Haraldsen and Wedding of Crown Prince Harald and Sonja Haraldsen

She became engaged to then Crown Prince Harald in March 1968. They had been dating for nine years, although this had been kept secret because of opposition to her non-royal status. The Crown Prince made it clear to his father, King Olav V, that he would remain unmarried for life unless he could marry her. This would in effect have put an end to the rule of his family and probably to the monarchy in Norway, as he was the sole heir to the throne. Faced with having to choose one of his relatives from the Danish Royal Family, the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein or even the Grand Dukes of Oldenburg as his new heir in place of his son, Olav V consulted the government for advice and the result was that the couple were wed on 29 August 1968, at Oslo Domkirke in Oslo. She thus acquired the style of Royal Highness and the title of Crown Princess of Norway.

ChildrenEdit

As Crown Princess of NorwayEdit

Immediately after the wedding, the new Crown Princess began to carry out her royal duties, traveling extensively in Norway and abroad. In 1972 she was involved in establishing Princess Märtha Louise’s Fund, which provides assistance to disabled children in Norway. She has taken active part in large-scale initiatives to raise funds for international refugees and spent time in the 1970s visiting Vietnamese boat refugees in Malaysia.

From 1987 to 1990, Crown Princess Sonja served as Vice President of the Norwegian Red Cross. She was responsible for the organization's international activities. She took part in a Red Cross delegation to Botswana and Zimbabwe in 1989.

The Queen Sonja International Music CompetitionEdit

The then-Crown Princess Sonja established this music competition in 1988. It was originally for pianists, but in 1995 the competition became only for singers. The jury consists of diverse authoritative figures in opera and the winners receive a cash amount and prestigious engagements at Norwegian music institutions.

As QueenEdit

Following the death of King Olav V on 17 January 1991, Sonja became Norway's first queen consort in 53 years. Queen Sonja accompanied King Harald V when he swore his oath to uphold the Constitution in the Storting on 21 January 1991. It was the first time in 69 years that a Norwegian queen had been present in the Storting. Queen Sonja has accompanied the King to the formal opening of the fall session of the Storting and the reading of the Speech from the Throne since his accession.

In accordance with their own wishes, the King and Queen were consecrated in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 23 June 1991. Following the consecration, the King and Queen conducted a 10-day tour of Southern Norway. In 1992, the entire Royal Family conducted a 22-day tour of Norway’s four northernmost counties.

The Queen accompanies the King on official state visits abroad. She acts as the hostess when foreign heads of state officially visit Norway. The Queen has also given lectures on Norway as a tourist destination on several occasions during official state visits abroad.

In 2005, Queen Sonja became the first queen ever to visit Antarctica. The Queen was there to open the Norwegian Troll research station in the country's Antarctic dependency, Queen Maud Land. The Queen flew in on one of the Royal Norwegian Air Force's C-130H Hercules transport aircraft, landing at Troll airfield.

The Queen is appointed a Rear Admiral in the Royal Norwegian Navy and a Brigadier in the Norwegian army. She has undergone a basic officer training course and has participated in exercises.

Queen Sonja’s School AwardEdit

Queen Sonja’s School Award was established in 2006 and is awarded to schools who have "demonstrated excellence in its efforts to promote inclusion and equality".

PatronagesEdit

  • Red Cross Nordic United World College
  • Norwegian Folk Art and Craft Association
  • Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments
  • Norwegian Association of Museums
  • Norwegian National Opera
  • Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Oslo Chamber Music Festival
  • Førde International Folk Music Festival
  • National Association of Folk Music and Dance
  • Royal Norwegian Society for Development
  • Norwegian Horticulture Society
  • Norwegian Institute in Rome
  • Norwegian Institute in Athens

Titles, styles, honors, and armsEdit

HonorsEdit

In 1982 she was awarded the Nansen Refugee Award. In 2007, she received the Holmenkollen medal with Simon Ammann, Frode Estil, Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset, and her husband, King Harald V.

Norwegian honors
Foreign honors

External linksEdit

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