Queen Sonja of Norway celebrates her 82nd Birthday on Thursday, 4 July 2019 and her daughter posts a special message on Instagram.
However, Queen Sonja has a very busy schedule as she will visit a festival at Helgeland and open the Helgelandstrappa (Helgeland Stairs) this weekend. On Monday, 8 July 2019, Queen Sonja will be attending the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival’s 15th anniversary.
A Girl of the People
The daughter of clothing merchant Karl August Haraldsen and Dagny Ulrichsen, Sonja was born at the Red Cross Clinic in Oslo on 4 July 1937.
After finishing high school in 1954, Sonja completed a diploma in dressmaking and tailoring at the Oslo Vocational School, and studied accounting, fashion design and social science at a Swiss finishing school.
Sonja received an undergraduate degree after studying French, English and Art History at the University of Oslo.
She met Crown Prince Harald at a dinner party in June 1959, and invited to his graduation ball two months later.
However, their fairytale romance didn’t go plan as their relationship was kept a secret because she was a commoner.
King Olav V wanted his son to marry a princess but the Crown Prince put his foot down by saying he refused to marry unless it was Sonja.
Finally, King Olav agreed and they became engaged on 19 March 1968.
They married at Oslo Cathedral on 29 August 1968 and have two children: Princess Märtha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon.
Sonja became the first queen consort in over 50 years, when her father-in-law died on 17 January 1991, following illness and a heart attack.
Queen Sonja was present in the Storting (parliament) when King Harald swore an oath to uphold the Constitution in the Storting on 21 January 1991.
The new King and Queen were consecrated in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 23 June 1991, and spent ten days visiting southern Norway.
Nature and the Queen Sonja Print Award
Queen Sonja is an honorary member of the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) as she has visited nearly every place in Norway, with some hiking trails and nature paths named in her honour.
She is also a keen photographer and often captures images of her trips in Norway.
The Queen has produced some of her own graphic prints which have been on display, including Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
The Queen Sonja Print Award was established in 2011, with the award presented biannually, with NOK 400,000 (about AUD 67,000) and a one-week educational stay at the Atelje Larsen art studio in Helsingborg, Sweden.
Princess Märtha Louise Birthday Greetings
Princess Märtha Louise posted her birthday greetings for her mother on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
Gratulerer med dagen, kjære mamma. Happy Birthday, mom. Thank you for being such a beacon of light in my life. You are an inspiration to me with your perseverance for equality in all areas of life. I love your energy, your laugh, your insights. May your day be filled with joy and happiness. Love you! 💗