King Haakon VII returns home to a rapturous welcome in Norway on 7 June 1945 after spending five years in exile during World War II.

Video: NRK filmavisen/The Royal House of Norway

The Royal Court of Norway has shared an archival video of this historic movement, as huge crowds waved and cheered when King Haakon stepped ashore in Oslo.

Crown Princess Märtha and the children, Princess Ragnhild, Princess Astrid and Prince Harald, accompanied King Haakon aboard the HMS Norfolk.

Crown Prince Olav, who had returned earlier on 13 May 1945, came aboard the HMS Norfolk, to welcome his father, wife and children home after five years.

King Haakon Speech

An English translation of King Haakon’s speech upon his return to Norway on 7 June 1945.

Dear countrymen!

This day has been a day that both I and the government looked forward to on 9 April. That day we were given the choice to stand as defenders of the Constitution or to bow down. It is my great pleasure to be able to say that there was no doubt in my counsel when we faced that question. We were all perfectly aware that our defence could not withstand the world’s strongest army for a long time. But we would look our descendants in the eyes. We would say: We did what we could. It was with this decision that we refused to accept the German proposal. And what happened later through the years of the war, it is historical already. It was a very heavy day that day when we had to make the decision that we had to leave the country. We were faced with the fact that if we stayed in the country, we would become prisoners. We would be prisoners and not represent free Norway.

The years were long. I do not deny it, And many times it may have looked very dark for many of you. But as has been said, I never doubted that Norway would get its due. Norway had, in the most insidious way, been assaulted quite innocently, and so I felt confident that Our Lord would carry it forward to the day we are facing today. The fact that we came back just on the day when the Norwegian people regained their freedom and independence, is for me a warning of what is going on behind us, that we will also succeed in doing our work and efforts for the benefit of the country. But in order to achieve that, we still have to stand together on the big things, together on the big task of getting covered over the scars that the war has created in this country. But in order to achieve that, I must have a people who agree to join in the great work.

And with this wish, I would ask everyone to join in a nine-fold cheer for the Fatherland!

King Haakon VII of Norway, 7 June 1945

Here’s the link for the original transcript in Norwegian, Vi må fortsatt stå sammen (We still have to stand together).

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