Queen Sonja of Norway
Prior to marriage
She grew up at Tuengen Allé 1B 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, and a diploma from École Professionnelle des Jeunes Filles (a finishing school) 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.
As crown princess
Sonja became engaged to then Crown Prince Harald in March 1968. They had been dating for nine years, although their relationship had been kept secret because of 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 likely to the monarchy in Norway, as Harald 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, as a result, the couple was 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.
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 organisation’s international activities. She took part in a Red Cross delegation to Botswana and Zimbabwe in 1989.
The Queen Sonja International Music Competition
The then-Crown Princess Sonja established the Queen Sonja International 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.
Queen Sonja of Norway as consort
|Spoken style||Your Majesty|
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. Since his accession, Queen Sonja has accompanied the King to the formal opening of the autumn session of the Storting and the reading of the Speech from the Throne.
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.
Queen Sonja’s School Award
Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award was established in 2011 with Tiina Kivinen from Finland being the first recipient in 2012. The prize will be awarded every other year.
- Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise, born on 22 September 1971. She married Ari Behn, born on 30 September 1972, on 24 May 2002. They have 3 daughters:
- His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon Magnus, born on 20 July 1973. He married Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, born 19 August 1973, on 25 August 2001. She has a son from a previous relationship, Marius Borg Høiby, 13 January 1997. They have 2 children:
- 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 at Athens
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 4 July 1937 – 29 August 1968: Miss Sonja Haraldsen.
- 29 August 1968 – 17 January 1991: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Norway.
- 17 January 1991 - present: Her Majesty The Queen of Norway.
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav °
- Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit °
- The Royal House Centenary Medal °
- Haakon VIIs Centenary Medal °
- Olav Vs Commemorative Medal of 30. January 1991 °
- Olav Vs Jubilee Medal 1957-1982 °
- Olav Vs Centenary Medal°
- Royal Family Order of King Olav V of Norway °
- Royal Family Order of King Harald V of Norway °
- Norwegian Red Cross Badge of Honour °
- The Nansen Medal °
- Oslo Military Society Badge of Honour in Gold °
- Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria (1978) °
- Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold °
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross °
- Cordon of the Order of Stara Planina °
- Croatia - Grand Order of Queen Jelena °
- Knight of the Order of the Elephant °
- 1st Class of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana °
- Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland °
- Grand Cross of the Ordre national du Mérite °
- Grand Cross 1st class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany °
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer °
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary °
- The Golden Olympic order (IOC) °
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon (21/10/1981) °
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic °
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown °
- Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Renaissance ° (Order of Al-Nahda)
- Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Three Stars °
- Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great °
- Grand Cross of the Order of Adolph of Nassau °
- Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau °
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion °
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown °
- Medal to commemorate the enthronement of Queen Beatrix °
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle °
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Portugal (02/01/1981) °
- Grand Cross of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique (13/02/2004) °
- Grand Cross of the Order of Christ ° (26/05/2008)
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III (21/04/1995) °
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (12/04/1982) °
- Member of the Royal Order of the Seraphim °
- King Carl XVI Gustaf's 50th Anniversary Medal (30/04/1996) °
Rem : The mark ° shows the honours mentioned on Queen Sonja's official website page
- Coronation discarded by constitutional amendment in 1908. Harald V swore the Royal Oath in the Storting on 21 January 1991 and received the benediction in the Nidaros Cathedral on 23 June 1991. Norwegian paper Aftenposten on the royal benediction
- The Official Website of the Royal House of Norway: Her Majesty Queen Sonja Cite error: Invalid
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- Queen Sonja International Music Competition web page Retrieved 2 September 2009
- Video from NRK of Sonja participating in a winter exercise
- Article from the Norwegian defence on Royals in the military (Norwegian)
- Article from the Norwegian Directorate of Education on Queen Sonja’s School Award (Norwegian) Retrieved 6 November 2007
- Jan Thomas Holmlund (27 October 2011): Her er dronning Sonjas egne kunstverk (Norwegian) Verdens Gang, retrieved 6 July 2013
- Lars Elton (6 July 2013): De tre musketêrer (Norwegian) Verdens Gang, retrieved 6 July 2013
- H.M. Dronning Sonjas kunstnerstipend (Norwegian) Kongehuset.no, retrieved 6 July 2013
- Royal House web page on the Queen's patronages Retrieved 6 November 2007
- firstname.lastname@example.org. "Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh: Honorary Graduates". www1.hw.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
- "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (pdf) (in German). p. 518. Retrieved November 2012.
- Belga Pictures, State visit of Norway in Belgium, May 2003, Group photo, Harald V & Paola, Albert II & Sonja
- Noblesse et Royautés (French), State visit of President of Finland in Norway, 2012, Photo
- The Royal Forums, State visit of japan in Norway, May 2005, Photo
- Lithuanian Presidency, Lithuanian Orders searching form
- Photo of a State visit of Lithuania to Norway, March 2011
- Portuguese presidential website, Orders search form
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- "Noblesse et Royautés", Guests to Victoria of Sweden's wedding, Photo
- 2007 Holmenkollen medalists announced - Accessed 18 March 2007. (Norwegian)
- Holmenkollen medal presented to Estil and Hjelmeset - Accessed 21 March 2007
Title last held byMaud of Wales
|Queen consort of Norway
1991 – present