Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Queen Sonja

Queen Sonja was born in Oslo on 4 July 1937 as the daughter of clothing merchant Karl August Haraldsen  and Dagny Ulrichsen, both of whom are deceased.

Queen Sonja grew up in Oslo.  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.

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 most likely the monarchy in Norway as well; 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 then acquired the style of Royal Highness and the title of Crown Princess of Norway.

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 Parliment building on 21 January 1991. It was the first time in 69 years that a Norwegian queen had been present in theParliment.

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 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 children:

Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise, born on 22 September 1971. She married Ari Behn on 24 May 2002. They have 3 daughters:
        Maud Angelica Behn, born 29 April 2003
        Leah Isadora Behn, born 8 April 2005
        Emma Tallulah Behn, born 29 September 2008

 His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon Magnus, born on 20 July 1973. He married Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby on 25 August 2001. She has a son from a previous relationship, Marius Borg Høiby.
They have 2 children:
        Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra, born 21 January 2004, Hereditary Princess of Norway
        His Highness Prince Sverre Magnus, born 3 December 2005

 So what do you think? True Cinderella? One thing is for sure, she is one tough Queen, and I bet a wonderful Queen Grandma!


Ellie said...

Some women seem to exude style and confidence, as she is one of them!

Fascinating post.

Ellie Garratt

sue said...

I suspect it'd be a hard life for all the apparent glitz and glamour. Good on her for carrying it off, and for the Crown Prince for being so strong. Sue@JumpingAground (Alliteration & drabbles)
Sue@traverselife(Workplace bullying)

Jan Morrison said...

This was wonderful to read - so facinating and I knew none of it. Thanks so much.

Monti said...

Great story! My novella Dangerous Hearts has a little of a crown prince story that wasn't as happy. Like the way this turned out!

Thanks for visiting my blog.


Hart Johnson said...

Oh, I love your dressmaker Queen and her hubby's insistance on marrying for love! I love that she went to Antarctica, too--I just wish the OLDEST grandbaby would inherit... the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter... Boo for patriarchal insistence! (very interesting, though!)

Talli Roland said...

I'm with Ellie. She looks so regal!

Anonymous said...

So I have taught you that almonds grow on trees and you have taught me that Norway still has a monarchy. I had no idea! This was once again fascinating! Thanks for sharing with a twit! haha

shelly said...

I say Kudos to her!

Laura Eno said...

I was thinking the same thing as Hart - too bad the oldest child doesn't inherit.
The Queen has handled the spotlight with grace and dignity, not an easy task!

Emily Rose said...

I guess I never thought of Norway's government. She seems like the perfect queen!

Katie Mills said...

what a great story and yes, I'd say she's one tough lady! I'm always so enamoured of real life prince and princesses- i love grace kelly's story too. Two big princes are being married soon too so I'm looking forward to that! said...

She does look like Cinderella. This is a very respectable Q post (unlike mine). Nicely done.

Marjorie said...

What a wonderfully romantic story! Troll research? I love Norwegian trolls.

Josh Hoyt said...

This is an amazing story. She seems to have endured a lot and been very strong.

Melissa Bradley said...

Wow! She is one impressive woman and it does my heart good to hear that she holds those ranks in the military. That's practically unheard of in other countries.

King Harald is a true man's man fighting for his lady like that. Thank you for sharing this.

nutschell said...

What a great story--even better bec its true. :) great Q post! and love the picture. She reminds me of Julie Andrews in the Princess diaries.

Anonymous said...

So, in a way, Sonja's son simply did what his father had done years before -- marry a commoner. OK, the bride being married before and having a child, -- that was different.

MM the Queen of English

Anonymous said...


MM the Queen of English

N. R. Williams said...

3 cheers for standing up for true love. To bad Prince Charles didn't do the same thing. Then Diana might not have been so miserable.

In my epic fantasy, the prince marries for love not obligation.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Good for the prince to stand up to his father to marry the lady he loved.

Gail M Baugniet said...

Hail to Queen Sonja! Truly Quality.

J.L. Campbell said...

Thanks for this information. I didn't even know Norway had a royal family.