His Majesty King Harald of Norway has won the prestigious award “Name of the Year 2017.” This was announced by the Norwegian newspaper VG, which hands out the award once a year to the Norwegian who the Norwegian people think has been most important of the year.
“I share this great award with my colleagues,” said the King to VG when he yesterday received the prize in the form of a small statue and a money-prize of 50,000 NOK. The King wants to donate the money to the Norwegian Church’s city mission and their work for lonely people during the Christmas season.
VG‘s Editors Gard Steiro and Jane Throndsen had the great honour of handing out the prize to the King at the “Kongssæteren” where the King always celebrates Christmas. “It was a great honour,” said a surprised King Harald. He did not even know he was nominated for the prize. King Harald’s father King Olav won the same award in 1975.
“What I primarily think of on such an occasion are all our employees who make it possible to do the job we do. They contribute to the outcome of what is clearly appreciated,” said King Harald to VG.
VG asked, “Now that the King has won this award, does this also says something about the monarchy’s position in Norway?” To this, His Majesty replied, “I hope so. That it is appreciated. Both the family and our employees must consider how much this prize says about the people’s support.” In connection with the fact that both King Harald and Queen Sonja celebrated their 80th birthdays earlier this year, a poll showed that 80 percent of all Norwegians support the monarchy. The media, therefore, refers to the King as the entire nation’s grandfather.
Every year since 1974 VG has handed out the award “Name of the Year.” The VG editorial team nominates nine candidates, and the people choose three candidates. After this, the Norwegian people have to vote for the winner, and this year the King won with a significant margin ahead of the person in second place. Former winners of the prize are, as mentioned, the King’s father, King Olav, World Championship winner Magnus Carlsen and explorer Thor Heyerdahl.