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King Harald’s New Year speech

New Year’s Eve is the evening many people associate with a good dinner and fireworks. For the last 71 years His Majesty The King’s Speech has also been a tradition for the Norwegian people, first on radio, now on TV. See the entire speech in the bottom of the article (the speech is in Norwegian).

Both King Harald and Queen Sonja will celebrate their 80th birthday in 2017. “This is a bit unreal”, said the King in this year’s New Year speech. “Like so many older people have experienced before us, one feels not as old as they really are. For us it is a little unreal. 2016 has been a year where the Norwegian domestic politics has been marked by debate regarding the Norwegian immigration policy.” King Harald emphasised that people must want each other as well.

King Harald and Queen Sonja at the celebrations in January. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

“If we have good dreams for each other, if we want each other well – then we can creat magical moments. It is good for us to ensure that others can thrive. Both in the community`s in Norway and as world citizens” the King said, who also maintains that knowledge of cultural heritage helps make us more whole as human beings.

“My experience is that by standing confident in awareness of my own heritage, I can easily meet others with an open mind”, the King said, who also recalled that in 2016 it was 25 years since he and the Queen assumed the Norwegian throne. “To have God’s blessing, and getting to kneel where both my father and grandfather had previously received the same blessing, is a major force.”

This year’s speech revolved around “The Wish Tree” in the Castle Park, where people were invited to hang up notes with their hopes and wishes for Norway and the world. More and more notes came every day. The branches of the old tree hung heavy with the hopes of children and adults, young and old, Norwegians and foreign tourists. The King especially noted one message, “I want everyone to get just a little kinder towards themselves”.

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