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A forgotten toast and a rapturous reception – Norway’s future queen delivers moving speech to mark her coming of age

It was, and will remain, one of the most important speeches of her life. Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway addressed kings, queens, princes, princesses and politicians at a gala dinner marking her coming of age and showed that she is negotiating her path to a crown with confidence.

Surrounded by a very proud family and very supportive friends, she spoke movingly of the love that has guided her to adulthood and of the joy she takes from the country she will one day rule, a nation she described as ‘’the Norway we love so much.’’

As she began her speech, she paid tribute to her parents, grandparents and siblings and as she thanked them for their support, she was overcome with emotion. But as she dabbed away tears, she showed an assured self confidence, laughing it off with a spontaneous exclamation before placing a hand on the shoulder of her grandfather, King Harald V.

But it was her warm words on Norway that really won her fans. She said ‘’I’m lucky enough to grow up in Norway. I have got to experience our beautiful nature; surf at Unstad, warm summer days in Southern Norway, and snowy mountains in Røldal. And not least, I have met many of the fine people who live around our country.’’

And in an echo of a famous speech given by King Harald, she also said ‘’ One of the nicest things about Norway is our democracy. The fact that we can believe in what we want. The fact that we can say what we want. And the fact that we can love the people we want.’’

Her final words were a promise for the future, as she said ‘’ We all have a place in this community. We’re different, we’ve got different roles, and we know different things. Together we create the Norway we love so much.’’

As she thanked those listening, a huge round of applause and cheering broke out. Her mother, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, looked overcome with pride and King Felipe VI of Spain, sitting at her side, clutched her hand to offer reassurance. Queen Maxima, who had wiped away tears during the speech, joined the clapping as did Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark who had also appeared overcome with emotion during the words of his goddaughter.

But there was one more moment of charm to come. Princess Ingrid Alexandra had forgotten to offer the traditional toast at the end of her speech. A quick consultation with her father, Crown Prince Haakon, led to the birthday girl grabbing her glass and raising it to the air, shouting ‘’skol’’.

The speech won a warm reception in Norway and showed that the Princess’ happy upbringing that she referred to throughout her words have given her a confidence that will stand her in great stead as she begins this new chapter of her royal life.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.