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Norway

Former US President Bill Clinton sends personal greeting to King Harald and Queen Sonja


By Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States - 210120-D-WD757-2603, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=99135540

This year marks 30 years since King Harald ascended the Norwegian throne after the death of his father, King Olav V. The anniversary of King Harald and Queen Sonja cannot be celebrated in the traditional way due to the pandemic, but former President Bill Clinton has sent a greeting to the Norwegian royal couple to mark the anniversary. Former US President Bill Clinton fondly remembered the Norwegian royal couple’s visit to the White House 25 years ago, he told the Norwegian state TV channel NRK.

In collaboration with the state TV channel, the King and Queen have participated in a documentary series where they talk about the 50 state visits they have undertaken in the past 30 years. In the first episode of the series, which was broadcast on 17 January 2021, the King and Queen looked back at a state visit to the United States that did not go exactly according to plan. King Harald and Queen Sonja laughed when they reminisced on what happened outside the White House in 1995. When they exited the black car in front of the White House, there was no one there to receive them.

The former American President acknowledged with a smile that he forgot the King and Queen when they visited USA on a state visit in 1995. Bill Clinton said: “It is true as the King says that a lot happened in the White House the day we were to meet. And there was a bit of confusion at first. But I remember how gracious both the King and the Queen were. They took it in a good mood, and it was a very pleasant visit.”

Bill Clinton continued: “It was exciting to hear King Harald tell about when he lived in the White House as a little boy during World War II, while we walked around the rooms. I thank Your Majesties for faithfully representing their country in the best way for 30 years and send my warmest congratulations to them and to everyone in Norway, wishing for continued good health, happiness and success. I am deeply inspired by the many years of leadership Norway has shown when it comes to supporting people in need all over the world”.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.