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King of Norway’s diversity speech goes viral

A passionate five-minute address given by King Harald V of Norway to 1,500 guests during a royal garden party in the park of the Royal Palace in Oslo has gone viral. A spokeswoman from the palace, Marianna Hagen, said the palace received a huge number of requests for an official English translation of the speech. The original video received almost 80,000 likes and has been viewed over 3 million times.

King Harald explicitly backed gay rights saying that Norwegians were “girls who love girls, boys who love boys, and girls and boys who love each other”. He also spoke of religious diversity, adding that Norwegians believed “in God, in Allah, in the universe – and in nothing”.

For the King Norwegians come in all ages, abilities, heights, family statuses, careers and musical tasted. “In other words,” he said. “Norway is you. Norway is us.” He added that Norwegians come “from north Norway, central Norway, southern Norway and all the other regions”, but also from “Afghanistan, Pakistan and Poland, from Sweden, Somalia and Syria”.

The public’s response in Norway has been good. On the state broadcaster NRK’s Facebook page one commented that it is “really hard to be republican with this royal family – they are unique, and down-to-earth like most Norwegians. What an example of Norwegian values in practice!”

King Harald went on to praise Norway’s beauty from the “high mountains and deep fjords” to “lush farmland and rolling moors”, but urged Norway to stay unified.

“My greatest hope for Norway,” he said, “is that we will be able to take care of one another. That we will continue to build this country. That we will feel that we are – despite our differences – one people.”

A second video has since been posted with English subtitles, which already has over 125,000 views. You can watch that video here.