his 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 Queen Margrethe of Denmark has sent a greeting to the Norwegian royal couple to mark the anniversary through the Norwegian state TV channel NRK.
King Harald and Queen Sonja’s very first state visit as King and Queen of Norway was to Denmark in 1991. There, the King’s second cousin, Queen Margrethe, received them, and the three were already close friends.
Her Majesty Queen Margrethe said: “On the occasion of King Harald and Queen Sonja’s 30th anniversary of the government, I would like to congratulate them with all my heart. Harald and Sonja, you represent your country. No, you are your country. It makes me happy every time I see it. It is a pleasure every time we are together, and I see how wonderfully you perform your tasks. I look forward to the respect you enjoy in Norway and far beyond Norway’s borders.”
Queen Sonja and Queen Margrethe have been close friends for decades. The two queens both enjoy nature and have gone on annual long trips together in the Norwegian mountains. Queen Margrethe usually travels to visit her Norwegian relatives every winter to go skiing, but she has not done so this year due to the pandemic. When Sonja became Queen of Norway in 1991, she went to Queen Margrethe for advice, who, at that point, had ruled Denmark as Queen since 1972.
The Norwegian King and Danish Queen are second cousins and shared a warm friendship. Margrethe’s father, King Frederik IX, was the son of King Christian X, who was the eldest brother of Prince Carl of Denmark, who in 1905 was elected King of Norway and took the name King Haakon VII. King Harald’s grandmother, Princess Ingeborg of Sweden, was also born a Danish princess as the sister of Christian X and Haakon VII.