His Majesty King Harald of Norway quoted the 2003 film Love Actually during his gala dinner speech last night held in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The quote came almost halfway through his evening remarks when discussing Norway and the United Kingdom.
“Your Royal Highnesses, In comparing Norway with the United Kingdom, I am tempted to quote a line from the film Love Actually: ‘We may be a small country, but we’re a great one too…’,” King Harald stated.
He then continued saying, “However, some of the aspects we appreciate most about our own country, are things the UK and Norway have in common – and that are important for all of us:
“We are countries with beautiful nature and lovely hills for hikes. We are old nations with deep cultural roots. Our peoples have been shaped by our climate, the challenges and opportunities that have arisen through the course of our histories.
“And most important: Our societies are based on democratic rule, freedom of speech and fundamental human rights. Today, that is something we must treasure and work to defend every single day. We must remember that these values cannot be taken for granted.”
His Majesty had begun his speech welcoming the Duke and Duchess to Norway, and the fact that they were family, “The Queen and I are delighted to welcome you on your first official visit to Norway. You are family. And that makes this visit very special – for the Queen and me, and for all of us.
“The history of the British and the Norwegian royal families is entwined with the history of our countries. And quite a few times throughout our history, the paths of our families and our nations have crossed.”
He, of course, was referring to Queen Maud of Norway who was born Princess Maud of Wales. Maud was King Harald’s grandmother and the sister to Prince William’s great-great-grandfather, King George V. King Harald pointed out the relations in his speech adding, “so we are united by family ties.”
His full speech can be read on the Royal Court of Norway’s official website.
In attendance at the dinner with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was King Harald, Queen Sonja, their daughter Princess Märtha Louise, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and King Harald’s sister, Princess Astrid.
The Duchess of Cambridge was escorted into the dinner first alongside the King, while the Duke followed behind accompanying Queen Sonja. The Crown Prince Couple were next and followed by Princess Märtha Louise and Princess Astrid.
William and Catherine conclude their two-day trip to Norway today; their day begins this morning with a visit to Hartvig Nissen School where they will meet the stars and producers of the popular Norwegian television show Skam. Their Royal Highnesses will then travel to the home of the Crown Prince Couple for lunch before continuing their tour later in the afternoon. The Cambridges are due to return home to London this evening.