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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

King Harald V of Norway vowed to remain unmarried for life unless he could marry his true love

As long as we can remember monarchies, have had an unwritten rule that required the monarch and his successors to marry a spouse from a royal or noble family.

In the past, this practice was mostly done as part of strategic diplomacy for national interests.

In most cases, they used the marriages to strengthen the power or influence of the royal house by making strategic alliances; personal feelings and preferences weren’t taken into consideration.

In the last century, this attitude started to change and more and more monarchs decided to marry for love regardless of the status of their spouse.

Despite the prevailing royal preference, some of the current kings and queens decided to marry a commoner.

One of the commoners that married into the current generation of rulers is Sonja Haraldsen. She is married to King Harald V of Norway and she is now Queen of Norway.

But her road to becoming a queen wasn’t easy at all. She had to fight for acceptance from the royal house.

Sonja was born on 4 July 1937, in Oslo, Norway. She was a daughter of clothing merchant Karl August Haraldsen. She grew up in Oslo and she was educated there.

She received a diploma in dressmaking and tailoring at the Oslo Vocational School and later, an undergraduate degree in French, English and Art History from the University of Oslo.

At that time, Prince Harald of Norway met Sonja at a party in 1959. It was love at first sight when they saw each other but unfortunately their relationship was forbidden. It was unacceptable for a commoner to marry a future king.

The father of Prince Harald of Norway, King Olav V of Norway, for years, tried to persuade his son Prince Harald to marry a lady of royal birth.

He didn’t have anything personal against Sonja but he was afraid that if his son married a commoner it would have a negative impact on the young Norwegian monarchy. Prince Harald didn’t listen to his father and stayed firmly committed to Sonja.

He was determined to marry Sonja and he made it clear to his father that he would remain unmarried for life unless he could marry her. If this happened it would put an end to the rule of his family, as Harald was the sole heir to the throne.

After nine years Prince Harald of Norway obtained his father’s approval and he married Sonja on 29 August 1968 in Oslo. Sonja was now the Princess of Norway.

In 1991 they become King Harald V and Queen Sonja. Together they traveled throughout Norway and internationally to establish themselves as monarchs. They deepened their commitment to their country, living according to Harald’s motto “Alt for Norge” – All for Norway.

(Source: The vintage news)

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