Happy Birthday to King Harald V of Norway, who turns 80 today. The only son of Crown Prince (later King) Olav of Norway and Princess Martha of Sweden, King Harald is the first cousin of King Baudouin and King Albert of Belgium, Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte of Luxembourg, and related to Queen Elizabeth II, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece. He was the first King born on Norwegian soil in 567 years. During WWII, when the Nazi’s occupied Norway, the Prince lived his mother and sisters in the US. Educated in Oslo after 1945, he did his higher studies at Oxford. Losing his mother in 1954, and grandfather in 1957, he became Crown Prince Harald. In 1968, after knowing each other for nine years, he married Sonja Haraldsen in a grand ceremony in Oslo Cathedral, with the Crown Princess taking on the role of ‘First Lady’ of Norway immediately after the wedding. The couple have two children, Princess Märtha Louise and Prince Haakon, and five grandchildren. In 1990, after the death of his father, the Crown Prince became King Harald V of Norway. The King of Norway has a ceremonial role, with King Harald representing Norway abroad and carrying out constitutional duties, which includes the Nobel Peace Prize. We wish His Majesty many Happy Returns!
In honour of King Harald’s 80th Birthday, The Norwegian Royal Court released a new series of portraits of the King and Queen with the Royal family. A Gala will be held in May to celebrate King Harald’s and Queen Sonja’s 80th Birthdays this year.
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