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TMs King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway Give Speeches During the Gala Dinner in Honor of Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway.

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On the evening of June 17, 2022, Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway hosted a gala dinner in honor of Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway’s 18th birthday.

During the gala, Their Majesties gave their speeches. First, His Majesty The King’s speech:

Speech given by His Majesty The King to Princess Ingrid Alexandra during the gala dinner at the Royal Palace in celebration of her 18th birthday, 17 June 2022.

Your Majesties
Your Royal Highnesses
President of the Storting
Prime Minister
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Dear guests,

My dear Ingrid,
Congratulations to you on your 18th birthday – albeit a little after the fact.

We are very happy to be able to share this day with family and friends, and with representatives from all of Norway.   

I think it is quite fortunate that we have been able to celebrate your special day on two separate occasions. It has given us an opportunity to reflect on all that happened in connection with your actual coming of age, back in January.

You joined me in the Council of State for the first time – thankfully without a veto, since one never knows what a young woman with strong views like you might stir up!

It was both convivial and a bit crowded at the head of the table inside the Council Chamber when you and your father took your seats to my left and right.

That Friday in January, I could truly feel the strength and assurance that comes from knowing new generations are waiting in the wings. Nevertheless, you’ll likely have to put up with me a while longer!

And I hope I can continue to be of help, my dear Ingrid if there are things you wonder about.

You represent the fifth generation of what, for a long time now, has been referred to as a rather young monarchy – which came to Norway in 1905, and in truth is not so young anymore.

We are the stewards of traditions and values, even as we are formed by the times in which we live. The tone of the monarchy at any given time is set by whomever is King – or Queen.

Each of us probably feels to some degree that our predecessor is a hard act to follow. But we have no other choice than to do what feels right to us. To find our own inner role model, as it were.

I have told you this many times before, Ingrid, but a grandfather is allowed to repeat his most important piece of advice over and over: Be yourself. And trust that that will be enough – always.

When your turn comes, I hope you will have the same experience that I have been lucky enough to have throughout my life and calling: that there are many people ready to help and support you. Our institutions, official agencies and organizations have been here for a long time. Together with people from across the country, they will help to give you strength and will be of great support.

But all in due time, and not for a good while yet.  

I am glad it has been possible for you to grow and develop in freedom and security – to be young, with everything that belongs to that phase of life. And since the mission you have been given will last a lifetime, it is important that you take plenty of time for schooling and education. You can still devote many years to this. And don’t forget to play! I myself am quite experienced at that. As you know, the sea is where I play most and best. And happily, you like being out there, too.

In my speech for your confirmation, I said that you were becoming an adult at a time when building bridges between people – and saving the planet – will be the top priorities. Recent years have also shown us that truths we believed were unshakeable can be undermined with little warning. The pandemic and the outbreak of war in Europe have forced us to acknowledge our vulnerability, both as individuals and as a world community. Our democratic values ​​must be defended – again and again.  

Your great-great-grandfather, King Haakon, adopted the motto We give our all for Norway. We are repeatedly being challenged to rethink the significance of this phrase – what it means in practice. This does not just apply to us as members of the Royal Family, but to everyone who lives in this country.

Fortunately, there are many of us who share this challenge.

My dear Ingrid,
Thank you for allowing us to follow along as you grow and mature. I love you very much and wish you all the best on your journey ahead. Happy Birthday.

I would ask you all to please join me in a toast to Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway’s speech:

“Your Majesties
Your Royal Highnesses
President of the Storting
Prime Minister
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Dear guests,

Welcome to the Royal Palace and to this celebration for our wonderful 18-year-old, Princess Ingrid Alexandra. The King and I are pleased to have this opportunity to gather family and friends from Norway and abroad, and guests from all across this country. Together you represent our country, our family ties and the life of our dear princess, who will someday be Queen.

We are especially grateful to all of you – family and friends – who have travelled from all over Europe to share this celebration with us.

Finally, the time has come to celebrate this young woman.

Dear Ingrid, during your 18 years you have shown what you are made of – and displayed many talents:

You love water sports. You are a good skier. You are also fond of school, and enjoy being with friends and family. You are bold – unafraid to jump by parachute or to state your opinion. That latter quality will come in especially handy, I promise you!

You are wise, warm and knowledgeable. And you care deeply – as I said in your confirmation speech – for people, animals and nature.

I wonder what your future will hold?

Fate has given you an extraordinary task, dear Ingrid. But en route to the future you must seize the opportunities that arise with both hands – and build your own solid platform. All the impressions, learning and experience you can absorb will be useful to you later in life.

Right now you are in the midst of the most explosive time of youth, a season of burgeoning promise. Soon you will be starting your final year of school and can look forward to graduation-time festivities.

Yours is a life of great contrasts!

Today – as we celebrate your 18th birthday – you are surrounded by people who love you and wish you well. And you should know that you can always come to all of us around you to seek advice and support.

My mother always said: It’s not what happens to you that matters, but how you react to it! That has helped me greatly in life. And I would like to pass those words on to you today.

Hold on to who you are, Ingrid. Dare to think along new lines and without constraint – to do things your own way. And remember, being perfect is not an end in itself. You have everything you need to make wise choices and create a life that will be rewarding for you, for your loved ones, and for those for whom you one day will be Queen.

I hope you will always have a space of your own where you feel entirely free, where you will find replenishment, rest and inspiration – as I have found throughout my life, both in nature, especially in the mountains, and in art. Everyone needs a space like that. 

Thank you for everything we have shared together until now. I look forward to following along as you make your way further in life.

I would like to wish everyone a memorable evening.

I invite you now to join me in a toast to Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

Happy birthday – and welcome to all!

In the photo above, front row: (L-R) His Majesty King Harald V of Norway, Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway.

Second row (L-R): Ms. Marit Tjessem, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, His Highness Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway, and Mr. Marius Borg Høiby.

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