TRHs Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway Give a Moving Speech at the Gala Dinner for HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway

The Crown Prince:
Your Majesties
Your Royal Highnesses President of the
Prime Minister
Dear all

Dear Ingrid

Now that you have turned 18, 4 months, 26 days and 16 hours, we are very happy to finally be able to celebrate you, and have a few words to say to you. We have been looking forward to this celebration with so many that mean a lot to you, and a lot to us.

In connection with your birthday in January, you gave more people the opportunity to get to know you a little better. You gave your first interviews, had meetings with the government and received deputations here at the Palace.

For me, all this was a little special. Because I myself have been in a similar situation as you are in now, and meet an 18-year-old version of myself a little at the door.

In preparation for everything you were going to do in January, we watched videos from my 18th birthday in 1991. It starts, believe it or not, to be a while ago. And I was a serious young man who spoke slowly, and thought a lot. Especially during the interview I had with Geir Helljesen on NRK, you struggled to stop laughing.

That’s why I’m extra happy to see who you are. You have a security in you, Ingrid, which will be a strength for you all your life.

And then it’s important for me to say to you today. You have many people around you who will help and support you. You have all of us who love you. Marius and Magnus – who will always be there for you – just as you will always be there for them. Mom – who you can go to when it’s difficult, who is good at listening, putting problems into words and finding solutions. And then you have your whole extended family – and then you have me .

The Crown Princess:
Dear Ingrid. The day you were born 18 years ago, my dad and I drove in from Skaugum to Rikshospitalet. Later that day, after an absolutely beautiful birth, we came home with the miracle that is you. Today you are a beautiful young girl – ready to take the plunge into the future. A wise young lady, strong and clear. Dad and I are so infinitely proud of you and in love with you.

And as Dad said, now the two of us stand around you with Marius and Magnus, grandma, grandpa and grandma and your whole big family. All those who love you the most. You are also surrounded by good wishes from people around our country, who wish you all the best for both today and the rest of your days. You are in a historic line of heirs to the throne in this country.

Today we celebrate your authority day, our beautiful Ingrid, but also the authority day of the country’s hereditary princess. Norway consists not only of mountains, forests, plateaus, fields and seas – but of the dreams, hopes, joys and sorrows of all the people who live in our country.

Norway is the sum of all the knowledge, thoughts, actions and perhaps most importantly: the values ​​of the people in this country. One of your most important tasks will be to stand together with all northern women and men through the joy and sorrow they will experience. Seeing them, understanding who we are together and making sure everyone feels they have a place here. As King Haakon did for his people, as Dad’s grandfather King Olav did and as your fine fine grandfather Our King has done for his people. You are walking on a path that many wise people have walked before you.

You have to find your own way, Ingrid. But none of us who know you doubt that you have what it takes to do what you want in your life.

The Crown Prince:
So on this important day in your life, I would like to talk a little bit about freedom. For all people have the opportunity to find their freedom. And so do you. I hope you feel free to take an education you want.

That you find something you want to be good at and that you find exciting. That you feel free to find the friends who are good for you. Which you can trust and be yourself with. You are lucky, Ingrid, who has many good friends around you. Many of them are here tonight.

There is also great freedom to be found in nature, in sports and in mastery. The physical mastery combined with both the magnificent and the forces of nature can give a feeling of great freedom. I have been lucky to share many such experiences with Marius, Magnus and with you. And I hope you will continue to find points of freedom in nature and sports throughout your life.

Bjørn to Berit has spoken to me several times about duty as a value, as something positive. I’m a little unsure if he said that to me the most or if he talked to others. Even in duty, it is possible to find a sense of freedom. At the same time, I understand that this is a little too violent to say to an 18-year-old. At least I did not have a great understanding of it when I was 18. But I think there might be something in it. And that’s why I wanted it today.

The Crown Princess:
Both Dad and I are concerned that you should be allowed to make mistakes, it’s part of growing up to find your own way. It is important to us that you feel confident that you are good enough just the way you are. As an 18-year-old, it is not always easy to take on what is on your shoulders. But as Dad said, I also want you to know that there is a great deal of freedom in your destiny. 

We who know you know how happy you are in your country. How happy you are to travel around Norway. When you walk around with your NORWAY sweater and feel extra proud. Skiing and surfing have taken you on many trips, both with your family and with friends. It has made you famous in nooks and crannies all over the country.

Ingrid, I could not have been more proud of the girl I have been allowed to follow since your clear brown eyes looked up at me when you were born. You have always had an enormous sense of justice in you, and a strength to stand in things. You have protected your brothers with beaks and claws and great power if necessary.

I am so grateful for the trust you show me, by sharing so much of what is happening in your life, that I am allowed to know you and your gang so well and all that you stand for.

Most of all, I’m so grateful for what you teach me about your world. It makes me a wiser person.

Our Ingrid, it’s not just you who turn 18 this year. So do 57,000 other young people around our country. Who has as many dreams and expectations for what the future will bring as you, who have already experienced great sorrow and great joy. The web of life is like that for all people, you know that, Ingrid, and sometimes I can be completely knocked to the ground by the expectations you young people face. Both from yourself, from the society around you and from each other. And sometimes I want to wrap you all in a big duvet, and give you a big cup of tea and say that it’s going to go well.

So today I would like to send a greeting not only to you Ingrid, but to all the young people in our country and especially all the 04s. Remember that you must all take care of each other and have faith in you when you create what will be the Norway of the future. It is your opportunity and responsibility to create the society you want. And you should know that both Haakon and I will cheer you on.

The Crown Prince:
In all people’s lives there are hard days. When expectations feel high and the weight feels heavy, keep in mind everyone who loves you, Ingrid. Everyone who wants you well. And we who are closest must be allowed to participate and carry. Especially mom and me. Do not be afraid that we will worry too much. That’s our job, that. We both want and will be with and carry with you.

Dear Ingrid, you are a whole, contrast-filled and wonderful person. Remember that there is room for everything that is you. Both weakness and strength, vulnerability and coping. Thank you for everything you are to us. We are so proud of you and very much in love with you.

The Crown Princess:
One of the things we appreciate about you Ingrid is the joy that lives in you, and all the life you fill our home with. With friends, laughter and loud music. Now we look forward to celebrating you with family, friends, lots of laughter and maybe some loud music as well.

Our dear Ingrid, congratulations on the day.