Harald V

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Harald V

Harald V (born 21 February 1937) is the King of Norway. He acceded to the throne on 17 January 1991. Harald was the third child and only son of King Olav V and Princess Märtha of Sweden. He was second in the line of succession at the time of his birth, behind his father. In 1940, as a result of the German occupation during World War II, the royal family went into exile.

Following the death of his grandfather Haakon VII in 1957, Harald became crown prince as his father became king. A keen sportsman, he represented Norway in sailing at the 1964, 1968, and 1972 Olympic Games, and later became patron of World Sailing. Harald married Sonja Haraldsen in 1968, their relationship having initially being controversial due to her status as a commoner. The couple had two children, Märtha Louise and Haakon. Harald succeeded his father as king in 1991, with Haakon becoming his heir apparent. He is a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and second cousin of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.


  • We have been given an assignment as a monarchy, and we do as well as we can … We try to be as little populistic as possible. We don't do anything on the spur of the moment to win an opinion poll, or short-term popularity.
    • Interview in Wenche Fuglehaug (November 21, 2005). "Norway's monarchy turns 100", Aftenposten, Aftenposten Multimedia A/S, Oslo, Norway.

Garden party in the Palace Park: welcoming speech (September 1, 2016)


Transcript (September 1, 2016)

  • So what is Norway?
    Norway is high mountains and deep fjords. It is wide open spaces and rocky coastlines. It is islands and archipelagos. It is lush farmland and rolling moors.
    The sea laps Norway’s shores in the north, west and south.
    Norway is midnight sun and polar night. It is harsh winters and mild winters. It is hot summers and cold summers.
    Norway is a long and sparsely populated country.
    But above all, Norway is its people.
  • Norwegians come from North Norway, Central Norway, Southern Norway – and all of the other regions. Norwegians have immigrated from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Poland, from Sweden, Somalia and Syria. My grandparents came here from Denmark and England 110 years ago.
  • It is not always easy to say where we are from, what nationality we are. Home is where our heart is – and that cannot always be confined within national borders.
    • "Home is where our heart is" is an ancient saying, reported at least as early as 1847, in Joseph C. Neal, "Singleton Snippe. Who Married for a Living", Graham's Magazine (1847), p. 166: "Home is where the heart is; and Snippe's heart was a traveler—a locomotive heart, perambulating; and it had no tendencies toward circumscription and confine".
  • Norwegians believe in God, Allah, the Universe and nothing.
  • Norway is you. Norway is us.
  • My greatest hope for Norway is that we will be able to take care of one another. That we will continue to build this country – on a foundation of trust, fellowship and generosity of spirit. That we will feel that we are – despite our differences – one people. That Norway is one.
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