No pause for breath for the royal couple who’ve reached the grand age of 80

King Harald and Queen Sonja 80 yearsOslo.King Harald and Queen Sonja 80 years.Photo : Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

King Harald has no plans to take it easy although he’s reached 80 years of age.
To step back out of the spotlight is out of the question, unless he gets a clear message from the ‘children’ (who are themselves in their mid to late 40s) that it’s time.
‘But then, I’ve probably come so far that I don’t realize it’, said the king with a smile.

It would not be customary for him to do this in Spain, the Netherlands, or Belgium, where the Heads of State have recently abdicated.

‘I took an oath to the Constitution. For me, it means for life’, said the King to Norsk Telegrambyrå (NTB) news agency.

The king said that cooperation with the crown prince and princess is of great help to him and the queen.

‘We have four people working as a team. We work closely together, have many meetings, and talk a lot together. This is a scheme that I introduced myself, and that I missed when I was crown prince’.

The king said the crown prince occasionally offers to take over some assignments.

King Harald said, ’But I seldom accept the offer, I should emphasise!’

NTB will meet the king and queen to interview them on the occasion of their 80th birthdays on February the 21st and the 4th of July. The royal couple will not allow that age to weigh them down.

‘I always thought that those who were 80, were old aged, but I do not feel old aged myself. Age is just a number’, said King Harald.

‘If one is active, with one’s health intact, so one does not think so much about ages. Although the outer shell has changed, one is the same on the inside, there is continuity’ said Queen Sonja.

With her many art projects, she is more active than ever. When NTB asked her to quantify how old she feels, she answered,

‘I think I’m in my fifties!’

In 2016, after 25 years on the throne , the jubilee year was eventful. In all, the couple attended more than 6,000 meetings with Norwegians who are not members of the aristocracy. The speech, which the king held in the Royal Palace on September the 1st, summarised his impressions, and described the Norway
that had met him.

The speech touched many, even people outside the country. For the king, multicultural society is no threat.

‘I think it enriches Norwegian culture. We gain more diversity. Meanwhile, I think we should stick to what is Norwegian. We do not need to drop it, even if we get input from outside.

The 17th of January, 1991, saw the death of King Olav, and the country got a new king. It was no easy task.

‘I was terrified. To be quite honest, I was pretty sure I was not going to be able to do it. My father was incredibly popular’, said the king.

Now the new generation are ready to take over when the time comes.

‘This comes with the mother’s milk. They are involved in things, and see what their parents do. Ingrid discovered very early that she was a little different. No one told her that’, he said.

It was not only anniversaries, feasting and celebration for the royal family last year. The king’s household was subject to criticism, received in Parliament in the aftermath of Princess Martha Louise and Ari Behn getting divorced.

‘It seems to the detriment of the children. But if the parents work together, so it can still go really well. It is important to talk to each other’, said Queen Sonja.

The king and queen do not always feel they are left in the picture presented of the family to the public. Although he enjoyed the movie, not all the scenes in the movie, ’Kongens nei’ were equally plausible, according to the king.

‘They might disagree, but to yell at each other, they didn’t do that.’

Asked if sometimes, as the crown prince grew up, he was scolded by his father’, the room echoed with familiar laughter.

‘No, but it happened often enough that it was vice versa!’

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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