The openness of the royal couple’s love has given courage to many,” said bishop Kari Veiteberg at the celebratory worship service in Oslo’s cathedral on Wednesday.
On the day 50 years ago when King Harald and Queen Sonja gave each other their “yes” in Oslo Cathedral, the couple celebrated with a service where there were traditional hymns and brand new songs and modern dance on the program.
Bishop Kari Veiteberg thanked the royal pair in his speech to the full church.
“All sports enthusiasts know what gold means. But this journey of love stretches even further back.Sonja was for nine years a girlfriend in secret,’’ Veitberg said. The king said that it would barely be possible to marry Sonja, and the Queen has also told her how difficult this period of their lives was.
Thank you for telling the people about the match. There are many who strive, many who have to wait, many who live in secret and who must fight for acceptance.That the royal pair held out gives courage and strength,’’ said the bishop.
Old,new and thank you
The palace and cathedral had chosen hymns that were sung during the wedding 50 years ago,during the ceremony in Nidaros Cathedral in 1991, and during the 70th birthday anniversary of the King.It was spiced with touches that were presented for the first time.
The bishop concluded that “thanks” was a thread through the hymns and verses – which were read by, among others, Märtha Louise and the grandchildren Ingrid Alexandra and Maud Angelica.
The bishop also said words on what she thinks we can thank the royal pair for. Not least the king’s words after the terrorist attacks in 2011, when he said that as a father, grandfather and spouse, he could only feel some of the pain the families felt – and that he, as the king of the country, felt as others did.
‘’Many felt comforted. Thank you,’’ Bishop Veiteberg said.
The bishop also drew attention to Harald’s description of himself as a ‘sports idiot’, while Sonja is drawn to nature and art. That way, they complement each other and show that diversity can be a resource.
‘’The family probably do not agree on everything. But we see they stand together, and we hear that they talk to each other,” said Veiteberg.
Many congregated along Karl Johans gate as the royal couple drove to and from the cathedral and the castle in the same open car as they used for their wedding anniversary – a Lincoln Continental from 1966 with registration number A-5.
Inside the cathedral, government members and other representatives from official Norway were in company with 200 ordinary citizens. They had gained a place after the “first come first served” principle, with 4,500 people applying.
The day ended with a private dinner for the royals at the castle.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today