King Harald: It took a while before the seriousness of the corona crisis sank in

King HaraldPhoto: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB
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When King Harald realized the corona crisis’s seriousness, he gave a speech to help unite the nation. He did something he rarely does – he referred to his own faith.

The penultimate chapter of the book “Kongen forteller,” written by Harald Stanghelle, is devoted to King Harald’s experience of the corona crisis.

“So, we were not mentally prepared. It took a while before the seriousness sank in,” King Harald said.

When he delivered his speech to the people on Sunday, March 15, King Harald was the first of Europe’s monarchs to address the world’s crisis.

Christian faith

“It was to help keep the nation together. To emphasize how serious the situation was,” he said.

In his speech, he did something he rarely does – he mentioned his Christian faith.

“Yes, I rarely say anything about my prayers. But in the situation we faced in mid-March, I thought it was right. 

“We had to be prepared that there would be many deaths. Many more than there here at home in Norway, fortunately, as it now looks. 

“But in March, we did not know how many would die. Therefore, when I said that ‘my thoughts and prayers are with you all now,’ it was also to emphasize the seriousness,” King Harald noted.

Missed the hugs

He pointed out that the royal family is like other families.

“We felt the longing to hug those we love. We were not allowed to either. I myself have been so isolated, so I have not been afraid of being infected,” King Harald said, adding that he is fully aware that he is definitely in the risk group.

The king also says he is impressed with his people.

“Very impressed. Norway and Norwegians have taken it well. I have to say that. 

“Because these are not trifles that we have been exposed to. We have probably learned that in such crises, it is wise to stand together,” he concluded.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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