New Year’s speech by HM King Harald

King HaraldHis Majesty, King Harald: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

HM King Harald sees renewed optimism for Norway

The King praised waffle bakers, coffee brewers, the Norwegian spirit of helping each other (dugnad)  and adaptability in this year’s New Year’s speech. He also recognizes a growing optimism in the country.


– At this time last year, uncertainty was high. The decline in oil industry caused many to be unemployed. For individuals who still lack a job to go to, the situation is still difficult. But as a nation, we see a renewed optimism, says King Harald in his New Year’s Eve speech.

Optimism has to do with the fact that many were forced to rethink, according to His Majesty, the King.

– We have done so many times before in Norway. We have an ability to adapt that we benefit from during difficult times, He states.

Strong willpower

The King began His speech by referring to the poet Åse-Marie Nesse, who in one of her poems says that there is a great willpower governing the world.

– We live in a time when good will is not always the most visible. We get the impression that the world is characterized by conflict, turmoil and strife, according to His Majesty.

– Just because of that, we need to remind ourselves and each other of the good power that, after all, exists in every human being, He continued.


The King concluded that this good power can be found everywhere, not least through voluntary work.

– Every little community in Norway consists of waffle bakers, coffee brewers, football coaches, visiting friends, willing hands and big hearts that we had not coped without.

King Harald added that at the core of voluntary work is the desire to do something without achieving personal, monetary gain.

– Through working together and helping each other (dugnad), we have through generations built the foundation for who we are today.


Efforts towards better mental health among young people and the fight against bullying have engaged the monarch for a long time. Those subjects were also mentioned in the speech, where the King reminded us that all people have something good inside – even those who bully or harass others.

– The strong will that carries us can also be used for this: deciding to put an end to mobbing. To behave properly against each other.

Will to survive

Toward the end of the speech, he mentioned things about Norway, which more or less defines Norwegians.

His Majesty the King pointed out that the country from ancient times is built on strong will for survival and independence, and concluded that nature and history have shaped the Norwegian people.

– We must not forget our history – otherwise we can lose the freedoms and the progress we have meticulously built up, says the King,  pointing to gender equality and caring for the children, among other things.

Must remain vigilant

He also stated that society is in constant change, that work is not done once and for all and that we must remain vigilant so that no groups fall outside the society.

– We must beware of setbacks in areas where women and men have been working for generations to bring us where we are today – whether it concerns the fight for human rights, women’s liberation or child welfare.

– Whether protecting the nature or the power of “dugnad”

He concluded by describing it as a virtue in a society that allows humans to try and err.

– That we can fall, but still be given new chances of being humans who are  there for one another, who deep down wants others the best, He concluded.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today