Queen Sonja’s Day on July 4 commemorates the Queen’s birthday. Norwegians adore their vacations almost as much as they adore their monarchs. The Queen is immensely popular in Norway, and her birthday is marked by the raising of national flags around the country. The birthdays of the majority of the royal family members are commemorated in Norway with an official holiday. These are not public holidays, but rather regular workdays. There are, however, events commemorating the family member’s milestone birthdays. To get you up to speed on the Queen, here are some facts about her life.
History of Queen Sonja's day
Queen Sonja was born in Oslo on July 4, 1937, to commoners. She studied dressmaking and tailoring, and received a degree in fashion and social sciences — perhaps this explains her impeccable taste! She also received a diploma from a Swiss finishing school. She met then-Crown Prince Harald at a gathering in 1959, and they began dating immediately.
Due to the contentious nature of their relationship, they kept their relationship a secret. A royal, especially the future King, was not permitted to woo commoners, at least not until Harald. Even before their marriage in 1968, Sonja and the then-Crown Prince Harald had been dating for nine years. Harald had warned his father, King Olav V, that if he did not give his consent for him to marry Sonja, he would remain unmarried. Eventually, King Olav V approved the marriage and Sonja received recognition at her wedding in 1968.
Harald and Sonja were crowned King and Queen of Norway in Oslo in 1991. The Queen has long been an active humanitarian, particularly in favor of children’s organizations and the Red Cross. She accompanies the King on royal visits and hosts visiting dignitaries. Her various interests include painting, music, and hiking through Norway. Together with the King, she is a ceramicist and painter. Queen Sonja is immensely popular in her homeland. Sonja is one of the most popular girl names these days, with many people naming their daughters after her. The Queen’s birthday is honored across the country by all departments of the government and state agencies, as well as many homes because Norwegians take national pride seriously.
Queen Sonja's day timeline
Sonja Haraldsen is born on July 4 at the Red Cross Clinic in Oslo.
At a reception thrown by Johan H. Stenersen in June, she meets Crown Prince Harald for the first time.
On March 19, Sonja gets engaged to Crown Prince Harald.
Following King Olav V's death on January 17, Sonja becomes Norway's first queen consort in more than 50 years.
Queen Sonja's day FAQs
Who is Norway's current Princess?
Princess Ingrid of Norway turned 18 years old in 2022. She is the second in line to the throne, behind her father, Crown Prince Haakon.
Is Norway's King related to the Queen of England?
Fortunately, the connection has been rather more peaceful in current times than it was 1,000 years ago. Second cousins are King Harald and Queen Elizabeth. Both the Norwegian and British kings have great-grandparents in King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom.
Is Norway still ruled by royalty?
Norway is governed by a constitutional monarchy. This means that while the King is legally the head of state, his responsibilities are primarily representative and ceremonial. The legislative and executive powers are held by the elected entities of the country.
How to Observe Queen Sonja's day
Follow Queen Sonja’s example
The Queen Consort is very active in charities. This is the ideal day to start volunteering or donating to a charity in your area.
Learn more about Queen Sonja
This celebration is a great chance to learn more about the Norwegian royal family. Explore their customs and traditions.
Emulate the luncheon cruise
The royal family and friends have a cruise on the royal yacht, which you can copy by having a picnic at a lake. Arrange a romantic sunset cruise on a boat in your area, with a full catered feast or enjoy the same on your porch.
5 Interesting Facts About Queen Sonja
Participation in social activities
Queen Sonja has a great sense of social responsibility as she has been a supporter and active participant in several large-scale fundraising endeavors.
Queen Sonja has a wide range of hobbies that she balances with her responsibilities as Norway's Queen.
The Queen of Norway is well-known for her passion for nature, outdoor recreation, and the environment.
A storybook romance
The Prince was ready to risk it all for her, which is very romantic.
A fruitful union
The King and Queen have two children: Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Martha Louise.
Why Queen Sonja's day is Important
She’s a daring queen
Despite her family history, Sonja stood for love, which is something that few women do nowadays. It takes commitment to wait nine years, which is admirable.
We can’t resist a good love story
Who doesn’t like to see love hold out against the odds and win in the end? The story of the King and Queen could inspire a Disney movie.
Not your average queen
There is no doubt that Queen Sonja holds a special place among her people. Her beloved status is a testament to her character and winning personality.
Queen Sonja's day dates