Her Royal Highness
The Outdoor Queen
If you go by train from Oslo to Bergen, don’t be surprised if you find The Royal Train Carriage side-tracked outside the hotel. Queen Sonja is an avid adventurer who has explored, by foot and by skiing, vast parts of our country.
Can you imagine a Queen sitting a bit uncomfortable on her seat in a prominent dinner party hosting prominent guests, just itching to get out there, pack her rucksack, a thermos with hot solbærtoddy and two slices of bread with geitost – and just get lost into the wild. But first of all, she has to call a friend for her company:
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Together they have been on numerous trips.
Her Royal Highness Queen Sonja turned 80 years 4th of July in 2017. She is vital, young at heart and a true outdoor enthusiast. She fell in love with skiing early. At the age of 25, she took an exam as a ski instructor and she participated in downhill competitions as well.
– As in many circumstances of life: the greater the effort, the greater the reward.
These were her comment to her regular trekking buddy, Claus Helberg when they were stuck in a storm in a cabin at Geiteryggen in 1981. Few Norwegians have visited such amount of The Norwegian Trekking Association’s(DNT) cabins and have walked as many of the marked routes as the Queen Sonja. She insists on carrying her own equipment and prefers friends as company.
On the occasion of the Queen’s 80th day, to honour the Queen Sonja for being such a great symbol of outdoor joy and enthusiasm, The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) gave the Queen a statue showing her relaxing on top of a mountain enjoying the view. The statue can be seen in The Palace Park in Oslo.
But just like our beautiful nature gives our Queen Sonja space and a place to breathe and relax, so does devote herself to the world of arts. In 1982 she was portrayed by famous Andy Warhol which resulted in a series of 6 portraits. In 2012 she herself was involved as an artist together with famous Norwegian artists Kjell Nupen and Ørnulf Opdahl which resulted in a series of 24 gravures. In 2016 she collaborated with Magne Furuholmen (member of world famous Norwegian pop group Aha) on another series gravures.
The Queen Sonja has initiated two prestigious awards: The Queen Sonja International Music Competition, for young international singers, and later The Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award.
In an interview she did for one of the leading newspapers in Norway in conjunction with her 75th anniversary, she sums up her feelings:
– Being in the mountains clears my mind. It lets my thoughts wander about without being interrupted. All my worries seem to let go and solutions or new angles to the matter arise.
Facts Her Royal Highness Queen Sonja
- Born 4. July 1937
- Married to His Royal Highness King Harald since 1968
- Daughter Crown Princess Märtha Louise and son Crown Prince Haakon