From then on, Miss Haraldsen became a theme of discussion in Norway, among politicians, the media and the people, who deeply cared for their King and the Monarchy and believed then that the Crown Prince should marry a Princess and not a Norwegian commoner. The debate went on for several years, as did the relationship. That step that the Crown Prince was willing to take could find different precedents in various royal families, some ending with the loss of rights of those marrying commoners and some with the acceptance of the marriages: for instance, in the Monegasque Princely Family, Prince Rainier III had married actress Grace Kelly and in the British Royal Family, where Princess Margaret had married Mr. Anthony Armstrong-Jones in 1960, breaking conventions and leaving most of European royalty away of Westminster Abbey. But there was another British example that was to be feared in Norway, the one of King Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, who abdicated to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson. The fear of an renunciation of Crown Prince Harald certainly went though many minds, especially because it would leave King Olav without a successor, since Princesses Astrid and Ragnhild were both excluded from the line of succession from birth.
The couple was given a very warm reception and the Norwegians clearly accepted and welcomed Miss Haraldsen as their new Crown Princess. They married on the 29th August 1968 and celebrated the births of their children, Princess Märtha Louise on the 22nd September 1971 and the male heir Prince Haakon Magnus, whose baptism was a true state occasion, on the 20th July 1973. Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja travelled extensively through Norway and the World, representing the King and Norway from Africa to India, from the USA to Latin America. The Crown Princess instituted the HRH Princess Märtha Louise's Fund for disabled children in Norway. She was also the Vice-President of the Norwegian Red Cross from 1987 to 1990.
When King Olav died on the 17th January 1991, Crown Princess Sonja became Norway's first Queen in more than 52 years, since Queen Maud’s death in November 1938 – Crown Princess Märtha died in 1954, before her husband’s ascension to the throne. She stood side by side with King Harald as he swore allegiance to the constitution and declared that his motto would be “All For Norway”, on the 21st January 1991, in the Storting, the Norwegian Parliament. In June 1991, HM Queen Sonja was consecrated with her husband at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim: kneeled beside King Harald, facing the High Altar, in front of the Bishop of Trondheim, Finn Wagle, the Queen was blessed in a ceremony that was perhaps the closest to a coronation that it was possible to get in these modern times.
A rehabilitation of the Royal Palace of Oslo took place between 1991 and 2001 and caused debate as the King, and particularly the Queen, were accused of spending taxpayers' money on luxury, while the main reason why the rehabilitation cost more than estimated, was that it turned out that the Palace was in a very bad state (almost nothing had been done since the early years of King Haakon's reign). The Queen, with her sense of art and culture, was particularly closely involved in the rehabilitation project, and deserves respect for having contributed much to saving a unique historical building. It should be said that even if the Queen is not a hugely popular member of the Royal Family and is often seen as too reserved, Her Majesty is very much respected for her hard work and duty-consciousness.