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Harald and Sonja - Crown Prince Harald's Speech

“Your Majesties and Presidents, Your Royal Highnesses, Excellencies, Mr. President of the Storting, ladies and gentlemen.

“First of all I want to thank you, father, for your friendly words to us a little while ago. Likewise, Mr. President of the Storting, allow me to thank you for the beautiful words you expressed to us in your speech.

“One of my first duties as a married man - and it is a dear one - is to give thanks for the bride. I guess no one can doubt that it is an odd moment after all these years. Sonja, she has described herself as afterthought, and not to be to formal all the time, I would like to say that at least I am very glad for this thought.

“Nine years ago, it was an ugly duckling who entered the home of the Haraldsen family, perhaps not ugly because he was especially bad-looking - or especially pretty - but mostly because he was different, mostly because uncertainty came with him. Allow me to thank you, Dagny, for the trust you showed me in believing that I through my feelings for your daughter might be allowed to have her in the end, and that the fact that I was with your daughter, would not ruin her life. But that she today is at my side as the country's Crown Princess, none of us would have believed then. But in the course of the last year, it has nevertheless become reality.

“We are all results of heritage and surroundings, and both things we get with and through our parents. The heritage is the foundation which the surroundings influence, develop and shape through the entire life. I am grateful for the result of this process which I have today taken over responsibility for. And it is my hope that I will be able to contribute to create surroundings in which Sonja will feel comfortable and that we together will have a life that will give us mutual pleasure.

“Sonja's father is missed her today. It is sore for me too that we today were not allowed to have him among us. My own contribution to this life together is a result of my parents' heritage and the surroundings they created. Changing, demanding, but warm and rewarding are four words which in the best and shortest way describe it. My mother's illness and all too early death was an irreplaceable loss. This has in many ways marked us all, but father managed, in an way almost impossible to understand, to take on the enormous responsibility of filling mother's place in the times which followed.

“I know that everything about my plans for the future, the engagement and the wedding today have been connected with many and certainly difficult decisions. And two things have all the time been a warming basic thought: the consideration for us it affects, and the duties we are created to fulfil. I thank you father, especially for the years we have lived together alone, and for all the good advice, for all influence and all help. The life together as adult men has marked us both, but has also provided a precious opportunity to come close to each other, through talks, discussions and clarification of all the questions which arise in the age and between us.

“I will also use the opportunity to thank my dear sisters, Ragnhild and Astrid, for good and happy childhood years and youth and for their ever good support and interest. A special thank I will direct, on behalf of Sonja and myself, for the glittering wedding party which has been arranged for us in a difficult time.

“Even though it is painful to send one's excuses to so many we would have liked to see in connection with the wedding, and which was planned for the soirée two days ago, I would like to say that under the present circumstances, we think it was the only correct thing to do, and we too, father, thank you for that.

“I would also like to express my thanks to Bishop Birkeli for all good advice and for all guidance and understanding in connection with the wedding. I know and feel that the Bishop's nice and suggestive words will be supportive to us through the entire life.

“I am aware that what I say is being transmitted live through broadcasting. Let me thus in this way express all those of you around the country and abroad who in so many ways, by letters and other greetings, presents and flowers, have pleased and cheered us in this time. We thank for all interest and support. I direct a special thank to all those who have participated in the preparations for the wedding and the accomplishment today. I am aware that many have had to give up their summer holiday to make this possible. We want you to know about our gratitude, just because you too through your work have made this such a great and nice day for us. This applies to all, both inside the Palace, in the city of Oslo and else around our country.

“And then we are finally back with the bride. It is rather peculiar that in these speeches, the main person shall always be in the end. Maybe, Sonja, it is because one never manages to express in words what one really wanted to say. Or perhaps it is because one in ones heart really does not want to express what one feels. With this in mind, it is actually not necessary to say anything at all, because you know better than anything else what I feel, both now, today, here and now, as in the past. Better than anyone else, you will also understand what this moment really means.

“Your yes in the church today marks a totally new phase of your life, and my yes to you is also a confirmation of the fact that I want to do my utmost to try to give you the happiness you so absolutely deserve. In completing the tasks we have been given, it is first of all us selves it depends on. Also in that way do you have my total confidence.”

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