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Quarantined King of Norway Addresses Nation

King of Norway gives national address on Norwegian TV
Harald V of Norway. (Photo: Simen Løvberg Sund/The Royal Court)

As the country's government implements emergency measures, Norway's King took to the airwaves this weekend to reassure the population.

His Majesty King Harald V of Norway held an unexpected live television address to the Norwegian population at the weekend. Arranged at short notice, the speech covered the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus in Norway.

The address was made from Oslo's Royal Lodge, where the King and Queen have been since Thursday last week. Although in home quarantine, neither King Harald nor Queen Sonja are ill. The lodge is frequently used by the Royal Couple to celebrate Christmas with their family. It's also often used by the family during the Holmenkollen ski festival.

The Norwegian Royal Couple
Queen Sonja and King Harald (Photo: Jørgen Gomnæs / The Royal Court)

The Norwegian government implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone returning to Norway from almost all other countries after 27 February, in a bid to prevent further spread of the virus. So, the Royals' quarantine is purely a precaution.

Read more: Norwegian Air on the Brink

“Thoughts and prayers”

Echoing the feelings of much of the nation as Norway essentially closes down for 14 days, King Harald described the situation as “unreal, alien and frightening,” and offered his “thoughts and prayers” to everyone, especially those who are sick.

He urged the Norwegian people not to panic, trust in one another, and listen to orders given by the authorities. He explained that the number one priority is to slow the spread of the virus. “Together we stand in this, and together we will be able to get through what lies ahead,” said the King.

Norway Royal Family – King, queen, prince and princess
The King and Queen of Norway with the Crown Prince and Princess. )Photo: The Royal Court)

The King's address in full

Here is a rough English translation of the King's address to the Norwegian people.

Dear everyone,

We find ourselves in a situation that is unreal, alien and frightening for all of us. We do not recognise our everyday life or the world around us. And yet we are only standing at the beginning of something we do not fully know the consequences of.

Read more: The Royal Family of Norway

Uncertainty makes us vulnerable. The seriousness makes us anxious. The new everyday life can give us a feeling of powerlessness. Norway is affected along with the rest of the world. Now our most important task is to try to slow down the dramatic development, by following the orders given by the authorities.

We can be grateful that we have political leaders and professional authorities with the courage and knowledge to deal with the situation with honesty and realism. Norway is known as a society based on trust.

Now there is a special need to show each other trust. Both to ensure that everyone takes responsibility for preventing the spread of infection. And for the country’s authorities to make good and wise decisions.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all now. With you who are sick and with you who are relatives of the sick. My thoughts and prayers are with health professionals all over the country, day and night. With those who are experiencing financial loss and fear for the future. To all of you who hold important social functions so that our country can function.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the children – who may be particularly anxious now – and whom we must take extra care of. And with those who feel the loneliness because our small and large communities are temporarily taken away from us.

Finally, I would like to remind you that everyone needs some extra kindness during this time. Together we stand, and together we will be able to get through what lies ahead.

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About the Author: David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for this post, David! As an American in Europe dismayed by the cowardice and incompetence of American leadership, it’s been a relief to see the European leadership step up in several countries to remind the people of their shared values and build morale for the times ahead!

  2. Does anyone realize that there a few hardy souls who live in their cabins, their “hytte”, on the mountain. It is not their small cute vacation place, it really IS their home, their one and only home. They can not be evacuated to the city. Where would they go? My sister and her husband have lived there for over 10 years now, having gradually expanded and modernized what started out as a small vacation hytte, to a much bigger, totally modern fully equipped house with all the facilities you’d expect of to see in a house in the city, but still charming and cozy, like you saw King Harald’s office where he made his speech. They are both healthy, can take of themselves, in their retirement (pensjonist) years.

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