This past week Sophie, Countess of Wessex traveled to Oslo to take part in a rather epic birthday celebration for Norway’s King Herald V and Queen Sonja. In addition to Sophie, members of royal families from Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Greece, Luxembourg, Belgium and Monaco flocked to the event, making it quite the fete of crowned heads.
While this obviously wasn’t a state visit by any means, but it did offer a bit of a two birds, one stone situation in that it further allowed the BRF to cross yet another EU country off the list of those they need to “extend the hand of friendship” in the wake of Brexit. So, there’s that.
King Herald has sat on the Norwegian throne since 1991. He married Sonja Heraldsen in 1968 after a nine-year courtship which was kept secret due to her “commoner” status. It was a bit of a fairy tale romance in the sense that Herald eventually went to his father, King Olav V, and refused marry unless he could marry Sonja for love. Had Olav not given in, since Herald was the only available heir, it would have meant the end of the Norwegian Royal Family and the need to call in a Danish cousin to take over. He relented, the couple were married, and today they have two children, Martha Louise and Haakon, and five grandchildren.
On the event of Herald’s death the throne will pass to 43-year-old Crown Prince Haakon, despite him being the younger of their children. Since 2001 he has been married to Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Notably for a royal pairing, at the time of the wedding Mette-Marit was a single mother to a four-year-old son. The couple have subsequently had two children, Ingrid (b. 2004) and Sverre (b. 2005).
Sophie wore an emerald green gown for the first evening of the birthday party and on the second day debuted a shimmering, sleeveless white gown, both of which were designed by the brand, Suzannah. I thought they were stunning – she killed it.