Norwegian Royal Christmas Photos 2011
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The Norwegian royal family are the latest to release Christmas photos this year. In the past, themes included playing outdoors and building a gingerbread house.
For 2011, this theme was simple. Queen Sonja read How The Snow Got Color by Dan Lindholm to her two grandchildren, Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus. The Princess, who will be 8 next month, listened intently while her 6 year old brother was more interested in the large Christmas tree behind them.
The Queen and Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore traditional Norwegian clothing for the photo shoot.
For Christmas this year, King Harald V and Sonja will join Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit at their home outside Oslo at Skaugum Palace.
Crown Prince Haakon Visits Tromsø
The heir to the Norwegian throne stopped by the northern city of Tromsø Wednesday. Crown Prince Haakon was there to help mark the 100th anniversary of explorer Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen arriving at the South Pole.
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“Amundsen and Nansen were the true heroes of a free Norway in the years after it gained its independence in 1905,” Haakon said at the Stortorget Market Square.
“Amundsen’s achievements helped to form our national identity and to carve out Norway’s position as a polar nation. We have good reason to celebrate today.”
The Crown Prince had a jammed pack agenda for Wednesday, which included visiting the Gyllenborg school where the students presented to him the Nansen / Amundsen exhibition. Some of the school’s projects were shown at Tromsø’s City Hall.
Haakon then saw at Erling Bangsunds Square a photo exhibit which displayed the recent knowledge of the Arctic Ocean.
Then, the Norwegian heir attended a lecture by Tor Bomann-Larsen on Roald Amundsen and his achievements.
Next came the Polar Parade through Stortorget Market Square. After that, Haakon went to see a Amundsen vs. Nansen play at the Hålogaland Theatre.
Sources: Kongehuset, Nordlys
Nobel Peace Prize 2011
In front of the Norwegian royals, three women jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo Saturday.
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King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette Marit watched as Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Leymah Gbowee, also from Liberia, and Yemeni journalist and activist Tawakkul Karman, were given the prestigious prize.
Sirleaf and Gbowee won for their works on democracy in Africa while Karman won for her role in this year’s Arab Spring.
“You give concrete meaning to the Chinese proverb which says that ‘women hold up half the sky,’” said Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. “That was why, when giving its reasons for this year’s award, the Nobel committee stated that “we cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women acquire the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society.’ We thank you for the hope you awaken in us all.”
Prior to the ceremony, the women met with the King and Queen.
Yesterday, the three laureates met with Norwegian children at an meeting organized by the Save the Children Foundation. Together with Crown Princess Mette-Marit, the women talked to the children about making the world a better place.
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“When there is war and conflict, there are mothers and children who suffer most. When I see children affected by conflict and suffering, I am angry. But in the mind I am inspired to work harder for peace,” said Leymah Gbowee.
“It is difficult for children to live with years of conflict,” said Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. “Some people lack clean drinking water, access to health care and the opportunity to get an education. Our focus has been to focus on children and provide education. But the most important was to get children to smile. And I am pleased to say that children now smiling again.”
Tawakkul Karman said simply, “The world must be built with love and respect. We must stop the hate.”
Besides receiving the medal, Nobel Peace winners also take home $1.5 million. These three women will split the prize money.
Sources: CNN, AP
Crown Prince Haakon Checks Out Nepal’s Developments
The Crown Prince of Norway was recently in Nepal this week, where he came as a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Development Program. Along with UNDP administrator Helen Clark, Haakon was in the Himalayan country to check out its HIV/AIDS programs, how Nepal is treating sexual minorities, as well as other issues.
Check out more photos here at Daylife.com
On Monday, His Royal Highness visited the Cruise AIDS, a Nepalese organization connected to the Blue Diamond Society. It focuses on fighting for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights. Upon his arrival, Crown Prince Haakon was welcomed by a group of transgenders who put on a performance for him and Helen Clark.
While at Cruise AIDS, Haakon learned about how the NGO spreads AIDS awareness and met with Sunil Babu Pant, one of Nepal’s first openly gay politicians.
The next day, the Crown Prince and Ms. Clark met with representatives of the Centre for Constitutional Dialogue, which aims to promote indigenous rights in the country. The two also went to Nepalgunj to open a market for small businesses. Those participating in the market were trained by UNDP’s vocational programs, and many of them are women.
Also on Tuesday, Haakon and Clark went to the village of Kamdi where they opened a health clinic for mothers and children. Although Nepal has lowered its infant mortality rate in recent years, it is still quite high. However, both Haakon and Clark said they were impressed by the achievements Nepal has made with expectant mothers and young children.
Haakon & Mette Marit to Release Christmas CD to Raise Money
Norway’s Crown Princely couple will release a Christmas CD on Monday, November 14th to help raise money for disadvantaged youths through their charity fund. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will not be singing on the album, but the project is all theirs.
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“We are very pleased that these particular artists have taken the challenge from the Fund and will work with us to strengthen young people’s opportunities. We think the album project has been an exciting musical profile,” Haakon said in a statement.
It was the Crown Prince who approached Universal Music records about this idea.
The artists featured on the CD – called We Light Our Lanterns – include many of Norway’s young singers. They are: Ida Jenshus, Gunhild Sundli, Thomas Dybdahl, Moddi, Samsaya, Marit Larsen & Garness, Ingrid Olava, Katzenjammer, Stein Torleif Bjella and Vinni. These artists were approached because the Crown Princely couple felt Norwegian youth would respond to them positively.
“Working with youth is both one of the most important and some of the things we do,” said Mette Marit in a statement. “Many young people have the resources that are not captured, and for some it can be a major challenge. Through the fund, we want to ensure that young people are seen, so they can use their capabilities and contribute to the community. When we are better equipped to create the Norway we want for the future.”
One of the artists, Ida Jenshus, said this about the CD: “I think it is healthy and good to focus on those who have difficult in such a feast as Christmas. There are at least as many who dread this time, as those who rejoice. Those who fall outside the idyll. It’s good someone wants to make a difference and help. Too many are indifferent.”
Sources: kronprinsparetsfond.no, VG.no
Queen Sonja Debuts as Artist
The Queen of Norway debuts her artistic works at the Jacob Hansen House in Helsingborg Thursday. Attending the event was King Harald V, Crown Prince Haakon and Sweden’s Queen Silvia.
Click here for more photos at Dagbladet.no
The exhibit, “Under Great Pressure” features eight of Queen Sonja’s graphic designs. She teamed up with Kjell Nupen and Ørnulf Opdahl for this project, and created the eight designs based on the duo’s photographs of Svalbard. The Queen is among eighty artists who contributed to this project.
Her Majesty has long had an artsy side, even having a photography exhibit in 2009.
“I am proud,” said King Harald after studying his wife’s art.
Even son Crown Prince Haakon was impressed. “It is very fine work,” he said.
The purpose of this exhibition is to mark the 40th anniversary of the renowned graphic studio Ateljé Larsen. Sonja’s cooperation with Kjell Nupen and Ørnulf Opdahl is to set up an art scholarship in her name. That scholarship will be first distributed in the summer of next year.
Source: Dagbladet, Adressa