Celebration of Princess Ingrid Alexandra's 18th birthday: The Queen's speech
Your Royal Highnesses
President of the Storting
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Welcome to the Royal Palace and to this celebration for our wonderful 18-year-old, Princess Ingrid Alexandra. The King and I are pleased to have this opportunity to gather family and friends from Norway and abroad, and guests from all across this country. Together you represent our country, our family ties and the life of our dear princess, who will someday be Queen.
We are especially grateful to all of you – family and friends – who have travelled from all over Europe to share this celebration with us.
Finally, the time has come to celebrate this young woman.
Dear Ingrid, during your 18 years you have shown what you are made of – and displayed many talents:
You love water sports. You are a good skier. You are also fond of school, and enjoy being with friends and family. You are bold – unafraid to jump by parachute or to state your opinion. That latter quality will come in especially handy, I promise you!
You are wise, warm and knowledgeable. And you care deeply – as I said in your confirmation speech – for people, animals and nature.
I wonder what your future will hold?
Fate has given you an extraordinary task, dear Ingrid. But en route to the future you must seize the opportunities that arise with both hands – and build your own solid platform. All the impressions, learning and experience you can absorb will be useful to you later in life.
Right now you are in the midst of the most explosive time of youth, a season of burgeoning promise. Soon you will be starting your final year of school, and can look forward to graduation-time festivities.
Yours is a life of great contrasts!
Today – as we celebrate your 18th birthday – you are surrounded by people who love you and wish you well. And you should know that you can always come to all of us around you to seek advice and support.
My mother always said: It’s not what happens to you that matters, but how you react to it! That has helped me greatly in life. And I would like to pass those words on to you today.
Hold on to who you are, Ingrid. Dare to think along new lines and without constraint – to do things your own way. And remember, being perfect is not an end in itself. You have everything you need to make wise choices and create a life that will be rewarding for you, for your loved ones, and for those for whom you one day will be Queen.
I hope you will always have a space of your own where you feel entirely free, where you will find replenishment, rest and inspiration – as I have found throughout my life, both in nature, especially in the mountains, and in art. Everyone needs a space like that.
Thank you for everything we have shared together until now. I look forward to following along as you make your way further in life.
I would like to wish everyone a memorable evening.
I invite you now to join me in a toast to Princess Ingrid Alexandra.
Happy birthday – and welcome to all!