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Celebration of Princess Ingrid Alexandra's 18th birthday: The Crown Prince and The Crown Princess’ speech

Speech given by Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and The Crown Princess to Princess Ingrid Alexandra during the gala dinner at the Royal Palace in celebration of her 18th birthday, 17 June 2022.

Crown Prince Haakon:

Your Majesties
Your Royal Highnesses
President of the Storting
Prime Minister
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Ladies and Gentlemen

My dear Ingrid, 

You have now turned 18 years, 4 months 26 days and 16 hours, and we are very glad to finally have the chance to celebrate and say a few words to you. We have looked forward to being able to mark this occasion with so many people who mean so much to you, and to us.

More people got to know you a little better in connection with your birthday in January. You gave your first interviews, had meetings with the branches of the government and received various deputations here at the Palace.

All of this has conjured up a lot of memories for me. Because I have been in the same situation as you, and I found myself contemplating myself as an 18-year-old.

Part of our preparation for everything you were going to be doing in January was to watch videos from my 18th birthday in 1991. It was hard for you to stop laughing, especially as you watched the interview I had back then with Geir Helljesen from Norwegian National Broadcasting. It was quite a few years ago now, and I was a serious young man speaking very slowly...

All of which makes me so very happy to see the person you are:
Ingrid, you have a self-assurance that will be an asset for you throughout your life.

And it is also important for me to say to you today:
You have many people around you who want to help you and support you.

You have all of us who love you. Marius and Magnus – who will always be there for you, just as you will always be there for them. Mamma – who you can go to whenever things are difficult, who is such a good listener, and who can always help pinpoint the problems and find solutions.

And of course you have me – and your entire extended family.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit:

Dearest Ingrid,

On the day you were born, 18 years ago, Pappa and I drove from Skaugum to the Rikshospitalet University Hospital. Later that same day, after a truly beautiful birth, we came home with the miracle that is you. Today, you are a beautiful young woman, ready to step into your future. A clear-sighted young woman, strong and resilient. Your father and I are immensely proud of you, and we love you more than you can know.

And as Pappa said, the two of us are now standing here with you together with Marius and Magnus, your grandparents on both sides and your extended family. Everyone who loves you the most. You are also surrounded by the good wishes of people from all across our country, who wish the best for you both in honour of your birthday celebration and for every day of your life to come. You are part of a historic line of succession to the throne of this country.

Today, sweet daughter of ours, we are celebrating your coming of age, but we are also celebrating the coming of age of our country’s princess in line to the throne.

Norway consists of more than mountains, forests, plateaus, fields and seas; it consists of the dreams and hopes and joy and sadness of all the people who live here.

Norway is the sum of all the knowledge, thoughts, actions, and, perhaps most importantly, of the values of all the people who live here. One of your most important tasks will be to stand together with all Norwegian women and men through their good days and bad days alike. To see them, to understand who we are as a whole, and to ensure that everyone feels they have a place here.

That is what King Haakon did for his people, what Pappa’s grandfather King Olav did, and what your wonderful grandfather our King has done for his people. You follow a path that many wise people have walked before you.

You have to find your own way along that path, Ingrid. And no one who knows you has doubted for a moment that you have what it takes to do what you have been called to do.

Crown Prince Haakon:
On this milestone day, I would like to talk a bit about freedom. Because everyone has the opportunity to find their freedom. And you do too.

I hope that you feel you have the freedom to pursue the education that you want. That you find something you want to excel at, and that truly sparks your interest.

That you feel you have the freedom to find the friends who are good for you. Friends whom you can trust and be yourself with. You are fortunate to have many good friends around you, Ingrid. Many of them are here this evening.

There is also great freedom to be found in nature, in sports, in mastering physical challenges. Physical mastery combined with the splendour and power of nature can provide a deep feeling of freedom. I have been able to share many such experiences with Marius and Magnus and with you. And I hope that nature and sports will continue to provide you with pockets of freedom throughout your life.

Berit’s husband Bjørn has talked to me a number of times about duty as a value, as a positive force. I am not certain whether it was something he mostly said to me or whether he talked to others about it as well. It is fully possible to find freedom even in doing one’s duty. I realise that this is a heavy thing to say to an 18-year-old. I certainly did not really understand it when I was 18. But I think it is true at a fundamental level. Which is why I wanted to mention it today.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit:
Pappa and I are both think it is crucial that you are allowed to make mistakes, as that is part of growing up and finding your own way. It is important to us that you are secure in the fact that you are good enough exactly as you are. At the age of 18, it isn’t always easy to truly grasp the responsibility that rests on your shoulders. But just as Pappa said, I also want you to know that there is great freedom in your life’s endeavour.

Those of us who know you know how much you love your country. How greatly you enjoy travelling to different parts of Norway. About how extra proud you feel wearing your sweater with NOREG printed on it. Skiing and surfing have taken you to many places, both with your family and with your friends. You have gotten first-hand insight into the variety and contrasts that make up Norway.

Ingrid, I could not be more proud of the girl I have been privileged to follow since the first time your clear brown eyes peered up at me after you came into the world. You have always had a profound sense of justice, and the courage of your convictions. You have protected your brothers with great fierceness if that has been necessary.

I am so grateful for the trust that you show me, by sharing so much of what is going on in your life, and that I have been allowed to get to know your group of friends so well, and hear about everything you do together.

More than anything, I am grateful for everything that you are teaching me about your world. It makes me a wiser person.

Dearest daughter, you are not the only one who is turning 18 this year. So are 57 000 other young people throughout Norway. Each of whom has just as many dreams and expectations for the future as you do, and many of whom have already experienced deep sadness and great happiness. The tapestry of life is like that for everyone, as you know Ingrid, and sometimes it takes my breath away to think about all the expectations facing young people today. Expectations from yourselves, from the society around you, and from each other. There are times I just want to tuck you all in under a giant blanket, give you a cup of tea, and tell you everything is going to be all right.

Today I would therefore like to say something not just to you, Ingrid, but to all the young people in our country, and especially to everyone born in 2004.

Remember that you need to take care of each other, and believe in yourselves when you are creating what is to be the Norway of tomorrow. You have the opportunity and the responsibility to create the society you want to live in. And rest assured, both Haakon and I will be cheering you on.

Crown Prince Haakon:
All people experience difficulties in the course of their lives. When the expectations feel too great, and the weight of them is too much to bear, remember all the people who love you. Everyone who wishes you well. And you have to let those of us who are closest to you help to carry your burdens. Especially Mamma and I. Don’t be afraid about our worrying too much. That’s our job. And we both want to help you and will stand beside you when you need it.

Dearest Ingrid, you are multi-faceted and fantastic person, complete and whole unto yourself. Remember that there is room for everything that is you. All of your weaknesses and strengths, all your vulnerabilities and skills. Thank you for everything that you are for us.

We are incredibly proud of you, and we love you very very much.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit:
One of the things we appreciate the most about you Ingrid is your capacity for joy and all the life you bring into our home. With friends and laughter and loud music. Now we are looking forward to celebrating you with family, friends, a lot of good laughs and maybe even some loud music as well.

Darling Ingrid, Happy Birthday.



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