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Celebration of Prince Sverre Magnus’s 18th birthday: The Queen’s speech

Welcome remarks given by Her Majesty The Queen to Prince Sverre Magnus during the luncheon at the Royal Palace in celebration of his 18th birthday, 1 Desember 2023.

President of the Storting
Representatives of the Government and the Supreme Court
Family members
Dear guests

First and foremost – our own dear Magnus. Happy 18th birthday!

I wish to welcome you all to this luncheon to celebrate our wonderful Prince, Sverre Magnus.

Magnus, it is a pleasure for your grandfather and me to mark your coming of age together with the rest of the family and with others who in different ways represent Norway.

I must say it is a joy to see you in your new East Telemark bunad. It has been inspiring to follow you in this process and to observe the choices you have made. You selected the colours, the materials and the patterns. Your bunad is therefore unique, and speaks to your distinctive character.

And as you know, it also holds a little secret. For the other grandchildren, I embroidered the purse that belongs to their particular bunad. But a man’s bunad does not include a purse. What do I do now? You were nice enough to come to my aid, Marius. So he suggested: Why don’t you embroider something I can have on the inside of the jacket?

So asked and so received. You now have an embroidered inside pocket that can be used any number of ways. I was so pleased by your idea. I hope your bunad, and especially its embroidered inner pocket, will always be a small reminder of a grandmother’s labour of love.

It warms my heart to see so many present here today wearing their bunads. Almost everybody...

A bunad is a reminder of your roots, dear Magnus. Of your heritage, and of the ballast you carry forward through your extended family. You have roots in many places. From your father and grandfather you have roots in Oslo, Asker, Sweden, Denmark and England. Through your mother and your other grandmother you carry with you a part of South Norway and Rogaland. And from my side you have – as your bunad shows – roots in Telemark. All of this is part of who you are, Magnus.

Your roots have provided you with the family histories, values, attributes and shared narratives that help to shape you into the fine young man you already are, even as you continue to grow and develop.

Your life is rooted on a sound foundation, Magnus. Everything is in place for you to make wise choices about your own future. It will be exciting to watch! You are a technology wizard and have shown a liking for photography, which pleases me no end. 

You have even had your debut as court photographer, with the delightful pictures you took of your mother on her 50th birthday last summer. On top of that, you are interested in hunting, to the great delight of your grandfather.

You have a positive attitude and are interested in the experiences we share as a family. We appreciate that immensely. And you are quite the swimmer!

We all hold our breath when you dive fearlessly off the Royal Yacht – or, home at Skaugum, from the upstairs down to the trampoline. Somehow you come up smiling, time after time.

As I see it, young people today are under constant pressure. So much is demanded of them. So much that diverts attention from what is truly meaningful. So many expectations – from society, school, friends and family. It is no wonder that many young people also expect a bit too much of themselves.

But Magnus, I would like to say something important to you and to other 18-year-olds in our country today. It’s enough to be who you are. What counts is believing in yourself and listening to your own voice. The ability to empathise with others and be a good friend is far more important than being “clever” at all sorts of things. I hope you will help to give other young people the comfort and security this understanding brings. It is a job for every one of us.

Dearest Magnus, You are blessed with a large family that loves you and wishes you well.

Congratulations on turning 18. May your future be full of many good things.

Please join me in a toast to Prince Sverre Magnus, and allow me once again to welcome you all to the Palace to celebrate this important occasion in our family.



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Queen Sonja speaking to Prince Sverre Magnus. Photo: NRK