On the night of 18 January 1991, Crown Prince Harald acceded to the throne as King Harald V in an extraordinary Council of State at the Royal Palace in Oslo. The statement from the new king to the Council of State stated: “It is my duty to inform the Council of State that my dear father, His Majesty King Olav V, passed away on 17 January 1991 at 10.20 pm, and that I, as King of Norway, have joined this Government by virtue of the Constitution. I will adopt the name of Harald V and abide by the same motto as was chosen by my father and grandfather: ’Everything for Norway’.”
On 23 June 1991, King Harald V and Queen Sonja were blessed in Trondheim’s Nidaros Cathedral and became the Norwegian royal couple. The benediction formed part of a ten-day trip by the new royal couple by train and car to Trondheim, then down along the coast with the Royal Yacht “Norway” back to the capital. The year after the benedictory tour, the royal couple visited the three counties in the far north, visiting a total of 48 municipalities in three weeks. Now, 25 years later, it is possible to say that the royal couple have travelled more in Norway and met more Norwegians, than any previous royal personage. Queen Sonja knows the Norwegian mountains better than most people, and has distinguished herself as a talented photographer of nature.
It is safe to conclude, in this year’s anniversary of the regency, that the king and the queen know their country and people very well, and that they are always met with pleasure when they come to visit.