Sonja Haraldsen was born on July 4, 1937 to clothing merchant Karl August Haraldsen and Dagny Haraldsen (née Ulrichsen). She began dating Crown Prince Harald in 1959, but they had to keep their relationship secret because Sonja was a commoner.
The Crown Prince made it clear that he would not marry anyone except for Sonja. If Harald remained unmarried, this would likely put an end to the monarchy in Norway as there were no other heirs to the throne. Eventually, the King consulted the government and gave the couple permission to marry.
Harald and Sonja became engaged in March 1968 and got married in Oslo Cathedral on August 29, 1968. On January 17, 1991 King Olav V died, Harald succeeded to the throne, and Sonja became the first queen consort in Norway in more then 50 years. The King and Queen were consecrated on June 23, 1991.
Queen Sonja has been actively engaged in numerous charitable activities. She established a music competition in 1988, which is now known as the Queen Sonja International Music Competition. In 2005, she became the first queen ever to visit Antarctica.Remind me with Google Calendar
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