Norwegian Royals attend statue unveiling to mark Queen Sonja’s 80th birthday

Yesterday, the Norwegian Royal Family was out in force to attend the unveiling of a statue of Queen Sonja, designed to mark her 80th birthday.

Designed by Kirsten Kokkin, the bronze statue was unveiled in the Palace Park and was a gift from the Norwegian Trekking Association.  Queen Sonja is patron of the association, and a keen hiker – it’s said that she has trekked nearly every mountain range in Norway.

To reflect Her Majesty’s interest in hiking, the statue is much more informal than the royal norm.  Queen Sonja is shown in her hiking clothes, perched upon a rock beside her backpack, taking a rest from her trek.

Kokkin herself describes the statue as: “Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway is seated, looking up at the Royal Palace, at her calling. She has placed the rucksack she carries by her side. She has scaled yet another mountain, overcome yet another challenge, and is deep in contemplation with her thoughts criss-crossing Norway’s heights.”

However, the ceremony did not capture the attention of Sonja’s grandson, Prince Sverre Magnus. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s only son appeared bored throughout the unveiling, scowling and yawning while his elder sister – and future Queen of Norway – Ingrid Alexandra watched dutifully.

The young prince’s behaviour earned him a tap on the knee from his mother, as Mette-Marit tried to remind her son to look a bit more interested by the statue.

This is not the first time the third-in-line to the Norwegian throne has drawn attention to himself at a state occasion. Indeed, Sverre Magnus became a viral sensation during the balcony appearance for his grandparents’ joint birthday celebrations in May, by pulling faces and even ‘dabbing’ for the crowds – a dance move popularised by footballers and other celebrities.

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