Welcome back to Typisk Norsk (= Typically Norwegian) - a series on all the little quirks of Norwegians that make it so interesting to live in this country!
Norwegians love their Royal Family and luckily the Royal Family loves their Norwegians.
There aren't many Norwegians who haven't seen a member of the Royals in their life and I myself have seen the Norwegian King already twice this year, at the Ski Championships and during Midnight Sun Marathon.
The Royals make sure to be close to the people and sometimes, you might get the impression that they're too close. For foreigners, the lack of security at events where the Royal Family takes part, might seem astounding but for Norwegians it's completely normal.
You can often hear people joking that it's not unusual to meet the King or Crown Prince on his way to the office in Oslo and it's true. The Royals in Norway, as the ones of Sweden and Denmark that I've also got the chance to get a glimpse of (I'm not a stalker, I swear!), try to act like normal people as often as possible.
The King for example usually gets onto the regular SAS flight from Oslo whenever he visits Tromso so look out for him when you're visiting!
Anyway, it's not just that most Norwegians have seen the Royals though - it seems like each family has their own personal story about one family member getting up close with some King or Queen or Prince and Princess. My boyfriend Simon for example always tells me that his brother once participated in the school's parade in front of the Palace in Oslo on 17th of May.
You see, on Norway's National Day, there are parades around the country but the biggest one is the one in Oslo where the Royal Family stands on a balcony and waves at the passing school children for hours on end.
Another Royal family story I always get to hear from Simon comes from the Swedish side of his family and goes as follows:
A long time ago, the Prince of Sweden visited the lake where Simon's family has a cabin. A forefather of Simon's had to transport the Prince in a boat but the Prince was standing up in the boat and Simon's ancestor was afraid that the boat would tip. So he lost his patience and started to yell at the Prince saying: 'Sit ned din prinsjävel' which loosely translates to 'Sit down you Prince Bastard'.
Even if you're the Prince of Sweden, you don't get to stand in a boat!
Long story short, Scandinavians love their Royals. But sometimes they like to gossip about them too.
When the Norwegian Crown Prince declared his relationship with a non-royal single mother and divorcé like 15 years ago, people were shocked and didn't found his girlfriend appropriate. They married and got children together anyway so I guess that's what you could call a real-life Cinderella story - awwww so cheesy!
It's not quite as romantic I guess - her son never got Royal status and is always referred to by his full name by the media whereas the other kids are called Crown Princess Ingrid Alexandra and what not. Definitely weird to a foreigner but Norwegians aren't quite as cold-hearted as they seem!
The King recently hold a public speech about Norway today and addressed the importance of including immigrants and homosexuals as "one of us". He said:
Norwegians come from the north of the country, from the middle, from the south and all the other regions. Norwegians are also immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Somalia and Syria. Norwegians are girls who love girls. Boys who love boys. And boys and girls who love each other. Norwegians believe in God, Allah, everything and nothing.
- translation by The Local
Now imagine the Queen of England holding a speech like that!
So yes, the Norwegian Royal Family has come along way since the 1990s and they're probably as popular as ever. They are typically Norwegian at least, that's for sure!
Have you ever met a member of a Royal Family?