Speaking to some 1,500 guests at a garden party outside the Royal Palace, King Harald delivered a message of tolerance that has struck a nerve amongst Norwegians who have witnessed intense debates about immigration in their country.
The king stressed that modern Norway is a place for everyone, regardless of where they come from, their religious beliefs, sexual preferences or even their musical tastes.
“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,” the king said.
“Norwegians are girls who love girls. Boys who love boys. And boys and girls who love each other,” King Harald said.
“Norwegians believe in God, Allah, everything and nothing,” he added.
And proving that the 79-year-old (or his speech writer) still has his finger on Norway’s cultural pulse, he also name-dropped a diverse group of Norwegian musicians.
“Norwegians like Grieg, Kygo, Hellbilles and Kari Bremnes,” he said to chuckles.
“In other words, Norway is you. Norway is us,” King Harald said.
Video of the speech went absolutely viral. A clip on broadcaster NRK’s Facebook page has been viewed over two million times and garnered thousands of supportive comments.
“The best speech I’ve ever hard. Norway is undergoing a change and our beloved king expressed it in a beautiful speech. You make me proud to be Norwegian,” wrote Monica Osborne.
“This is why we have you, dear king. When the monarchy can live hand in hand with democracy, whey not support a diverse society and a nation that chooses its own identity with these wonderful words. Yes, we love this country,” wrote Rizwan Ul-haq.
A clip with English subtitles can be seen below, followed by NRK’s slightly longer Facebook video.