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Queen Sonja Of Norway Has Her Own Life Fairy Tale, A Love Sustained By Commitment And Revival Of Her Artistic Talent
She was born a commoner in 1937, grew up as Sonja Haraldsen in the Oslo district of Vinderen. The youngest child of four, with one brother who died and other two siblings having left for Sweden escaping the German invasion, she was close to her parents who wanted her to take over her father’s dressmaking and ladies wear shop. Her education was to follow this path at 16 in Oslo and in Switzerland where she could also ski. She became interested in learning French, accounting and fashion design. At 21 she met the Crown Prince Harald of Norway through a mutual friend. This would be going against the mould of royal marriages and it had not happened in any European royalty. Their love and relationship met with severe opposition because she was a commoner but their commitment to each other won through and after nine years they were allowed to get engaged. Six months later they married, their first child, a boy came along five years later and a daughter in two years. It had not been easy life but since her husband became King Harald V in January 1991 the people of Norway have accepted her into their heart.
Her skill for photography started when she was given a camera at the age of 12, but she never thought of being an artist. In 2006, without a torchlight and in the darkness of the Spitsbergen in Arctic Norway she found the camera gave her sights she couldn’t have otherwise seen. The ‘Surprising Angles’ print came out of that adventure and it is in the exhibition A passion was revived and through that a love of printmaking came about. Her work of abstract art and learning about printmaking at the Atelje Larsen where two eminent artists, Opdahl and Nupen taught her. Together they set up a foundation and an award for artists Her life as a royal did bring benefits, she regained her interest in the arts, met many well-known artists, sat for Andy Warhol who did her portrait in 1982.
#SIWO GNEWS #194
##SIWO Reporter:Susanna Dziworshie
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