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Princess Ingrid Alexandra's confirmation: The Crown Prince and Crown Princess' speech

Ther Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess' speech to Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra during luncheon at the Royal Palace 31 August 2019.

Your Majesties,
Your Royal Highnesses,
President of the Storting,
Prime Minister,
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Dear all,

 

The Crown Princess:

My dearest Ingrid,

How very lucky I am to be your mother, it has been a tremendous gift in my life.

This is a big day, not just for you, Ingrid, but for all of us around you, your family and friends, and the people throughout our country who are following you on your journey.

Confirmation is an opportunity to start finding ways to understand the longing that everyone carries inside themselves.

To ponder the great mystery of why and who we are in the world.

When you were born you looked so much like your father that I almost couldn’t see any difference between you.

Those big, deep-brown eyes – it was like looking straight into eternity.

Those eyes that still sparkle and flash and do not let go of whomever is in their gaze.

The Crown Prince:

Grandma Marit and Marius were waiting for us at home. While Marius was somewhat interested in his new little sister, what really got his attention was the ambulance driving right up to his home.

When we carried you into the apartment, Ingrid, we felt a new sense of tranquillity arrive, too. Everything seemed to fall a little better into place when you were there.

The day you were born, after we came home from the hospital, we all sat in the sofa together. Marius, Grandma Marit, Grandpa Harald, Grandma Sonja, your mother and I.

You lay in your mother’s lap as I read aloud the two last chapters of the book we were reading to Marius: The Brothers Lionheart. It was a good way to start your life.

Hearing about Jonathan and Rusky, and how one has to fight and show courage to reach towards the light.

 

The Crown Princess:

You became a storyteller from an early age.

How well I remember those first years on Flatholmen – before you could write, you pulled us grown-ups into your room to write down your stories as you dictated them

You and Magnus and I sat on the rocks and made up stories about the man who had lost his children, and the moon that cast a net of moonlight over the water to help him find them again.

And Little Bear, your father’s superhero, who wreaked havoc around Lake Semsvannet for many years. You continued making up stories about Little Bear’s meetings with Fox and all kinds of princesses. By coincidence, in many of those stories the princess had a slightly irritating little brother.

And we mustn’t forget the Digelutts. A whole universe that you invented and drew and wrote about.

You had an endless imagination that was funny, ingenious and unconventional. Just like you.

You got your father to write notes to me. One of my favourites is still hanging on the refrigerator door: "I love you Mamma. You are a very good friend. May I please have a little sports car? Love, Ingrid."

But the best one is this, which must have come after I had been a little strict with you: 

"Dearest bestest Mamma. The thing about the ice-cream and brushing my teeth was really just because I didn’t mean it. Dear Mamma. I apologise you. I love you. Over my life. Love, Ingrid."

You don’t write long declarations of love on paper anymore.

But you give extra strong hugs when you see that we need them.

Or you ask: How are you, Mamma?

 

The Crown Prince:

You have loved nature since you were born, you always slept best outside, preferred to sleep in a tent.

As a baby you lay behind us in a pulk[1] on our ski trips across the countryside, or, when you were a little older, on a toboggan behind the pulk with Magnus in it. And then you started toddling off on your own cross-country skis.

Various types of skiing are still central in the winter.

Swimming and water sports in the summer. That is one of the most enjoyable things we do together as a family.

Nature calms you, gives you a sense of control.

When you swoop through the forest on skis. When you are far from shore, all on your own, riding the waves.

Then you are fearless.  

I think we both remember clearly that time, a few years ago in Mexico, when the waves started to get awfully big. But you wanted to surf. I told you that once the swells reached a certain size it wouldn’t be so easy for me to help you. But you still wanted to head out. Both of us were flung around, held underwater by the waves and swept in towards shore. Determined and breathing hard, you paddled out again. And ultimately you managed to ride a wave.

You were so triumphant as you sped towards the beach. The biggest wave you had ever caught.

There is a good life’s lesson in this. Oftentimes, you have to keep on trying and be willing to get knocked around a bit if you want to achieve something.

You have demonstrated that you have guts and stamina. You are as tough as they come.

 

The Crown Princess:

You are a very astute observer. You catch what is going on in the world around you even when I think you have been walking around in a teenage haze. Very little gets past you. You analyse people and US politics and write papers on China’s challenges – you are an exceedingly conscientious and interested pupil.

You can get angry and slam doors so hard that I think the house will fall down.

You can get bored and be impatient. And be lazy and withdrawn!

And all of this is good. You are exactly the way you are supposed to be.

You have a large circle of friends, girls and boys, from the schools you have attended, and from skiing, and they make you very happy. Especially Maud and Karen, whom you have known since you were born.

Still, I think the greatest gift we gave you as a child was first to bring Milly into your life, and then her nine puppies, including Muffins, who we kept.

They have been your very best friends.

You had Milly under such good control when you were small that she placed herself between you and Magnus in the family hierarchy – until he got big enough to take her down a peg, that is.

But when you are overwhelmed by everything, Ingrid, the one thing that helps is resting in the crook of your father’s arm.

You snuggle in there, and nothing in the world can get in the way.

There is a very special bond between the two of you. You have the same wry humour and can laugh at the darkest things.

Most of all I think you and your father understand each other in a way that that is unique for the two of you.

You are very lucky to have your father, Ingrid.

 

The Crown Prince:

As you have matured, the person you are has emerged more clearly. You have a strong sense of justice, you are a keen observer, you are passionate and you have a wonderful sense of humour. You laugh a lot, fortunately, and your laugh is infectious.

You have never taken a no for a no without asking why. You like to understand things and philosophise about them. That has taken us into many interesting trains of thought and discussions where we can try to figure out life together. About society, about faith, and about right and wrong.  

But when the mountain is too high, when a relationship is at an impasse or when feelings that are hard to understand, it is your mother you turn to.

Her wisdom and clear-sightedness help you to find a path forward.

And she helps you to talk about things, including things that are not so easy to share.

 

The Crown Princess:

Last year, Berit came to me and said that there had been some frustration in the reading group you have belonged to since you were eight years old. You were all too tired, had too much homework, and just couldn’t cope with any more Ibsen and German fairy tales. Everyone needed a rest, and you suggested that Berit could read out loud for the group. You wanted her to read The Brothers Lionheart. So you could rest. Berit and I had a good laugh and agreed that you girls were absolutely adorable.

The Brothers Lionheart, which has followed us from the very beginning, and which we have read over and over and over again in our reading nook at home and under a parasol on a beach in Mexico, between all the Mariachi bands.

I think many of the grown-ups here would also love to stretch out on the sofa at Berit’s and have her read to us.

To be reminded of who we are.

My dear Ingrid, you are an exceptionally wise person.

The strength that you have possessed since the day you were born is not given to everyone.

We have never doubted for a minute that you would walk through life with your head held high.

There will be days filled with hardship and sorrow, rain and heavy fog.

But there will also be days of sun and bright snow, cool sea breezes and velvet summer nights.

Life will bring you all these things as gifts.

Just remember to watch the sun rise enough times to truly understand that each day is a new gift that opens right in front of your eyes.

And to understand, Ingrid, that is we create our lives in the relationships we have with each other.

In our relationships with every living thing around us.

 

The Crown Prince:

Today, your mother and I must be permitted to give some thanks.

First and foremost, we would like to thank Marius and Magnus, who will continue to be among your strongest supporters throughout your life. We know you will always have that bond that only siblings share. You are lucky to have your siblings, and they are lucky to have you.

And we must also thank your grandmother, Marit, who has always been there. No matter what.

Ever since you were tiny, she has stayed with you when we have been travelling, in Norway and abroad. She has packed your lunches, made you pancakes, taken you for walks, changed your diapers, dried your tears, and given you hugs and understanding and all the warmth of her heart.

And your other grandmother and grandfather, whom you love so deeply. Grandma Sonja, who has shown you the world of art and is always teaching you something new. And Grandpa, with his special hugs and insightful, sometimes quirky view of people and situations.

And we would like to thank the godparents for saying yes to standing by Ingrid. Thank you to my father, dear King Felipe, Crown Prince Fredrik, Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Märtha and my dear mother in-law.

And finally, Ingrid, your mother and I would like to thank you.

We are so grateful that we get to be your parents, and we thank you for everything that you share with us. 

One of things we experienced together this summer was walking together along the final part of the pilgrimage route to Nidaros Cathedral. It rained the entire time, but that did not ruin your mood.

It was moving to think that people have followed that path for hundreds of years, seeking a closer connection to the Divine and greater self-understanding.

And now we have walked that path too. 

We live in a country that is full of beauty, and you will come to know it well.

 

The Crown Princess:

You will continue to follow in the footsteps of people in our country who have gone before you, Ingrid.

It is a source of strength. Being surrounded by people and traditions that transcend the chaotic pace of daily life.

It will serve you well.

May your journey bring you peace.

May your days be as complete as you are,

my little Ingrid.

Thank you for letting us walk beside you.

 

The Crown Prince:

Sweet Ingrid, we are so proud of you, and we love you very much. Congratulations on your confirmation.

 

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[1] a small sled

31.08.2019

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The Crown Prince and Crown Princess´ speech to Princess Ingrid Alexandra on her confirmation (In Norwegian) Photo: NRK