Queen Sonja of Norway on sitting for Andy Warhol and becoming an artist
Short of a toad that turns into a prince, the life of Queen Sonja of Norway has the hallmarks of a fairy tale. Born in 1937, Sonja Haraldsen grew up in the Oslo suburb of Vinderen, in effect an only child. Her two much older siblings left for Sweden in 1940 at the start of the German occupation, and another brother had died.
So her parents kept her close and, hoping she would work in and eventually take over her fatherâs dress-making and ladieswear shop in central Oslo, sent her at 16 to learn tailoring at Oslo Vocational School and thence to Lausanne for two years â" âI chose Switzerland so I could go skiing, but then I got hooked on learning French,â she tells me â" to study accounting and fashion design at the Ecole Professionnelle des Jeunes Filles.
Back in Oslo, she was 21 when she met Crown Prince Harald at a party thrown by a mutual friend, a classmate of the heir apparent. The Prince was poised to leave the Norwegian Military Academy and invited her to his graduation ball.
It would be glib to say the rest was history. The Royal House of Norway was having none of it. No European heir or crowned head had married a commoner: the Princeâs mother had been born Princess MÃ¤rtha of Sweden, his grandmother was the British King Edward VIIâs youngest daughter, Princess Maud of Wales. It was only after nine long years that the palace relented and their engagement was announced. Within six months, in August 1968, they were married. Their son, Crown Prince Haakon, was born five years later, and two years after, they had a daughter, Princess MÃ¤rtha Louise.Source: Google News Norway | Netizen 24 Norway