The Consecration of King Harald and Queen Sonja
King Harald and Queen Sonja were consecrated in Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, on 23 June 1991, following the tradition introduced by King Olav in 1958.
The King and Queen both expressed the desire to take part in a consecration ceremony to receive God’s blessing in the solemn task ahead of them.
After the consecration the King and Queen made a 10-day tour of Southern Norway, at the end of which they sailed back to Oslo in the Royal Yacht Norge. The following year the entire Royal Family made a 22-day tour of the four northernmost counties.
The custom of undertaking a tour of the country in connection with the consecration goes back to the Middle Ages, when kings would travel round the country to receive the homage of their subjects.
Prior to the consecration the royal regalia were taken from the vault of the Bank of Norway in Trondheim and placed in the cathedral. During the ceremony the King’s Crown and the Queen’s Crown were placed on either side of the high altar.
On entering Nidaros Cathedral the King and Queen were met by the Bishop of Nidaros, Finn Wagle, and the Bishop of Oslo, Andreas Aarflot. Bishop Wagle greeted the King with the words: “May the Lord bless your going in and your coming out now and for evermore.”
The procession continued up the aisle and the King and Queen seated themselves on the coronation thrones, which date back to 1818. After the address had been given and the lessons read, King Harald came forward and knelt before the high altar.
Bishop Wagle placed his hand on the King’s head and recited the consecration prayer, which included the words: “Bless King Harald V, strengthen him and lead him in the exercise of his solemn responsibilities.”
The Queen then came forward in her turn to kneel at the high altar. With his hand on her head, Bishop Wagle recited a prayer asking God to help her to use her abilities for the benefit of the country and the people.
The bishop then recited a prayer over both King and Queen and knelt at the high altar while the Royal Anthem was sung. Afterwards he rose and, turning to the King and Queen who had remained kneeling before the altar, he read the blessing:
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you. Amen.”
The Lord Chamberlain came forward and conducted the King and Queen back to the coronation thrones.