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Mette-Marit's tears of joy at in-laws' joint birthday party

01 JUNE 2012

Crown Princess Mette-Marit was brought to tears as members of the Norwegian royal family came together on Thursday to celebrate a very special event in Oslo.

Her husband, Crown Prince Haakon, sister-in-law Princess Martha Louise and their children were amongst those marking King Harald and Queen Sonja's joint 75th birthdays.

Although it's not their official date of birth - King Harald was born February 21 and Queen Sonja on July 4 - they chose May 31 to celebrate together.

 

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Various events took place throughout the day during the joyous occasion.

Oslo's Town Hall invited 3,300 children to participate in the celebration held in the main square of the Royal Palace, where they received free pastries and juice.

Together with hundreds of well-wishers, the children, many dressed in crowns and tiaras, listened to the band of the Royal Guard, who played Cliff Richard's Congratulations.

It was the same song that won Eurovision in 1968 - the year Harald and Sonia married.

 

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Later in the day, thousands of people sang Happy Birthday to the couple, who came out on the balcony accompanied by the whole family.

Especially enthusiastic were the grandchildren, with Princess Ingrid Alexandra applauding wildly.

After a religious ceremony in Oslo Cathedral, the celebrations ended with a free concert held on the roof of the Opera, organised by the Norwegian Government.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg received the birthday couple and gave a speech in their honour.

 

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"Dear King Harald, Dear Queen Sonja. We are infinitely pleased with you. We are so proud of you. I wish that you may live happily for many years. Congratulations," said Mr Stoltenberg. 

The royal pair also received an envelope full of messages of congratulations from Norwegian children and watched videotaped greetings from famous faces and sportspeople.

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