'Norwegians are girls who love girls, boys who love boys, and boys and girls who love each other. Norwegians believe in God, Allah, everything and nothing.'
In a world of Donald Trumps and Vladimir Putins, it’s a depressingly rare occasion when you get to hear a politician / monarch say something so motivating and inspiring that your eyes well up. Sure, we’ve always got Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to rely on, and there are all of these inspiring speeches by women, too. But it’s felt like we’ve spent most of this summer shaking our heads rather than nodding along.
But the 79-year-old King of Norway, Harald V, changed all that earlier this week, while speaking at Royal garden party outside his palace in Oslo.
Using the opportunity to raise awareness of the need for refugee integration and LGBT rights, King Harald V spoke to an audience of 1000 – as his speech quickly went viral.
‘Norwegians are also immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Somalia and Syria,’ he said.
‘It is not always easy to say where we come from, to which nationality we belong. Home is where the heart is. That cannot always be placed within country borders.’
‘Norwegians are girls who love girls, boys who love boys, and boys and girls who love each other’
‘Norwegians believe in God, Allah, everything and nothing. Norwegians like Grieg, Kygo, Hellbillies and Kari Bremnes. In other words: you are Norway. We are Norway.’
‘My biggest hope for Norway is that we will manage to take care of each other, that we can build this country further on trust, solidarity, and generosity.’