Their Majesties the King and Queen of Norway visited Ambassador Tarald O. Brautaset’s residence in London this week to unveil two new portraits of themselves.
08/03/2004 :: The portraits are painted by Norwegian artist Håkon Gullvåg, and will be hanging in the elegant hall of the Norwegian Ambassador’s residence at 10 Palace Green, London. The building served as the Norwegian government’s headquarter during WW2.
Two royal portraits already hang in the hall; one of King Haakon painted by Hjørdis Landmark in 1950, and one of King Olav painted by Ville Aarseth in 1963.
The portrait of Queen Sonja is the first female portrait to hang on the walls at 10 Palace Green.
"The Queen’s portrait is a much welcomed first, and we are very grateful to both of them for giving their permission to have them made for this residence", said Ambassador Tarald O. Brautaset.
As Norwegian newspaper VG asked for the Queen’s reaction to being the first woman to have her portrait on these historic walls, Queen Sonja struggled to find the words.
"It is...overwhelming. I am completely... overwhelmed", said the Queen.
"No, you are completely speechless", King Harald replied before they both burst out laughing.
The King’s comment resolved the situation and both the King and Queen were shaking with laughter.
"I think the painting is great", said the King.
"Yes, and it is different from the other portraits Håkon has painted. I also think they fit very well in here, against the calm background", said the Queen.
The royal couple has visited the Ambassador’s residence on a number of occasions and often stay at the residence when visiting London.
The Ambassador said: "My wife and I are very thankful for the fact that we could unveil the portraits in the presence of The King and Queen of Norway in person."