KING Harald of Norway addressed Brexit in his speech for the 28th State Opening of the Norwegian parliament on Wednesday.
As Heads of States, Queens and Kings are expected to remain strictly neutral on political matters. Royals are not able to vote or stand for an election, however, monarchs do have important ceremonial and formal roles in relation to the government. On Wednesday, King Harald of Norway was joined by his wife Queen Sonja and son Crown Prince Haakon as they performed the State Opening of the Norwegian parliament.
Like in Britain, the main event at the opening of Parliament is the speech from the monarch.
During this year’s speech King Harald, who is Queen Elizabeth II’s second cousin, addressed the political turbulence in the UK.
Commenting on Brexit, he said: “The United Kingdom, after all, will leave the EU and the EEA, with or without an agreement.
“The government has entered into agreements that guarantee Norwegian citizens and business as good and predictable solutions as possible if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement.
Royal shock King Harald, the Queen’s second cousin, addressed Brexit in a speech on Wednesday (Image GETTY)
Royal shock King Harald of Norway opened the Norwegian parliament (Image GETTY)
“Work is also being done on a long-term basis, with permanent agreements.
“Access to large markets is crucial for Norwegian jobs and Norwegian welfare.”
Norway is not a member of the EU and is therefore free to negotiate its own agreements with the UK.
But Brexit will still affect Norway and Norwegians living in the UK.
Royal news: King Harald of Norway opened the Norwegian parliament on Wednesday (Image GETTY)
In April, Norway and the UK signed Brexit agreements which secured rights for Norwegian citizens in the UK.
The agreement also ensure continued trade between the two countries, in the event that the UK leaves the EU without an agreement.
King Harald’s remarks on Brexit isn’t the first time the monarch has offered his opinion on political issues.
In 2016 he famously praised the diversity in the Norwegian population.
Explicitly backing gay rights, Harald said Norwegians were “girls who love girls, boys who love boys, and girls and boys who love each other”.
He also voiced support for religious diversity, saying Norwegians believed “in God, in Allah, in the universe – and in nothing”.
Calling on people to embrace “trust, solidarity and generosity”, he said the notion of home could not be confined within national borders.
He added: “It is not always easy to say where we are from, what nationality we are. Home is where our heart is.”
Royal news King Harald of Norway addressed Brexit (Image GETTY)
The Norwegian monarch insisted Norwegians came not only “from north Norway, central Norway, southern Norway and all the other regions”, but from “Afghanistan, Pakistan and Poland, from Sweden, Somalia and Syria”.
Harald praised Norway’s beauty, from the “high mountains and deep fjords” to “lush farmland and rolling moors”, but urged its unity.
He said: “My greatest hope for Norway is that we will be able to take care of one another.
“That we will continue to build this country. That we will feel that we are – despite our differences – one people.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK