13 January 2021

Norway: King Harald, Queen Sonja and Princess Astrid vaccinated against Covid-19

The Norwegian Royal Court announced in the afternoon today that King Harald and Queen Sonja were vaccinated against covid-19 earlier in the day. Their Majesties will receive the next vaccine in 3 weeks. NRK.no quoted assistant information director Sven Gjeruldsen as saying that the king and queen were in the risk group and that they were vaccinated following advice from the doctors and health authorities. Also King Harald's elder sister Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner received her first shot today.

At a press conference today the Minister of Health and Care Services, Bent Høie, stated that he was pleased that the king and queen had received the vaccine. Obviously an exception was made for Their Majesties, as they are only in the third priority group. Høie said: «– The Government has offered the royal family vaccination due to their role. We are pleased that they accepted the offer, that our royal couple today has got the first vaccination dose. This I think the Norwegian people will show an understanding for, and it was also something the government has offered the royal house.»

On Dagbladet's question on what it would take for individuals to get an exception from the ordinary order of vaccination, Høie answered: «– The fact that they are in the royal house, and it is not many people who are, but I think the Norwegian people will show an understanding for it. We have persons in the royal family who belong to a high risk group among others because of their age, so it is important, Høie explained.»

For the record, King Harald and Queen Sonja, both 83, belong to the royal house, while Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner, 88, is a member of the royal family. There will always be people who will complain about the royals receiving privileges, but if the various comments made in the social media today should be regarded as representative, the vast majority seem to accept the reasons why an exception was made.

Other royals who have been vaccinated are Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of the United Kingdom.

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