Posts Tagged ‘st. olav’

a-ha granted audience with King Harald

Receiving the Royal Order of St. Olav, November 6th 2012.

Receiving the Royal Order of St. Olav, Nov. 6th 2012.

Morten, Magne and Paul have been invited to the Royal Palace in Oslo on Monday, June 10th, for an audience with King Harald of Norway at 12:30 (local time).

This is in connection with the band members being appointed Knights First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in November last year. Anyone who receives the Order of St. Olav are eventually granted an audience with the king.

But this isn’t the first time the members of a-ha have been granted an audience with the King of Norway. In February 1987 they were invited to the Royal Palace by the late King Olav, in recognition of their international achievements. Here is a picture of them afterwards, standing outside the Royal Palace with a group of fans. “It was a great experience”, Morten told the press back then.

a-ha receive Royal Order of St. Olav

Magne, Morten and Paul with their medals

The three members of a-ha were today appointed Knights First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for their “outstanding musical contribution”.

The invite-only ceremony was held at Gamle Logen in Oslo, and was attended by family, friends and fans.

The ceremony, which was broadcast live online, included music by a string quartet and speeches by Viggo Bondi (bassist in Bridges), Terry Slater (a-ha manager 1983-1994), Trond Giske (Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry) and Anders Flågen (representing the Royal Palace) who presented a-ha with their medals.

After receiving the medals, Morten spoke on behalf of the band. Here is a translation of his speech:

Morten speaking

“If only I could have said as my aunt Magny, when the Mayor of Kristiansand told her that uncle Bernt would be awarded the King’s Medal of Merit.

“What was that?” I heard her say, as people around her started clapping.

“Bernt is to be awarded The King’s Medal of Merit”, someone repeated to her.

“Is that so? Then it can’t be very prestigious.”

[Audience laughing]

When Paul, Magne and myself set a course for England, we had great plans. But we didn’t imagine that 30 years later, we would be here at Gamle Logen to be appointed Knights. We had to leave Norway to become a-ha. Norway is a leader on natural resources, but not on refining them. That’s true within most fields, including our own. Talents have to be refined and managed. No one can succeed on their own. You need to have the right people around you. If you don’t find them here [in Norway], you have to leave in time. And here comes my little case in point:

We have great resources in Norway, not least of the human kind. But we have to focus more on the unknown, if we want to be part of discovering the future. If not, it will just be presented to us. In Norway we have an immature view on failure. It brings with it a sense of shame. We don’t like to take risks. Risk-taking is seen as irresponsible. We need a more realistic view of what it actually takes to succeed.

If there’s one reason to honour us here today, it has to be this: We have stayed true to what we believed in. Together and on our own. Congratulations guys!”
If you missed the live broadcast, it can be seen again at

Related articles and video clips:
Heder for å gjøre det umulige mulig (Aftenposten)
Ridderlige a-ha (VG)
Kongens orden til kongene av pop (NRK)
Nå er de riddere av 1. klasse (Dagbladet)
A-ha fikk St. Olavs Orden (Adressa)
– Jeg er mer forlegen enn stolt (VG)
Morten Harket: Jeg føler meg stolt, men kanskje mest forlegen (Aftenposten)
A-ha hedret med St.Olavs Orden (TV2)
– Det bringer skam med seg å feile (Se og Hør)
A-ha hedret av Kongen (Budstikka)

a-ha to be awarded The Royal Order of St. Olav

Order of St. Olav, Knight First Class

His Majesty King Harald of Norway has decided that the members of a-ha will be appointed Knights First Class of the Royal Order of St. Olav, after a proposition by Music Export Norway.

This was announced in a press release today:

“The Norwegian Royal Order of St. Olav is awarded for distinguished services for Norway and mankind. Each of the three members of a-ha, Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy will, after a proposition by Music Export Norway, receive this Royal Order for their outstanding musical contribution.”

The full press release is available in English at

“Magne, Morten and Paul are very honoured to be awarded the Order of St. Olav”, a-ha manager Harald Wiik tells Dagbladet.

The official ceremony will take place in Oslo on November 6th.

Other Norwegian musicians who have received the same honour in the past include Jahn Teigen, Åge Aleksandersen, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Jan Garbarek and Truls Mørk.

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