It is really her daughter-in-law who is the high protector of the Hamsun year, but Queen Sonja was replacing her for the opening today in Oslo.
The opening took place at the National library, where parts of Knut Hamsun’s Hunger were performed. The Hamsun year marks the 150th anniversary of Hamsun’s birth.
The anniversary is rather two-fold: Knut Hamsun received the 1920 Nobel Prize in Literature for his work Growth in the soil, but his reputation in Norway was tarnished by the German invasion of Norway in 1940, where he ended up siding with the invading forces. The Nazi sympathies has been among the controversies around the Hamsun year, with opinions cropping up that being the high protector of it, is something that someone from the younger generation, such as the Crown Princess could do – but not the King. There is a clear divide between those born before and after the war on such issues.
The reason for Mette-Marit’s absence today, is the school-holidays in the Eastern parts of Norway.