ROYALS are more likely to be seen cutting the ribbon to open public transport than actually riding it.
But Norway‘s monarchy seems to favour a more modest way of life, as King Harald and Queen Sonja prefer to be more relatable than regal.
King Harald and Queen Sonja with their children Princess Martha Loise and Crown Prince Haakon[/caption]
The royals are regularly spotted using public transport in Norway[/caption]
The monarchs prefer a more relaxed low-key life style than their international counterparts[/caption]
Despite their status as sovereign, the couple are known as humble figures[/caption]
The couple are completely unphased by their privileged status, asserting their place as the most humble royal brood in the world.
Whether they’re rubbing shoulders with commuters on buses or sending their kids to state schools, these sovereigns make it clear they aren’t snooty.
King Harald’s reign is credited as an era of modernisation and reform for Norway, as he and his adoring wife wanted to connect more with both the public and the media.
The 86-year-old wanted to instill these traits into his two children, Princess Martha Loise and Crown Prince Haakon, too.
So unlike the £7,000-a-term school that Prince William’s three children attend, Norway’s heirs received a less pricey education.
The two children were sent to ordinary public schools to learn like normal kids, as private schooling in the nation is not common.
Crown Prince Haakon then followed in his father’s footsteps, sending his children Princess Ingrid Alexandra, 19, and Prince Sverre Magnus, 17, to state schools.
It is a family tradition that allows these royal youngsters to have a taste of an ordinary childhood while proving they aren’t flashy folks.
The Norwegian royal family have nine impressive homes under their belt, a rather modest amount compared to the British royals’ property portfolio of 26 homes.
They typically hunker down in the royal palace in Oslo, but also have a ski chalet named Prinsehytta, a farmhouse located in Bygdøy, and a private holiday home called Mågerø to reside in.
The Bygdøy Royal Farm is the oldest property belonging to royalty in the world and has been in the family since 1305.
Designed in the Baroque style, the organic working farm has a lot of livestock, including over 60 cows, but sadly fell into disrepair.
But King Harald and Queen Sonja restored the property to its full glory in 2007, breathing new life into the forgotten farm.
The brood has an estimated net worth of around £25million, according to the South China Morning Post, while their expenses – including security – only cost the state nearly £59million.
It’s a budget that is easily dwarfed by the UK royals, with King Charles‘ three-day Coronation costing around £100million.
You will be forgiven for thinking King Harald and Queen Sonja’s smaller income means they rely on public transport.
But in actual fact, the royals simply prefer to slum it with the rest of us on commercial flights, trains and buses.
They are regularly spotted cramming onto busy carriages instead of riding in gas-guzzling motors flanked by armed security.
It also gives them another opportunity to connect with the public organically, while appearing to shun expensive alternatives.
But there are some instances when this monarchy prefer their privacy – such as special occasions and intimate celebrations.
King Harald and Queen Sonja like to commemorate birthdays with their nearest and dearest, without splashing too much cash.
The pair are so thrifty that they even combine big celebrations – such as their joint 80th birthday bashes and the King’s 25th year of reign – into one event to minimalise the fuss.
But it doesn’t mean the monarchs deny themselves any pleasure in life – as King Harald took the gang on a mega surfing trip to South Africa to mark their special birthdays.
He is known for his love for water sports as well as his three stints in the Olympics for Norway’s sailing team throughout the 60s and 70s.
Despite his ailing health, the King is said to still sail as much as he can to this day.
The adventurous head of state even scooped the second prize at the Sailing World Championships in Toronto at the age of 79.
His turbulent love story with Queen Sonja is thought to have encouraged them to take such a down-to-earth approach to their life of privilege.
King Harald was defiant in the face of his father King Olav’s disapproval of his wife, after he was warned he was forbidden from marrying a commoner.
The sole heir threatened to end his family’s reign if he was unable to wed Sonja – paving the way for a period of change in Norway’s monarchy.
Although his lifestyle differs largely from that of the British Royals, Harald still remains extremely close to The Firm – and is 77th in line to the throne.
He is the great-grandson of Edward VII and his godparents included Queen Mary and her son George VI – who were the late Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother and father.
King Harald went against his father’s wishes and married Sonja, a commoner[/caption]
The pair are credited with modernising Norway’s royal family[/caption]
The couple didn’t send their kids to a £7,000-a-term private school like Wills and Kate[/caption]