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Speech by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle at the presenting of the "Golden Heart" to the Norwegian Crown Princess Mette Marit at the charity gala "Ein Herz für Kinder"

15.12.2012

--Translation of advance text--

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted this evening to be able to welcome a very special guest to our country: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess Mette Marit of Norway.

Your Royal Highness,

We are delighted to have you here tonight. We consider it a special honour that you have come to Berlin to attend the gala event “Ein Herz für Kinder”.

Ladies and gentlemen,

When you travel a lot, you realize how good things are here in Europe.

We, too, have our problems. But those who have seen the dreadful poverty in the world know how blessed we are to live in peace, security and prosperity on our continent.

The fact that we can live the way we do however makes it our bounden duty to help those to whom life has been less kind.

Crown Princess Mette Marit of Norway is a Royal Highness. But where there is human suffering, she certainly does not keep regal distance.

She rolls up her sleeves. She helps people and gives children especially exactly what they need most: understanding, hope and love.

It is the children of this world who need our help.

Crown Princess Mette Marit is doing so much good with her foundation. She is a Goodwill Ambassador of the Joint United Nations Programmes on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and patron of the Norwegian Red Cross.

Today we do not just have a heart for children, as the title of the gala suggests. Rather our hearts are with the families and the victims who lost their lives yesterday in Newtown or were injured.

Norway was also hit hard by a terrible stroke of fate in July last year. A total of 77 people died in a shooting on Utoya Island including the Crown Princess’s step-brother.

Yet Crown Princess Mette Marit did not withdraw in her sadness. She wants to be with the people. In her country’s darkest hour, she moved yet closer to her people.

Her dedication is held in high esteem not just in Norway but all over the world. Crown Princess Mette Marit of Norway is being honoured for her compassion and her huge heart.

Your Royal Highness,
It is a great pleasure and honou to give this prize to you.

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