boys clothing: European royalty--Norway

European Royalty: Norway

Figure 1.--This image shows Prince Olaf, Norway's beloved little prince, about 1907. As a boy he played with the British royals. He was to becme King Olaf V.

Norway has an extremely colorful history, including some destinctive monarchs in the medevil era. Asca result of union with Denmark in the 13th century, however, there was for about 500 years no separate Norwegian monarch. Norway despite its long history, is a relatively young European nations in constitutional terms and the monarchy one of the newest. The current monarchy only dates to 1905 when Norway withdrew from the union with Sweden. The first Norwegian monarch in modern times was King Haakon VII who was elected in 1905 and served through the turbulant era of the first half of the 20th century.

Medevil Monarchs

Norway has one of the most colorful histories of any European countries, full of savage Viking warriors rading Eropean tows from Scotland south to Spain and in the pricss discovering America centuries before Columbus. Several Norwegian kings were named Haakon, including Haakon I (The Good) (914?-961) who was raised a Christian in England and deposed his half brother, Eric Bloodaxe, to seize the throne and bring Christianity to Norway. Haakon IV (The Old) (1204-63) acquired Iceland and Greenland.

Haakon VI and Union with Denmark

Haakon VI (1339-80) was the last separate Norwegian king for 500 years. He also served as king of Sweden and then engaded in war with Sweden. He married Margaret, the daughter of King Waldemar IV. Their son, King Olaf, became king of both Norway and Denmark, providing the basis for the Union of Kalmar. For the next 500 years Denmark and Norway, along with Icealand and Greenland, were ruled as one country.

Union with Sweden

A New Kingdom

Norway and Sweden decided to separate after the turn of the 20th century. The whole process was very complicated and touchy. It seemed for a time that Sweden might use te army to retain Norway, but decided against it and the separation became official in 1905. After separation it was up to the Norwegians to decide if they should have a republic or monarchy. A Norwegian consortium decided that the nation should remain a kingdom. Not suprisingly, given the historical and cultural ties with Denmark, the Norwegians asked a Danish prince if he would become the future King of Norway. He wisely replied that if this was the wish of the Norwegian people, he would consider it possible. A popular vote was arranged in Norway, of which a obvious majority, 259,563 in favor to 69,264, voted to his favor. His name was Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel, Prince of Denmark, and he was officially elected to become King of Norway by the Norwegian Government on November 18, 1905.

King Haakon VII (1905-1957)

King Haakon VII (1872-1957) became King of Norway after the dissolution of the union with Sweden in 1905. According to the Constitution of 1814, he could only be succeeded by male heirs. (This provision has subsequently been amended). King Haakon was Prince Carl (Charles) of Denmark before he was elected King of Norway. He was the son of King Ferdinand VIII of Denmark. Kaiser Wilhelm II had pushed for one of his sons to be chosen king, but failed in this effort. Prince Carl was unanimously chosen king of Norway by the Storting, the Norwegian parliament, and confirmed in a plebiscite by the Norwegian people on November 18, 1905. In 1906 he was crowned at Trondheim. English King Edward VIII and his wife Alexandra were delighted with the result for both diplomatic and family reasons. With the Kaiser's Germany building a highseas fleet, a German prince on the Norwegian throne could have caused a war. In addition, Prince Carl was mairred to their daughter Maud. As a king he took the motto "Alt for Norg" (Everything for Norway). King Haakon and his family arrived in Norway on November 25 the same year. The official coronation took place in the Cathedral of Nidaros in Trondheim on June 22, 1906. Prince Carl of Denmark, as he was called prior to being elected as the future king of Norway, had married in 1896 to Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria, Princess of England. Princess Maud (1869-1938) was the daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria. They were actually first cousins and in their marriage they had a single child, the future King Olav V of Norway. His name was Alexander Edward Christian Frederik. The royal couple were enthusiasdtically received by the Norwegian people. Queen Alexandra, a very devoted grandmother, wrote with a touch of family pride, "Maud and Charles were received with open arms, the success of Christiana is little Olaf (my little Hamlet) who took them all by storm". [Battiscombe, p. 256.] Norway became a constitutional kingdom, which King Haakon VII fully demonstrated for the first time in 1928, when he went against the advice from the outgoing prime minister and the president of the Storting and appointed the leader of the biggest party, the Labor Party, to found a new government. This was, however, not what made him popular in Norway, though it may have been amongst ordinary people. What really made him popular was his reply to the ultimatum given him and the government in 1940 by the invading German forces during World War II. When Germany invaded Norway in 1940, King Haakon led the armed resistance to the NAZIs for 2 months and then escaping by land and boat to England to continue resistance operations there. He conducted the affairs of the Norwegian government-in-exile until the defeat of the NAZIs in the spring of 1945, whereupon he returned to Norway to resume his royal duties. King Haakon VII returned to Norway after the war on June 7, 1945 and he was greeted by a whole nation for his his role in leading the resistace to the NAZIs during the war. King Haakon died at age 85 on September 21, 1957 and was succeeded by his son King Olav V of Norway, whose reign would become even more popular amongst his people than his father's had been.

Figure 2.--This informal portrait of Crown Prince Olaf of Norway (later King Olav V) and Prince George of Wales (later Duke of Kent), who were cousins, was taken about 1907--just after Olaf's father had become king. Olaf would have to flee with his father to Britain after the Germans occupied Norway in World War II. George was killed in the War.

King Olav V (1957-1991)

King Olav was son of King Haakon VII (1872-1957) and Queen Maud (1869-1938). Queen Maud was the daughter of the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII, and Queen Alexandra of Britain. Olav his pictured with his English Cousin George (1902-42). (Prince George was the fourth son of George V and Queen Mary. He was created Duke of Kent in 1934, marrying Princess Marina of Greece in the same year. He was killed in an air crash in 1942 while on active service with the RAF.) Queen Maud of Norway being George V's sister, and the Norwegian royal family spent regular holidays at Sandringham. Olav was an outstanding sportsman and competed in the Olympic Games as a yachtsman. Crown Prince Olav of Norway married March 21, 1929 to his first cousin Princess Märtha (Märtha Sofia Lovisa Dagmar Thyra) of Sweden, the daughter of Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg. They had three children. The Crown Prince spent a large part of World War II in exile in Britain and succeded his father Haakon VII to the throne in 1957. Olav's only boy succeeded his father to the throne of Norway when he died on January 17, 1991. Crown Princess Märtha, though, sadly died before she could become queen. When King Olav V of Norway, died in 1991, a whole nation mourned dearly. His reign lasted for thirty-four years and every day of it was wise. As far as we know, the king didn't have a single disagreement with his own people during his reign. King Olav V gained the unconditioned confidence and undisputed love of a whole nation, so not to wonder all of us wept when he passed away. However, the foundation had been laid by his father.

King Harald V (1991- )

King Harald ascended the throne on the death of his father,King Olav V, on January 17, 1991. Like his father and his grandfather, King Haakon VII, he adopted the motto "All for Norway". The birth of a prince is always an important event in the life of a nation. However, it was aparticularly special occasion for the Norwegian people when an heirto the throne was born on February 21, 1937. The princewas born at Skaugum, the estate that is still the home of the RoyalFamily. This was the first time in 567 years that a prince had beenborn in Norway, and the birth ensured the line of succession of therelatively newly established Norwegian Royal Family. Thus with Prince Harald's birth, the country was guaranteed a king, at least for the next two generations, and this meant a great deal to most Norwegians. The first 3 years of Prince Harald's life at Skaugum were peaceful ones. But this peace wasdestroyed in the early hours of April 9, 1940, when Hitler's troops invaded Norway. The Royal Family was one of their primary targets. Forced to flee in great haste, King Haakon, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and the Government left the capital by train only hours before the occupation forces arrived. The King and the Government held out against the Germans until Norway capitulated in June. They then fled to London, where they set up a government-in-exile. The Crown Prince and the Crown Princess parted company at Hamar. Crown Princess Märthaand the children crossed the border into Sweden under cover of darkness on April 10. Severalmonths later they went to the United States. The Crown Princess, Prince Harald and his two elder sisters, Ragnhild and Astrid, lived just outside Washington D.C. until the liberation in 1945. King Olav's announcement in 1968 that Crown Prince Harald wished to marry a commonertriggered a heated political debate on the future of the monarchy. The Crown Prince had knownhis bride-to-be for nine years before it was decided that they were to marry. King Olav himselfmade the decision after having consulted the Government, the President of the Storting and theleaders of the various parliamentary groups in the Storting. The response was favourable. The vast majority of the population accepted Sonja Haraldsenimmediately with great enthu-siasm, which indicates the status enjoyed by the Royal Family and by Sonja Haraldsen as an individual. She became inseparably linked with the national unitysymbolized by the Norwegian Royal Family. The marriage took place in August 1968. The couple's first child, Märtha Louise, was born on 22September 1971, and the second, Prince Haakon, on 20 July 1973.

Crown Prince Haakon

Crown Prince Haakon was the son of King Harald V and Queem Sonja. His older sister, Princess Märtha Louise, was born on September 22, 1971. Prince Haakon was born July 20, 1973. We have no information about the children's childhood or the clothes they wore as children, It is Crown Prince Haakon who is line to inherit the crown. Prince Haakon married Mette ??? in 200?. She had a boy named Marius from a previous marriage. In previous years this would have made the marriage impossible. They now have a daughter.


Battiscombe, Georgina. Queen Alexandra (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1969).


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Created: April 10, 2003
Last updated: 12:32 AM 7/25/2008