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The Monarchy

The tradition of Norwegian kingship in various forms extends back more than a thousand years. Norway was part of a union with Denmark from 1381 to 1814 and then with Sweden from 1814 until 1905, when it once more became independent under Haakon VII of Norway.

Today’s Royal Family consists of: HM King Harald V, HM Queen Sonja, HRH Crown Prince Haakon, HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit, HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Princess Märtha Louise. Princess Märtha Louise and her husband, Ari Behn, have one daughter, Maud Angelica Behn, who is fourth in the line of succession to the Norwegian throne.

HM The King
HM King Harald V was born 21 February 1937 at his parents´ home, the country estate of Skaugum near Oslo. The only son of Crown Prince Olav (subsequently King Olav V) and Crown Princess Märtha, he was the first prince born in Norway for 567 years. Prince Harald’s two older sisters, Princess Ragnhild and Princess Astrid, were born in 1930 and 1932, respectively, but at the time only males could succeed to throne. Prince Harald’s childhood in Norway was peaceful until the outbreak of WWII. When Nazi forces invaded Norway on 9 April 1940, he escaped to Sweden with his mother and sisters, and spent the duration of the war in the USA. He returned to Norway in 1945.

After completing his upper secondary school education, Prince Harald entered the Norwegian Cavalry Officers’ Training School and went on to finish his military education at the Military Academy in 1959. Prince Harald became Crown Prince on 21 September 1957, when his father became King Olav V. Upon completion of his compulsory military service, the Crown Prince went to Oxford for further study. He attended Oxford from 1960-1962, studying social science, history and economics at Balliol College.

On 29 August 1968, Crown Prince Harald married Miss Sonja Haraldsen from Vinderen in Oslo. The couple had waited nine years for their marriage to be approved. After consultation with the Presidium of the Storting, the parliamentary leaders and the Government, King Olav V gave his permission for the Crown Prince to marry a commoner.

King Harald succeeded to the throne on 17 January 1991, upon the death of his father.
 
HM The Queen
HM Queen Sonja was born 4 July 1937 in Oslo, daughter of Karl and Dagny (née Ulrichsen) Haraldsen. She completed her upper secondary schooling in 1954, followed by vocational training in dressmaking and tailoring. She then went on to receive a diploma from Ecole Professionelle des Jeunes Filles in Lausanne, Switzerland. She returned to Norway for further studies and received an undergraduate degree (French, English and Art History) from the University of Oslo.

On 29 August 1968, Miss Sonja Haraldsen married Crown Prince Harald in the Oslo Cathedral, and became the Crown Princess of Norway.

HRH The Crown Prince
HRH Crown Prince Haakon was born 20 July 1973 at the National Hospital in Oslo. He was the second child and only son of Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja, (Subsequently King Harald V and Queen Sonja). At the time of the Prince’s birth, succession to the throne was only through males. Thus, although his sister, Princess Märtha Louise, was two years older, Prince Haakon Magnus was born heir to the throne. The Norwegian Constitution has since been amended, and women may now also inherit the throne. Prince Haakon Magnus was christened in the Palace Chapel on 20 September 1973, and his godparents included the three Scandinavian monarchs: King Olav V of Norway, King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. The Prince was confirmed in the Palace Chapel in 1988. Prince Haakon Magnus became Crown Prince Haakon when his father succeeded to the throne on 17 January 1991. On 25 August 2001 the Crown Prince married Miss Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby in a ceremony at the Oslo Cathedral. On 21 January 2004, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, daughter of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, was born.

HRH The Crown Princess
HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit was born on 19 August 1973, and is the youngest child of Marit Tjessem and Sven Olav Bjarte Høiby. The engagement between His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon and Miss Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby was announced on 1 December 2000, and they were married in the Oslo Cathedral on 25 August 2001. On 21 January 2004, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, daughter to the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, was born.

HRH The Princess
Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born at Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo. The Princess is the daughter of HRH Crown Prince Haakon and HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and is second in line of succession to the Norwegian throne. On 17 April 2004, the Princess was christened in the Palace Chapel in Oslo. Her godparents are HM King Harald V, HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, HRH Crown Prince Felipe of Asturias, Princess Märtha Louise and Marit Tjessem.

Prince Sverre Magnus
Prince Sverre Magnus was born 3 December 2005 at Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo, and is the son of HRH Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit. The Prince is third in line of sucession to the Norwegian throne, after his father and sister, HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra. The Prince was christened 4 March 2006 in the Palace Chapel in Oslo.

Princess Märtha Louise

Princess Märtha Louise was born on 22 September 1971 at the National Hospital in Oslo. She was the first-born child and daughter of Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja, (subsequently King Harald and Queen Sonja). The Princess is named Märtha after her father’s mother, Crown Princess Märtha of Norway, and Louise after her great-great-grandmother, Queen Louise of Denmark, the daughter of Carl XV of Sweden and mother of Haakon VII of Norway. Until the Constitution was amended, succession to the Norwegian throne was only through males. Thus, the Princess’ brother, Prince Haakon Magnus (subsequently Crown Prince Haakon), although two years younger, is designated heir to the throne.

Princess Märtha Louise was married to author Ari Behn, from Moss, Norway, in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 24 May 2002. Their daughter, Maud Angelica Behn, was born at the Rikshospitalet University Hospital on 29 April 2003, and was christened in the Palace Chapel on 1 July 2003. Maud Angelica was carried to the holy font by HM King Harald V.

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HM King Harald V and HM Queen SonjaPhoto: Ørn Borgen / SCANPIX

HRH Crown Prince Haakon and HRH Crown Princess Mette-MaritPhoto: Thomas Bjørnflaten / SCANPIX

Princess Märtha LouisePhoto: Lise Åserud / SCANPIX / POOL