You may be wondering why I'm writing a profile on a Norwegian monarch. In fact, there are strong ties between the British and Norwegian royal families; British by birth, King Olav V and the Queen were cousins. In anticipation of the King and Queen of Norway's visit to the United Kingdom I thought it appropriate to focus on him.
Prince Alexander Edward Christian Frederik was born at Appleton House on the Sandringham Estate on July 2, 1903. He was the only child of Prince Carl of Denmark (later King Haakon VII of Norway) and Princess Maud (later Queen Maud of Norway), the third daughter of King Edward VII.
In 1905 when his father was elected King of Norway, the two year old Alexander was given the more Norwegian sounding name Olav. As an only child, he was brought up in a loving environment and he was especially close to his mother, who nicknamed him "my little Hamlet". At first he was privately educated, but later went to a secondary school in Oslo: the first prince to attend an ordinary state school. He attended the Norwegian Military Academy and in 1924 enrolled in Oxford University, where he read law and economics. Like his mother, he excelled in sports; becoming a champion ski-jumper and winning a gold medal at the 1928 Summer Olympics where he represented his country in yachting.
On March 21, 1929 he married his cousin, Princess Martha of Sweden and they had three children: Princess Ragnhild, born in 1930, Princess Astrid, born in 1932 and Prince Harald (the present King Harald V) in 1937. When his wife died in 1954, he never remarried.
After the German occupation of Norway in 1940, the King and Prince Olav found refuge in Britain. For the duration of the war the Crown Princess and her children were exiled to Washington D.C. Prince Olav was highly respected for his knowledge and leadership skills and in 1944 he was appointed Norwegian Chief of Defence. In this position he led the Norwegian disarmament of German occupying forces. Olav returned to Norway in 1945.
In 1955, he was appointed Regent when his father became incapacitated and on September 21,1957 he succeeded to the throne upon the death of his father. By a 1908 amendment in the Norwegian constitution, it was no longer a requirement for the sovereign to be crowned. Instead, King Olav was blessed in Nidaros Cathedral on June 22, 1958. He was extremely popular amongst his subjects; driving his own cars, and paying for his tickets when he used public transportation. He was nicknamed "Folkekonge" (The people's king).
King Olav, who had been Europe's oldest reigning monarch, died on January 17, 1991 at Kongsseteren, the Royal Lodge. He is buried in the Chapel of Akershus Castle in Oslo.
© Marilyn Braun
Other than Jennifer Aniston and Gwen Stefani, has any woman in the public eye been pregnant more often than Kate? If...
Jerramy Fine has an unerring knack for provoking skeptical questions. Such as.. Did she really go to London to find her prince? Can ho...
Hard to believe that it has been 18 years since Diana's death. I will never forget where I was when I heard she had been in an accident....
In July we will be heading to London. My husband and I have been there twice but this will be a first time for our children. While we are ...
Never in the history of royal watching have we ever been so fascinated by another woman's skirt. Yes, we talk about the length and color...
63/500 In Public View: Nation's Album of the Royal Family Published 1984 200 Pages For a as long as the camera has ...
Dear William and Catherine, I must say I am flattered. You have taken a page from my previous post offering you advice on how to quell c...
When Princess Charlotte is christened on Sunday July 5th, she will traditionally be given five or six godparents/sponsors. Prince William ha...
- ► 2015 (35)
- ► 2013 (27)
- ► 2012 (53)
- ► 2011 (131)
- ► 2010 (102)
- ► 2009 (97)
- ► 2008 (126)
- ► 2007 (132)
- ► 2006 (58)
- Question - How can I please everyone?
- Camilla's tiara: The Delhi Durbar
- Camilla's night to shine
- Prince William's stripes
- Royal Profile: King Olav V of Norway
- Royal Reality
- More Royal Trivia
- Wanted: A job writing about royalty
- Royal Profile: Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
- Why I love the Internet
- My Favourite Royal
- ▼ October (11)