Norwegian arms

(The Kingdom of Norway)

Norwegian flag


Photo & copyright: Sølve Sundsbø/The Royal Court

Sovereign: Harald V King of Norway (Gut Skaugum, Asker, Norway, February 21st, 1937).
Son of Olav V King of Norway (1903-1991) and Märtha Princess of Sweden (1901-1954).
Succeeds his father Olav V King of Norway (1903-January 17th, 1991).
Inauguration: Oath on the Constitution Parliament, Oslo, Norway, January 21st, 1991. Crowned Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway, June 23rd, 1991.
Motto: Alt for Norge (Everything for Norway)
Religion: Lutherian Evangelic.

Married (1968): Sonja Haraldsen (1937).

  • Märtha Louise (1971), married (2002): Ari Behn (1972). They have three daughters: Maud Angelica (2003), Leah Isadora (2005) and Emma Tallulah (2008).

  • Photo & copyright: Sølve Sundsbø/The Royal Court

  • Haakon Crown Prince of Norway (Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway, July 20th, 1973), married (2001): Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby (1973). They have two children: Ingrid Alexandra (2004) and Sverre Magnus (2005).

  • Titles:
    The King is Majesty, King of Norway. The Crown Prince(ss) is Royal Highness, Crown Prince(ss) of Norway. The other children of a King are Royal Highness, Prince(ss) of Norway. The daughters of King Olav V are Highness, Princess of Norway. The daughter of the Crown Prince, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, is Royal Highness, her brother Prince Sverre Magnus is not.

    Until 1990 the throne was hereditary in male line from King Haakon VII, according to the right of the first born. In 1990 the laws of succession changed. Since then the right of the first-born is valid. It doesn't matter if the first child is a prince or a princess. Only the King can give permission for a wedding of a heir, in dialogue with the Parliament. If there is no heir anymore the King introduces a candidate for succession to the Parliament.

    Postal address:
    Royal Palace
    Henrik Ibsens Gate 1
    0010 Oslo

    The King and Queen reside at the Royal Palace in Oslo, where also most official functions take place. It is open to the public during the summer. Christmas is often celebrated at Kongsseteren in the outskirts of Oslo. It is private property of the royal couple. Their private holiday retreat is Mågerø in southern Norway. In the autumn and during the hunting season they use the mountain chalet Prinsehytta in Sikkilsdalen. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess since December 2003 reside at Skaugum, southwest of Oslo. The official royal residence in Trondheim is Stiftsgården. It is open to the public during the summer. In Stavanger the official royal residence is Ledaal, and in Bergen it is Gamlehaugen. The royal couple can further make use of Bygdø Royal Farm at Oslo, which was the summer residence of King Haakon VII and King Olav V. For more information: The Royal Residences.

    The first king of Norway was King Harald I, who lived in the beginning of the 9th century, and united whole Norway. The Norwegian royal families of the Middle Ages died out at the end of the 14th century. In 1397 the country was united with Sweden and Denmark in the Union of Kalmar. The position of Denmark was weak after the Napoleontic wars around 1800, and in 1814 Denmark had to cede Norway to Sweden. However the Norwegians, who had wanted independency already since a long time, revolted. In Eidsvoll, a small village near Oslo, a national meeting came together and within a short time a constitution was made. On May 17th 1814 the young Danish Prince Christian Frederik was chosen as the new king of Norway. After a couple of months the dream fell apart and Norway was united with Sweden. The country had more freedom than they had in the Union with Denmark.

    On June 7th 1905 the Norwegian parliament declared the Union with Sweden dissolved. The throne was presented to the Danish Prince Karl, son of the Danish King Christian IX, who accepted after a referendum in November. On November 25th 1905 he arrived with his wife Maud, daughter of King Edward VII of Great Britain, and their son Prince Alexander in Kristiania, the capital of Norway (later called Oslo). The new King decided to become king under the name Haakon VII. His son Alexander afterwards was named Olav. Queen Maud died in 1938. The sportsmanlike Prince Olav won gold in sailing at the Olympic Games of Amsterdam 1928. The next year he married his cousin Märtha Princess of Sweden. They got three children: Ragnhild (1930), Astrid (1932) and Harald (1937, the first Norwegian Prince born in 567 years). When the Germans invaded Norway in 1940 the Norwegian royal family managed to escape. Princess Märtha and the children left for Sweden and spent the rest of the war in the United States of America. King Haakon VII and crown prince Olav first stayed in Norway, but knew they could endanger the people. They left for Great Britain and fought from there against the Germans. They became the symbol of the Norwegian resistance. Already on May 13th 1945, a few days after the Germans capitulation, crown prince Olav returned to Norway. On June 7th his father followed him, and his family returned from the USA. King Haakon VII died in 1957.

    Olav V was the next king, but without a Queen as Princess Märtha already had died in 1954. His daughter Ragnhild had married a Norwegian commoner in 1953. Princess Astrid acted as the first lady until her marriage in 1961. Crown Prince Harald met Sonja Haraldsen in 1959 and although they fell in love they knew it wouldn't be accepted. In 1964 the relationship was discovered but denied by the royal court. Finally in 1968, after the crown prince had threatened to give up his rights to the throne as he wouldn't marry anybody else but Sonja, King Olav V tacked and the engagement was announced. Later that year the couple married and they got two children: Märtha Louise (1971) and Haakon (1973). After a few illnesses King Olav V died in 1991. The new king was Harald V, and for the first time since 1938 Norway had a Queen again.

    The Kings of Norway
    Haakon VII (1872-1957) 1905-1957
    Olav V (1903-1991) 1957-1991
    Harald V (1937- ) 1991-