Last modified: 4 July 2020

The country

The state is known as Kongeriket Norge in its national language. This means the Kingdom of Norway. The country is being reigned by the Oldenburg (Schleswig-Holstein-Sønderburg- Glücksburg) dynasty.

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 became extinct at the end of the 14th century. In 1397 the country was united with Sweden and Denmark in the Union of Kalmar. 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 created. 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 once again. 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.

Photo: Jørgen Gomnæs / Det kongelige hoff


The current sovereign is Harald V King of Norway. He was born at Gut Skaugum, Asker, Norway, on 21 February 1937.

He is the son of King Olav V of Norway (1903-1991) and his wife Princess Märtha of Sweden (1901-1954).


Harald succeeded his father after his death on 17 January 1991.

He took the oath on the constitution at the Parliament of Norway in Oslo, Norway, on 21 January 1991. He was crowned at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, on 23 June 1991.

Other details

The King’s motto is Alt for Norge, which means Everything for Norway.

The King is an Evangelical Lutheran.

Marriage and descendants

King Harald V is married to Sonja Haraldsen (born 1937) since 1968.

Their children:

  • Princess Märtha Louise (born 1971), who married Ari Behn (1972-2019) in 2002. The couple has three daughters, Maud Angelica Behn (born 2003), Leah Isadora Behn (born 2005) and Emma Tallulah Behn (born 2008). Märtha Louise and Ari divorced in 2017.
  • Crown Prince Haakon Magnus (born 1973).

Heir to the throne

Crown Prince Haakon Magnus was born at the Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway, on 20 July 1973.

He became Crown Prince of Norway upon the accession to the throne of his father on 17 January 1991.

He is married to Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby (born 1973) since 2001.

Their children:

  • Princess Ingrid Alexandra (born 2004)
  • Prince Sverre Magnus (born 2005).

Postal address

The Royal Court
The Royal Palace
P.O. Box 1 Vika
0010 Oslo


The Kingdom of Norway is a free, independent, indivisible and inalienable Realm. Its form of government is a limited and hereditary monarchy. The King shall at all times profess the Evangelical-Lutheran religion. The King’s person is sacred; he cannot be censured or accused. The responsibility rests with his Council. The order of succession is lineal, so that only a child born in lawful wedlock of the Queen or King, or of one who is herself or himself entitled to the succession, may succeed, and so that the nearest line shall take precedence over the more remote and the elder in the line over the younger. An unborn child shall also be included among those entitled to the succession and shall immediately take her or his proper place in the line of succession as soon as she or he is born into the world. The right of succession shall not, however, belong to any person who is not born in the direct line of descent from the last reigning Queen or King or a sister or brother thereof, or is not herself or himself a sister or brother thereof. When a Princess or Prince entitled to succeed to the Crown of Norway is born, her or his name and time of birth shall be notified to the first Storting in session and be entered in the record of its proceedings. For those born before the year 1971, Article 6 of the Constitution as it was passed on 18 November 1905 shall, however, apply. For those born before the year 1990 it shall nevertheless be the case that a male shall take precedence over a female. 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. If there is no Princess or Prince entitled to the succession, the King may propose his successor to the Storting, which has the right to make the choice if the King’s proposal is not accepted. The age of majority of the King shall be laid down by law. As soon as the King has attained the age prescribed by law, he shall make a public declaration that he is of age. As soon as the King, being of age, accedes to the Government, he shall take the following oath before the Storting: “I promise and swear that I will govern the Kingdom of Norway in accordance with its Constitution and Laws; so help me God, the Almighty and Omniscient.” If the Storting is not in session at the time, the oath shall be made in writing in the Council of State and be repeated solemnly by the King at the first subsequent Storting.

The King shall reside in the Realm and may not, without the consent of the Storting, remain outside the Realm for more than six months at a time, otherwise he shall have forfeited, for his person, the right to the Crown. The King may not accept any other crown or government without the consent of the Storting, for which two thirds of the votes are required. As soon as the Heir to the Throne has completed her or his eighteenth year, she or he is entitled to take a seat in the Council of State, although without a vote or responsibility. A Princess or Prince entitled to succeed to the Crown of Norway may not marry without the consent of the King. Nor may she or he accept any other crown or government without the consent of the King and the Storting; for the consent of the Storting two thirds of the votes are required. If she or he acts contrary to this rule, they and their descendants forfeit their right to the Throne of Norway. If the King dies and the Heir to the Throne is still under age, the Council of State shall immediately summon the Storting. Until the Storting has assembled and made provisions for the government during the minority of the King, the Council of State shall be responsible for the administration of the Realm in accordance with the Constitution. If the King is absent from the Realm unless commanding in the field, or if he is so ill that he cannot attend to the government, the person next entitled to succeed to the Throne shall, provided that he has attained the age stipulated for the King’s majority, conduct the government as the temporary executor of the Royal Powers. If this is not the case, the Council of State will conduct the administration of the Realm. The Princess or Prince who conducts the government shall make the following oath in writing before the Storting: “I promise and swear that I will conduct the government in accordance with the Constitution and the Laws, so help me God, the Almighty and Omniscient.” The Princess or Prince who has once made the oath shall not repeat it later. If the Royal Line has died out, and no successor to the Throne has been designated, then a new Queen or King shall be chosen by the Storting.


The King shall make provisions concerning titles for those who are entitled to succeed to the Crown. 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.

Royal residences

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.

The Kings of Norway

Haakon VII (1872-1957)1905-1957
Olav V (1903-1991)1957-1991
Harald V (1937- )1991-