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ΑρχικήEnglish EditionHistory of the Norwegian Royal Family

History of the Norwegian Royal Family

By Valia Nikolaidou,

According to the press and the general public, Norway is home to the “coolest” Royal Family in the world; the members are down to earth and attainable to their citizens while at the same time their travels with domestic flights and even public transportation, are widespread. Also, King Harald V, the nation’s King since 1991, praised Norwegian identity’s diversity by mentioning in one of his most recent speeches that “Norwegians come from the north of the country, from the middle, from the south and all the other regions. Norwegians are also immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Somalia, and Syria.” Norwegians are girls who love girls. Boys who love boys. And boys who love girls who love each other. Norwegians believe in God, Allah, everything and nothing.”

This progressive family’s history dates back to the 8th century, more than 1000 years ago. In the early Middle Ages, the first Norwegian King Harald Fairhair, was the first to bring together the many scattered independent monarchs governing different areas of Norway in a single nation in 885 AD. According to folklore, Harald was only 10 years old when he ascended to the throne after his father, a frivolous monarch, drowned in the Randsfjorden lake, the fourth biggest one in Norway. Over the course of 500 years, many changes occurred in the ruling of the country but ultimately, it was the nation’s Christianization from King Olav II Haraldsson who acquired saint status and became a national symbol after his passing in the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030.

Image source: lifeinnorway.net

The establishment of modern Norway occurred a couple of hundred years after its beginning. In 1830, Denmark and Norway were united together under a single monarch, King Frederik VI; however, Denmark ruled over its “counterpart” and basically controlled them. After Denmark’s defeat during the Napoleonic Wars, they were pressured and conclusively, obliged to sign a peace treaty. In the end, Norway was ceded to Sweden in the Treaty of Kiel, a result that would not satisfy the Norwegian people due to the fact that their country would now be subordinate to Swedish King Carl XIII. Despite outside forces pressuring Norway to accept the treaty, they managed to enter the union with Sweden as an independent state that had its own constitution and its own King.

Norway’s subordination to Sweden finally came to an end in 1905 with the dissolution of the Union. Established in 1814 by the Norwegian constitution, the Storting (the country’s national assembly) wished to have some diplomatic connections with Sweden but Swedish King Oscar II refused to go through with this plan. Consequently, the Norwegian government resigned and the Storting announced the official split from their rulers. 

King Haakon and Queen Maud. Image source: prints-online.com

The only major event in the Royal Family’s history after those was World War II. Despite the important win on Norway’s behalf with the sinking of the German battleship Blücher, the German troops were extremely powerful and took over the Nordic country. The King, his family and certain members of the Storting were forced to flee to London to be protected from the German invasion. King Haakon was the nation’s symbol for the freedom of their beloved country and his radio broadcasts worked catalytically for the general public’s spirit and morale.

Nowadays, Norway is considered a constitutional monarchy, meaning that the King is the head of state but his role is merely representative, with all important decisions being made by the elected bodies i.e. the Government. King Harald of the House of Glücksburg and Queen Sonja have three kids: Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette–Marit, and Princess Ingrid Alexandra. Also, they have seven grandchildren; his Highness Prince Sverre Magnus and Mr. Marius Borg Høiby; Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise, Miss Maud Angelica Behn, Miss Leah Isadora Behn, Miss Emma Tallulah Behn and Her Highness Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner.

  • Norwegian Royal Family. lifeinnorway.net. Available here 
  • History. royalcourt.no. Available here 



Valia Nikolaidou
Born and raised in Thessaloniki in 2001, she is an undergraduate student at the Department of English Language and Literature at Auth. Her passions include literature, watching movies, learning foreign languages, and travelling. In her spare time, she loves reading all kinds of books, going to the cinema, listening to music, and learning Spanish.