A royal Norwegian sailing champion turns 80 / Columns / The Foreigner

A royal Norwegian sailing champion turns 80. HM King Harald V of Norway is to celebrate his 80th birthday on 21st February 2017. A keen sportsman with English ancestry, his reign has spanned more than 26 years so far. The King, the only son of Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Märtha, was born at his parents’ country estate of Skaugum, near Oslo. HRH the Crown Prince (the future King Olav V) was the son of King Haakon VII (1905 – 1957) and Queen Maud (1869-1938). Maud was the daughter of the UK’s King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. TRH Crown Prince Olav (1903-1991) and Crown Princess Märtha (1901-1954) also had two daughters, Princess Ragnhild and Princess Astrid, who were both born before the Prince. However, the then Norwegian Constitution of 1814 stipulated that only male heirs could inherit the Throne. The Constitution was amended in 1990. The War Years

kingharaldv, birthday, celebrations, wwii, london, paywall



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A royal Norwegian sailing champion turns 80

Published on Friday, 17th February, 2017 at 14:52 under the columns category, by Michael Sandelson and Charlotte Bryan   .
Last Updated on 21st February 2017 at 13:57.

HM King Harald V of Norway is to celebrate his 80th birthday on 21st February 2017. A keen sportsman with English ancestry, his reign has spanned more than 26 years so far.

HM King Harald V of Norway
HM King Harald V of Norway
Photo: Jørgen Gomnæs / The Royal Court


The King, the only son of Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Märtha, was born at his parents’ country estate of Skaugum, near Oslo. HRH the Crown Prince (the future King Olav V) was the son of King Haakon VII (1905 – 1957) and Queen Maud (1869-1938). Maud was the daughter of the UK’s King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

TRH Crown Prince Olav (1903-1991) and Crown Princess Märtha (1901-1954) also had two daughters, Princess Ragnhild and Princess Astrid, who were both born before the Prince. However, the then Norwegian Constitution of 1814 stipulated that only male heirs could inherit the Throne. The Constitution was amended in 1990.

The War Years

The life of HM King Harald V, as with that of any sailor’s, has been a voyage on both calm and troubled waters. Prince Harald, the first prince to be born in Norway in 567 years, was forced to flee Oslo with his parents and siblings when Nazi Germany invaded on 9th April 1940.

HRH Crown Prince Olav's arrival, Oslo,13 May 1945
HRH Crown Prince Olav's arrival, Oslo,13 May 1945
Håwi/The Royal Court
Slowed down by the sinking of the SMS Blücher, the Royal Family, Government, and most of the Members of Parliament, had time to escape on a specially-commissioned train from Oslo to Hamar in eastern Norway’s Hedmark County.

The Royal Family parted company in Elverum. Crown Princess Märtha, Prince Harald, Princess Ragnhild, and Princess Astrid fled across the border to neutral Sweden. They subsequently travelled to the US by sea. It was while they were there that President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited them to stay at the White House.  

Crown Prince Olav, King Haakon VII, then Labour (Ap) Prime Minister John Nygaardsvold (between 1935 and 1945), and Norwegian government officials fled to London, evacuated on the HMS Devonshire. The Crown Prince returned to Norway on 13th May 1945 following the end of WWII. King Haakon VII and other members of the Royal Family joined him on 7th June that year, with thousands lining the streets of Oslo to celebrate the Royal Family’s homecoming.

Education and marriage

King Haakon VII died in 1957, with Olav succeeding him as king and Prince Harald becoming the Crown Prince. Some three years later, HRH went to Oxford University’s Balliol College for a further period of educational study, which lasted until 1962. It was during this time that the Crown Prince made his first official state visit abroad, travelling to the US. This was in connection with the 50th anniversary of the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

HRH had also begun his acquaintance with Miss Sonja Haraldsen by that time. In March 1968, it was announced that King Olav V had given permission for the Crown Prince to marry her. They had known each other for nine years before their marriage was approved. This consent was not without its implications, however, and came after consultations with parliament’s presidium, parliamentary leaders, and the Government.

Oslo Cathedral (2012)
Oslo Cathedral (2012)
Hans A. Rosbach/Wikimedia Commons
Miss Haraldsen was a commoner at that time, and the decision was both a family matter and an affair of state with possible repercussions for the future of the monarchy. The wedding was held in Oslo Cathedral on 29th August 1968, whereupon Sonja became the Crown Princess.

Journeys                           

Another major change for HRH Crown Prince Harald came in the spring of 1990, when King Olav V fell ill, having suffered a stroke the previous year. The Crown Prince Regent assumed the King’s functions as Head of State. King Olav V, known as ‘The People’s King’, died of a heart attack on 17th January 1991, aged 87, after a reign of 33 years. This was the same day that the Operation Desert Storm began in Iraq. His death gave rise to what has been described as national mourning on a scale that Norway had never experienced before. Candles were lit in his memory when HM King Harald and Queen Sonja celebrated their Silver Jubilee last year.

In addition to his official duties, HM King Harald V has several leisure interests. These include being an active hunter and fisherman, and enjoying spending time out in the wilderness. Moreover, the King and the Royal Family have attended the Olympics on many occasions, and the King and Queen were actively involved in connection with the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer.

HM has also distinguished himself in national and international sailing competitions on several occasions. King Harald and his crew have won the World Championships with his one-tonne yacht, the Fram X. They also won the 2005 European Championships with the Fram XV. HM, who is still an avid yachtsman as a soon-to-be octogenarian, participates in national and international regattas each year.




Published on Friday, 17th February, 2017 at 14:52 under the columns category, by Michael Sandelson and Charlotte Bryan   .
Last updated on 21st February 2017 at 13:57.

This post has the following tags: kingharaldv, birthday, celebrations, wwii, london, paywall.





  
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