Sunday the 21st of February marks the 84th birthday of Harald V, the king of Norway. What better moment than to go into all the interesting facts and stories that surround the Norwegian Royal family? In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about the Norwegian Royals and their family!
First things first, the Norwegian Royal Family belongs to the house of Glücksburg and ascended to the throne in 1905, after the dissolution of the Swedish-Norwegian union, when Norway became an independent country. The first king was Haakon VII, the grandfather of the current king Harald V. But did you know that Haakon VII was actually elected to be the King of Norway? Upon becoming independent it was decided through a referendum that Norway should become a monarchy. The voters decided on Prince Carl of Denmark to become their king, who accepted and ascended the throne as Haakon VII.
Did we just say that the first Norwegian King ascended the throne in 1905? Yes, and it is true, but also not quite. Speaking of Norway as the country we know today, Haakon VII is its first king. But the history of the Norwegian Royal family dates back much further than that! Even though Norway had been ruled in unions with Sweden and Denmark since the late middle ages, we know of Norwegian kings that ruled the land of the fjords long before that. In fact, the history goes all the way back to Harald I Fairhair who lived in the 6th century and is often portrayed as the first King of Norway. Naturally, no pictures exist of the famed medieval king, but the drawing on the right is assumed to show Harald Fairhair!
Of course the current Royal Family can claim no blood connection relation to Harald, but regardless, the current King Harald V is actually the descendant of all kings that have ruled over Norway since 1818!
On the topic of blood relations: The Norwegian Royal Family is of course also closely connected to other royal families in Europe. They are closely related to the Swedish and Danish Royal Families along with more distant connections the the Royal Families of Greece and the United Kingdom.
Of course on of the most important questions of any royal family is the question of succession. The heir to the Norwegian throne is Crown Prince Haakon.
He married his wife Mette-Marit in 2001 and they have two children together so fans of the Norwegian Royal Family don't need to worry about the future of the family. However, there is one important difference between Haakon and his children. Haakon actually has an older sister, Princess Märtha Louise. However, in 1973, when Haakon was born, the constitution said that the oldest son would be named crown prince - even if he had older sisters - making Haakon the crown prince. The constitution was altered in 1990 making the oldest child of Haakon and Mette-Marit the successor to the thrown. It is therefore that their oldest daughter Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway will one day ascend to the throne and become the first ever Queen of Norway.
Now you know all the most important facts to navigate any conversation about the Royal Family of Norway. If you still want to see more of them, and maybe get a glimpse of personalities of the King and Queen, we recommend you check out the clip below: In which King Harald literally "trolls" his wife!