Harald V of Norway
|King of Norway|
|Reign||17 January 1991 – present|
|Benediction||23 June 1991|
|Prime Ministers||Gro Harlem Brundtland|
Kjell Magne Bondevik
|Born||21 February 1937|
Skaugum, Akershus, Norway
Sonja Haraldsen (m. 1968)
|Father||Olav V of Norway|
|Mother||Princess Märtha of Sweden|
Harald was the third child and only son of King Olav V and Princess Märtha of Sweden. He was second in the line of succession at the time of his birth, behind his father. In 1940, as a result of the German occupation during World War II, the royal family went into exile. Harald spent part of his childhood in Sweden and the United States. He returned to Norway in 1945, and subsequently studied for periods at the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Military Academy and Balliol College, Oxford.
In 1957, following the death of his grandfather, Haakon VII, Harald became crown prince. A keen sportsman, he represented Norway in sailing at the 1964, 1968, and 1972 Olympic Games, and later became patron of World Sailing. Harald married Sonja Haraldsen in 1968, their relationship having initially being controversial due to her status as a commoner. The couple had two children, Märtha Louise and Haakon. Harald succeeded his father as king in 1991, with Haakon becoming his heir apparent.
Early life and education
Prince Harald was born at the Skaugum estate and was baptized in the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace in Oslo on 31 March 1937 by Bishop Johan Lunde. His godparents were: his paternal grandparents King Haakon VII and Queen Maud of Norway; his maternal grandparents Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg of Sweden; King Leopold III of Belgium; Queen Mary and King George VI of the United Kingdom; and Crown Princess Ingrid of Denmark. His parents already had two daughters, Princess Ragnhild and Princess Astrid.
Second World War
In 1940 the entire royal family had to flee Oslo because of the German invasion. It was deemed safer for the family to split up. The King and Crown Prince Olav would remain in Norway and the Crown Princess was to make her way to Sweden with the three children. The latter party reached Sweden on the night of 10 April, but although Crown Princess Märtha was Swedish-born, they encountered problems at the border station. According to Princess Astrid and others who were present, they were admitted only after the driver threatened to ram the border gate. Another account does not describe the escape so dramatically. However, when the King and Crown Prince inquired of Swedish foreign minister Christian Günther whether they could sleep one night in Sweden without being interned, they were denied.
Harald spent the following days in Sälen before moving to Prince Carl Bernadotte's home in Frötuna on 16 April. On 26 April the group moved to Drottningholm in Stockholm. King Gustaf V has been accounted to have had an amicable relationship with his Norwegian guests, but the topic of the war in Norway was not to be raised. However, influential Swedish politicians, including Minister of Justice Westman, wanted the Crown Princess and Prince Harald to be sent back to Norway so he could be proclaimed King by the Germans. After the King and Crown Prince had to leave Norway on 7 June they felt Sweden might not be the best place for the rest of the family, and started planning for them to go to the United States. On 17 August the Crown Princess and her children left for the United States from Petsamo, Finland, aboard the United States Army transport ship American Legion.
Harald and his mother and sisters lived in Washington, D.C. during the war, while his father, Crown Prince Olav, and his grandfather, King Haakon, stayed in London with the Norwegian government-in-exile. One of the notable events he remembers from that time is standing behind Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was sworn in for his fourth term on the South Portico of the White House in 1945. Such childhood experiences are reflected in a trace of an American accent when he speaks English. The Doris Kearns Goodwin book No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the Home Front in World War II contains a picture of the King (then Prince) playing with FDR's dog, Fala, on the North Lawn of the White House in 1944.
Harald visited Norwegian servicemen training in the United States. The prince also made visits outside America, travelling north to visit Norwegian personnel at the training base "Little Norway" in Ontario, Canada. He attended The White Hall Country School from 1943. Prince Harald returned to Norway with his family at the war's end in 1945.
In the autumn of 1945 he was enrolled in third grade of Smestad skole as the first member of the royal family to attend public school. Amidst this, in 1954 tragedy struck as he lost his mother to cancer. The Crown Princess's death was a tremendous loss for him and his family as well as for Norway, and he named his daughter Märtha in honour her memory. Four years later in 1958 he would lose his maternal grandmother Princess Ingeborg of Denmark.
In 1955 he graduated from Oslo katedralskole and in the autumn of that year, Harald began studies at the University of Oslo. He later attended the Cavalry Officers' Candidate School at Trandum, followed by enrollment at the Norwegian Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1959. Harald attended the Council of State for the first time on 27 September 1957 and took the oath to the Constitution of Norway on 21 February 1958. In the same year, he also served as regent in the King's absence for the first time.
In 1960, Harald entered Balliol College, Oxford where he studied history, economics and politics. He was a keen rower during his student days at Oxford and was taught to row by fellow student and friend Nick Bevan, later a leading British school rowing coach. In 1960, he also made his first official journey abroad, visiting the United States in connection with the fiftieth anniversary of the American Scandinavian Foundation. An avid sailor, Harald represented Norway in the yachting events of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, Mexico City in 1968, and Munich in 1972. The Crown Prince carried the Norwegian flag at the opening parade of the 1964 Summer Olympics.
Harald married a commoner, Sonja Haraldsen, at Oslo Domkirke in Oslo on 29 August 1968. The pair had dated for nine years and were only allowed to marry when Harald gave his father the ultimatum that if he was not allowed to marry Sonja he would not marry at all, which would have ended the reign of his family and the Norwegian monarchy, as Harald was the sole heir to the throne. The couple have two children, Princess Märtha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon, heir apparent to the Norwegian throne.
On the death of his father on 17 January 1991, Harald succeeded automatically to the Norwegian throne. He became the first Norwegian-born monarch since Magnus VII abdicated in 1343, a gap of 648 years. Harald is the sixth King of Norway to bear that name, and the first in 855 years. The five other kings who have borne the name are Harald Fairhair, Harald Greycloak, Harald Bluetooth, Harald Hardrada, and Harald Gille. Harald Bluetooth is usually not given a number in the Norwegian list of kings, therefore Harald is 'only' numbered as Harald V. King Harald made the decision to use his grandfather's royal motto, "Alt for Norge". The King also chose to continue the tradition of royal benediction, a tradition that had been introduced with his father, and was consecrated together with Queen Sonja in the Nidaros Cathedral on 23 June 1991.
The reign of King Harald has been marked by modernization and reform for the Norwegian Royal family. The King has cooperated closely with Queen Sonja and the Crown Prince in making the royal household more open to the Norwegian public and the Norwegian media. King Harald's decision to accept two more commoners into the royal family, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Ari Behn, has been interpreted as a sign of modernization and adjustment. Under King Harald and Queen Sonja's leadership, comprehensive renovation projects on the Bygdøy Royal Estate, the Royal Palace, the royal stables and Oscarshall have also taken place. The latter three have also been opened to the public and tourists. Together with Queen Sonja, the king has also for decades attempted to establish a palace museum in Oslo.
Official and unofficial duties
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The King heads the Council of State at the Royal Palace every Friday. He also has weekly meetings with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He receives foreign envoys, and opens parliament every October. According to the Norwegian constitution, he appoints his government. Since 1884 parliamentarism has been in place in Norway, meaning that the government has to have support from Parliament. The King appoints the leader of the parliamentary bloc with the majority as prime minister. When the parliamentary situation is unclear, the king relies on the advice of the President of Parliament and the sitting prime minister. As the Norwegian head of state, the King formally opens the parliamentary session every autumn, delivering a speech from the throne during each opening. He travels extensively throughout Norway and makes official state visits to other countries, as well as receiving and hosting guests.
In 1994, both the King and Crown Prince Haakon played roles during the opening ceremony of the Lillehammer Olympics. The King opened the games, while the Crown Prince lit the cauldron, paying tribute to both the King and his grandfather as Olympians. The King has also represented Norway at opening ceremonies of Olympic Games, among them Torino and Beijing. However, he wasn't present in Vancouver; the Crown Prince attended instead, with the King and Queen attending later in the games.
With his sailing crew he won World Championship bronze, silver and gold medals, in 1988, 1982 and 1987, respectively. In July 2005, the King and his crew aboard the royal sailboat Fram XV won the gold medal at the European Championships in Sweden. In the 2007 World Championship the King came in sixth place.
Twice since the start of the twenty-first century King Harald was unable to perform his monarchical duties due to ill-health: from December 2003 to mid-April 2004 due to urinary bladder cancer, and from April to early June 2005 due to aortic stenosis. Crown Prince Haakon served as the country's regent on both occasions.
Until 2012, the King of Norway was, according to the constitution, the formal head of the Church of Norway. The constitutional amendment of 21 May 2012 made the King no longer the formal head, but he is still required to be of the Evangelical Lutheran religion.
In 2015, he became the world's first reigning monarch to visit Antarctica, specifically the Norwegian dependency Queen Maud Land. In 2016, King Harald V competed with a team for the sailing World Championships on Lake Ontario, Toronto. The king came second in the classic fleet category. He was dubbed "Sailor-King" by Canada's National Post as he slept onboard his yacht "Sira".
When the King and Queen turned 80 years in 2017, the King decided to open the former royal stables to the public as a gift to his wife, the Queen. The new venue was named The Queen Sonja Art Stable and is the first institution owned by the royal family which is permanently open to the public. King Harald was made Name of the Year by the newspaper VG in 2017.
Titles, styles, arms
- 21 February 1937 – 21 September 1957: His Royal Highness Prince Harald of Norway
- 21 September 1957 – 17 January 1991: His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Norway
- 17 January 1991 – present: His Majesty The King of Norway
Honours and medals
The King is a four-star general, an admiral, and formally the Supreme Commander of the Norwegian Armed Forces. The infantry battalion His Majesty the King's Guard are considered the King's and the Royal Family's bodyguards. They guard the Royal residences, including the Royal Palace, the Crown Prince Residence at Skaugum, and the Royal Mausoleum at Akershus Castle.
National honours and medals
|1987 World Championship||Sailing|
|1982 World Championship||Sailing|
|1988 World Championship||Sailing|
|2005 European Championship||Sailing|
- Norway – Grand Master of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav – Grand Cross with collar of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav°
- Norway – Grand Master of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit – Grand Cross°
- Norway – St Olav's medal°
- Norway – Defence Service Medal with Laurel Branch°
- Norway – Royal House Centennial Medal°
- Norway – King Haakon VII Commemorative Medal 1. October 1957°
- Norway – King Haakon VII 1905–1955 Jubilee Medal°
- Norway – Haakon VIIs Centenary Medal°
- Norway – Olav Vs Commemorative Medal of 30. January 1991°
- Norway – Olav Vs Jubilee Medal°
- Norway – Olav Vs Centenary Medal°
- Norway – Defence Service Medal with three stars°
- Norway – Army National Service Medal with three stars°
- Norway – Krigsdeltakerforbundet Badge of Honour°
- Norway – Norwegian Red Cross Badge of Honour°
- Norway – Norwegian Reserve Officers Federal Badge of Honour°
- Norway – The Naval Society Medal of Merit in gold°
- Norway – Norwegian Shooting Society Badge of Honour°
- Norway – The Norwegian Confederation of Sports Centenary Medal°
- Norway – Norwegian Shooting Society Commemorative Medal in gold°
- Norway – Oslo Military Society Badge of Honour in Gold°
In the British Army, Harald V was the final Colonel-in-Chief of the Green Howards. He is also an honorary Colonel in the British Royal Marines. He is patron of the Anglo-Norse Society in London, together with Queen Elizabeth II, his second cousin. Harald is the first foreign monarch in the line of succession to the British throne, because of his descent from King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. He is a Stranger Knight of the Garter, an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, and a Recipient of the Royal Victorian Chain, as well as numerous other orders of chivalry.
Northern European countries
- Iceland – Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Falcon °
- Sweden – Knight with Collar of the Order of the Seraphim °
- Sweden – Gustaf Vs 90th Anniversary Medal °
- Sweden – HM King Carl XVI Gustaf 50th Anniversary Medal
- Denmark – Knight with Collar of the Order of the Elephant °
- Denmark – Grand Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog °
- Finland – Commander Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose of Finland °
- Estonia – Collar of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana °
- Estonia – Collar of the Order of the White Star
- Latvia – Commander Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Three Stars °
- Latvia – Grand Cross of the Order of Viesturs °
- Lithuania – Grand Cross (1998) with Golden Chain (2011) of the Order of Vytautas the Great °
- United Kingdom – Recipient of the Royal Victorian Chain (1994) °
- United Kingdom – Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (1955) °
- United Kingdom – Stranger Knight of the Order of the Garter (990th member; 2001) °
- United Kingdom – Honorary Freedom of Newcastle upon Tyne
- Argentina - Collar of the Order of the Liberator General San Martín
- Austria – Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria (1964) °
- Belgium – Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold °
- Brazil – Grand Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross °
- Bulgaria – Grand Cross of the Order of Stara Planina °
- Chile - Collar of the Order of the Merit °
- Croatia – Grand Order of King Tomislav °
- France – Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur °
- Germany – Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany °
- Greece – Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer °
- Greece – The Royal House of Greece Centenary Medal °
- Hungary – Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary °
- IOC – The Golden Olympic order °
- Italy – Knight Grand Cross (06/1965) with Collar (10/2001) of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic °
- Japan – Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum °
- Jordan – Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali °
- Yugoslavia – Order of the Yugoslav Great Star °
- Luxembourg – Grand Cross of the Order of Adolph of Nassau °
- Luxembourg – Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau°
- Luxembourg – Medal to commemorate the wedding of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte °
- Netherlands – Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion °
- Netherlands – Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown °
- Netherlands – Commander of the Order of the Golden Ark °
- Netherlands – Medal to commemorate the enthronement of Queen Beatrix °
- Poland – Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle °
- Portugal – Grand Cross of the Military Order of Aviz (05/11/1980) °
- Portugal – Grand Collar of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique (13 February 2004) °
- Portugal – Grand Collar of the Order of St. James of the Sword (26 May 2008) °
- Romania – Sash Rank of the Order of the Star of Romania °
- Slovakia - Grand Cross (or 1st Class) of the Order of the White Double Cross (2010) °
- Spain – 1,192nd Knight and Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece (21 April 1995) °
- Spain – Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III (12/04/1982) °
- Spain – Collar of the Order of Charles III (30 June 2006) °
- South Africa – Grand Cross of the Order of Good Hope °
- South Korea - Recipient of the Grand Order of Mugunghwa °
- Thailand – Knight of the Order of the Royal House of Chakri (19 September 1960)°
- Thailand – Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Order of Chula Chom Klao °
- Turkey – First Class of the Order of the State of Republic of Turkey °
The mark ° shows honours mention on his official website page about decorations
Harald V received an honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law from Oxford University in 2006 (as did his father, King Olav, in 1937, and his grandfather, King Haakon, in 1943). The King also received honorary doctorates from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland in 1994, the University of Strathclyde in Scotland in 1985, Waseda University in Japan in 2001, and Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, in 2015. He is also an honorary fellow at Balliol College, Oxford.
- Ireland – Freedom of the City of Cork.
- Spirit of Luther Award, awarded by Luther College of Decorah, IA
- A 230,000 km² area in Antarctica is named Prince Harald Coast in his honour.
- In 2007 King Harald was awarded the Holmenkollen medal with Simon Ammann, Frode Estil, Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset, and his wife Queen Sonja.
- Portugal – Key of Honor to the City of Lisbon, on 28 May 2008
- In 2013, a 6,500 km² area in Svalbard was named Harald V Land.
King Harald is closely related to other European monarchs. He is the first cousin once removed of King Philippe of Belgium and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, the second cousin of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, and the second cousin once removed of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
|Ancestors of Harald V of Norway|
|Princess Märtha Louise||September 22, 1971||May 24, 2002||Ari Behn|
|Crown Prince Haakon Magnus||July 20, 1973||August 25, 2001||Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby|
- Coronation requirement discarded by constitutional amendment in 1908. Harald V swore the Royal Oath in the Storting on 21 January 1991 and received the benediction in the Nidaros Cathedral on 23 June 1991.
- "The Royal Family". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- Hegge, Per Egil; Harald V, En biografi; N.W. Damm & Søn AS; 2006.
- "Kidnapper Foiled?". Time. 2 September 1940. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- "Non-Political Campaign". Time Magazine. 9 September 1940. p. 2. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- "Those Apprentice Kings and Queens Who May – One Day – Ascend a Throne," New York Times. 14 November 1971.
- "Crown Princess Märtha (1901-1954)". Norwegian Royal House.
- "Victory by Design". Time Magazine. 27 September 1963. p. 1. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- "HP-Time.com". Time Magazine. 26 June 1964. p. 2. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- "The Consecration of King Harald and Queen Sonja". www.kongehuset.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 28 December 2017.
- NRK. "– Å si at vi ikke er åpne, er rett og slett feil". NRK (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- "Stanghelle: "Kong Harald står frem som mannen som forstår sin egen tid"". Aftenposten. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
- "The Royal Palace is open to the public". www.royalcourt.no. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
- Totl, Kjell Arne. "Kongehusekspert Kjell Arne Totland skriver: Gi kongeparet et permanent slottsmuseum". Aftenposten (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 27 December 2018.
- Moxnes, Agnes (27 December 2018). "På tide med et slottsmuseum". NRK (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 27 December 2018.
- Sandefjords Blad on the King's performance in the World Championship ‹See Tfd›(in Norwegian) Retrieved 10 September 2007.[dead link]
- NTB 2018. 'Fra tirsdag er ikke kongen lenger hellig'. NRK, 7 May. Retrieved on 8 May. https://www.nrk.no/norge/fra-tirsdag-er-ikke-kongen-lenger-hellig-1.14039929
- Erlanger, Steven (15 October 2011). "King Harald of Norway Proves Mettle With Response to July 22 Deaths". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- "Norway remembers 77 killed in massacre". msnbc.com. 21 August 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- "Kongen om terrorangrepet: - Våre tanker går til ofrene". VG (in Norwegian). Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- "- Hans aller beste tale". Dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). 21 August 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- "King Harald visits Antarctic namesake". The Local. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
"Sun shines for king in Antarctica". newsinenglish.no. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
"King Harald begins Antarctic visit". The Norway Post. NRK/Aftenposten. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- "King Harald of Norway in Canada to participate in sailing World Championships – Royal Central". royalcentral.co.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "North American Eight Metre Association" (PDF).
- "Norway's sailor king: Why Harald V has been sleeping on a yacht moored on Toronto's waterfront". National Post. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "The Art Stable is open". www.royalcourt.no. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
- "Kongebiograf: Kong Harald blir mer populær jo eldre han blir" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- "No. 52834". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 February 1992. p. 2582.
- "No. 48634". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 June 1981. p. 7795.
- "Noblesse et Royautés" Archived 22 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Guests to Victoria of Sweden's wedding, Photo Archived 8 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Noblesse et Royautés Archived 17 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine (French), State visit of President of Finland in Norway, 2012, Photo Archived 17 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Lithuanian Presidency Archived 19 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Lithuanian Orders searching form
- "King of Norway awarded Honorary Freedom of Newcastle". Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
- Solholm, Rolleiv (14 November 2008). "King Harald receives honorary title". Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Norway Post. Retrieved 14 November 2008.[dead link]
- "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 170. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- Belga Pictures, State visit of Norway in Belgium, May 2003, Group photo Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Harald V & Paola Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Albert II & Sonja Archived 13 July 2012 at Archive.today
- Italian Presidency website, decorations – Harald V : Grand Cross – Collar
- Portuguese presidential website, Orders search form
- Slovak republic website, State honours Archived 13 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine : 1st Class received in 2010 (click on "Holders of the Order of the 1st Class White Double Cross" to see the holders' table)
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- Royal Thai Government Gazette (28 December 1960). แจ้งความสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง พระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์ (PDF) (in Thai). Retrieved 8 May 2019.
- "Official State visit of Norway (Photo of Order of State and Order of St. Olaf)". Presidency of Republic of Turkey. 5 November 2013. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- Article in VG on the honorary doctorate ‹See Tfd›(in Norwegian)
- email@example.com. "Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh: Honorary Graduates". www1.hw.ac.uk. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
- "State Visit continues". The Royal House of Norway. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- "New land area named after King Harald". The Norway Post. NRK. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Harald V of Norway.|
- Official website of the Norwegian Royal Family
- Official website of the Norwegian Royal Family: biography of the King
- Summary biography of the King
- The Royals – Regularly updated news coverage of the Norwegian royal family (Aftenposten)
- The Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav
- The Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav – H.M. King Harald V the Grand Master of the Order
- ‹See Tfd›(in Norwegian) Announcement of King Harald V & Queen Sonja's awarding of the Holmenkollen medal – Accessed 18 March 2007
- ‹See Tfd›(in Norwegian) His Majesty The King's Life Guard
Harald VBorn: 21 February 1937
| King of Norway
Crown Prince Haakon
| Crown Prince of Norway
|Lines of succession|
| Line of succession to the British throne
descended from Maud, daughter of Edward VII
Crown Prince of Norway