Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Olav was born Prince Alexander Edward Christian Frederik in Appleton House on the royal Sandringham Estate, Flitcham, United Kingdom. His parents were Prince Carl, second son of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark (later King Frederik VIII), and Princess Maud, youngest daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, who was the eldest son of Britain’s Queen Victoria. When Olav’s father was elected king of Norway, he took the name Haakon VII, and on the day he was inaugurated, he gave his son the Norwegian name Olav after Olaf II Haakonsson.

1468A48B-248D-4451-B5CA-07A8E1703B99

He became heir apparent to the Norwegian throne when his father was elected King of Norway in 1905. He was the first heir to the Norwegian throne to be brought up in Norway since Olav IV in the fourteenth century, and his parents made sure he was given as Norwegian an upbringing as possible. In preparation for his future role, he attended both civilian and military schools. In 1929, he married his first cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden. During World War II his leadership was much appreciated and he was appointed Norwegian Chief of Defence in 1944. At his death in 1991, he was the last surviving grandchild of Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexandra of Denmark.

Owing to his considerate, down-to-earth style, King Olav was immensely popular, resulting in the nickname Folkekongen (“The People’s King”). In a 2005 poll by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Olav was voted “Norwegian of the Century”.

A2453B96-2B2F-4C2B-AD5E-9B83A10A6085
Princess Märtha of Sweden

On March 21, 1929 in Oslo, he married his first cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden, the second child of Prince Carl of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland, and his wife Princess Ingeborg of Denmark. Her father was the younger brother of King Gustav V of Sweden, making her a first cousin twice removed of the present King of Sweden, and her mother was the younger sister of King Christian X of Denmark and of King Haakon VII of Norway. with whom he had two daughters, Ragnhild and Astrid and one son, Harald (future King Harald V of Norway)

As exiles during World War II, Crown Princess Märtha and the royal children lived in Washington, D.C., where she struck up a close friendship with Franklin D. Roosevelt. She died in 1954, before her husband ascended the throne.

5547C8DB-DCDC-4DE6-A0B1-6E1C3338A53F

During the summer of 1990, the King suffered from health problems, but recovered somewhat during Christmas the same year. At the age of 87, on 17 January 1991, while residing in the Royal Lodge Kongsseteren in Oslo, he became ill and died in the evening of a myocardial infarction. An interview given by King Harald V and hints in a biography by Jo Benkow, who was the President of the Storting at that time, mention the possibility that King Olav suffered great trauma upon learning of the outbreak of the first Gulf War, which began the day of his death. Olav’s son Harald V succeeded him as King.