Happy Birthday to Ingrid Alexandra of Norway

English: HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norw...

HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway with her father, Haakon, in 2007. (© Wikipedia)

Happy birthday to Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, who turns nine years old today!

The princess is the eldest child of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway with his wife, Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Ingrid Alexandra has an older half-sibling, Marius, and a younger brother, Sverre Magnus. She is second in line for the Norwegian throne after her father.

I’ve always liked Princess Ingrid Alexandra, who won my personal “Cutest royal child on Earth” award. She seemed to have a great little personality as well, which endeared her to me even more. Then along came Prince Henrik of Denmark, son of TRH Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark. His little face melted my heart!

So here’s the deal – IA is only five years older than Henrik. When he hits twenty, there should be definite plans to get them together. Imagine their cute royal baby!

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Rest In Peace, Princess Ragnhild of Norway

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With a heavy heart, His Majesty King Harald of Norway has announced the passing of Princess Ragnhild (Mrs. Lorentzen) today. The princess died at her home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was 82 years old.

princess ragnhild

© kongehuset.no

Princess Ragnhild was born June 9th, 1930 at the Royal Palace in Oslo. She was the eldest child of King Olav of Norway and Crown Princess Martha. Ragnhild’s siblings are the current king, Harald, and Princess Astrid of Norway.

The princess was married to industrialist Erling Lorentzen, and was known following her marriage as Princess Ragnhild, Mrs. Lorentzen. The princess and her husband settled in Brazil shortly after their wedding in 1953. They had three children together: Haakon, Ingeborg, and Ragnhild Lorentzen.

Funeral services will take place in the palace chapel. The princess will be laid to rest at Asker Church in Norway. Times have not yet been announced.

Tiara tip to: @marilynsrylblog and kongehuset.no

Norway: Dueling Tiaras

Who wore it better?

Princess Mårtha-Louise of Norway

martha louise

© Getty

VS

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway

Mette-Marit

©Sølve Sundsbø / Det kongelige hoff

Who Wins?

Comment below or chat on Twitter: @mandysroyalty


Happy Decade! Norway’s Crown Couple Celebrate Milestone

Wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden,...

Image via Wikipedia

The Royal Representative would like to congratulate Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway! Today the couple celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary.

It was announced that His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon was engaged to Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby on December 1st, 2000. They married the following year on August 25th. It was the first major royal wedding since the marriage of Haakon’s parents, then-Crown Prince Harald and the former Sonja Haraldsen in 1968. Like Mette-Marit, Sonja was also a commoner.

Haakon met his future bride at a music festival in Kristiansand, a city on the south coast of Norway (and Mette-Marit’s birthplace). Haakon was immediately enraptured, and they became a couple soon after.

King Harald and Queen Sonja were supportive of the relationship, if not their cohabitation.  The king and queen remembered their own struggle to be together: Harald had to wait nearly a decade before his father, the late King Olav V, allowed Sonja into the royal family. Olav was not pleased with the idea of marriage between his son and a commoner. Harald had to throw down the gauntlet: either he married Sonja, or he would never marry. Since he was Olav’s only son and immediate heir, the king relented.

Unlike her future mother-in-law, however, the striking blonde Mette-Marit came to the royal family with what has been described as “an unconventional past”. Some of her friends were reportedly involved with drugs and “a criminal environment,” according to police reports. Mette-Marit had been known to attend parties where drugs were used. Police and security believed that this would put a strain on the monarchy.

Mette-Marit also had a child, Marius, out of wedlock with a man who was convicted of cocaine possession.

Haakon had to face the pressure of the media and the nation when he proposed to Mette-Marit. When her past was revealed, most Norwegians didn’t mind that Mette-Marit was a single mother, but they were not amused about the drugs and the underground party scene in which she had participated.

Haakon was steadfast in his devotion to his fiancee and knew that she would be a good and worthy member of the royal family, and wanted the people of Norway to know it, too.  With Haakon at her side, Mette-Marit acknowledged her past during a press conference just days before the wedding. She publicly apologized for living what she described as “quite a wild life”.

They have been by each other’s side ever since.

“What we two found together was so strong that I could not let it go,” said Haakon in an interview.

Mette-Marit entered the Oslo Cathedral on Haakon’s arm, another small break with tradition. She was an absolute vision in her bridal finery, which was devastatingly beautiful in its simplicity. The ecru-colored gown was a collaboration between the bride herself, designer Ove Harder Finseth, and seamstress Anna Bratland. It was made of thick silk crêpe and soft silk tulle with a 6.5 foot train, a corset waist, and a square neckline with long, tailored sleeves.  Her blonde hair was styled in a classic chignon, topped with a diamond bandeau tiara, a gift from King Harald and Queen Sonja. From the tiara flowed a 19-foot veil of silk tulle.

Instead of the usual bridal bouquet, Mette-Marit carried a stream of flowers worn on her wrist as a muff. It was comprised of rosary vine, Wanda orchids, hydrangeas, roses, bear grass, and beads interwoven on metal threads.

The prince was dashing in his black uniform of the Norwegian Army, complete with Norway’s red and blue sash.

Haakon gave Mette-Marit the engagement ring worn by both his grandmother and his mother.  He then slipped the white gold wedding band over her finger, and they were pronounced husband and wife. Norway gained a new Crown Princess.

Pivotal Role

After their wedding, Mette-Marit  dove into her role as Crown Princess by getting actively involved in HIV/AIDS-related work. A few years later she was appointed Special Representative for UNAIDS. Two years later she was invited by UNAIDS to participate in strategic planning of the future AIDS response. In 2010,  the princess was appointed Young Global Leader under the World Economic Forum. In addition to these activities, the princess promotes Norwegian trade and industry, architecture and design, education and humanitarian initiatives.

Mette-Marit has made a graceful and intelligent transition from new princess to a true, dyed-in-the-wool Crown Princess of Norway, future Queen.  She has provided two heirs to the Norwegian throne: Princess Ingrid Alexandra, born January 21, 2004 and Prince Sverre Magnus, born December 3, 2005.  Her son Marius, born January 13,1997, has been adopted by Crown Prince Haakon in all but name. His obvious love and care for Marius has been evident ever since he has been with Mette-Marit.

Again I say, many congratulations to the Crown Prince and Princess, and here’s to the continued happy success of their family, and the Norwegian Royal Family!

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Norway’s Nightmare

A minute of silence was held across the Scandinavian countries today in honor of the victims of the terror attacks in Norway last Friday.

Several people, mostly teenagers, were gunned down at a Norwegian Labour party youth camp on the island of Utoeya. Simultaneously, a bomb was detonated in the Norwegian capital of Oslo just outside the Prime Minister’s office.

People across the world have offered their support and condolences.

“It was an attack against the very values that our countries are built upon. It was an attack against all of us,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said in a statement.

Queen Elizabeth II has sent her condolences to King Harald and his people. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden has also publicly stated her distress and sympathy over the deaths on Swedish television, and has attended a memorial service in honor of the deceased. The Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix, along with her Prime Minister Mark Rutte, expressed shock at the attacks. President Obama of the United States telephoned Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg with his sympathies.

I am hoping to see statements from other Royal Families, especially since Princess Mette-Marit’s own family member was killed trying to protect others.

UPDATE: Condolences from heads of state

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Nina’s Views and News From Norway

Like many companies around the world, Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper was hit by the recession. A budget-cutting decision killed its English-language desk online which had included news on the Royal family. For a royal watcher like me, it was very disappointing.

Sure, I tried to continue to read Norwegian royal news via Google translator, but it wasn’t quite the same. Then I discovered that Nina Berglund of Aftenposten Multimedia had created her own site called Views and News from Norway – Norwegian news solely in English.

Ms. Berglund was in charge of the English-language portion of Aftenposten‘s digital presence. When the budget crunch hit Aftenposten in the autumn of 2008, she moved on to create her site.

Many best wishes to Nina, and many thanks for her invaluable translation of Norwegian.

You May Also Like: A Handy Language Helper – Norway

Norway’s Prince Sverre Magnus

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The youngest member of Norway’s royal family has been named Prince Sverre Magnus, the palace announced today. The prince was born in Oslo on Saturday to Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. He is their second child and is third in line to the throne.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced the name after a special Council of State was held at Oslo’s Royal Palace this morning.

Stoltenberg, who had the official privilege of publicizing the name after King Harald announced it to an assembled government, said the name has “long and good traditions in Norway,” and also reflects the names of family members on both his parents’ sides.

Sweden gains a princess, but is she right for the job?

It’s usually exciting to see a royal wedding, but the excitement is dulled this time around.

Sweden’s Prince Carl-Philip marries next week, but the woman he is marrying has, to put it politely, a dubious reputation. Sweden stands to gain a princess, but is she right for the job with her background?

Sofia Hellqvist, the prince’s fiancée, is a former soft-porn model. The media gleefully refers to it as “glamour” modeling, but we’re all adults here. We get it. No need to sugar-coat it. Sofia then topped off this “career” with a spell in reality television. All she needed to make her resume complete was a sex tape a la Kim Kardashian. So you can see why Sofia’s imminent marriage to Prince Carl-Philip is depressing. Her fairly recent past sucks the romance out of the whole wedding. At least he’s not next in line to the throne. We can be grateful for that much, at least.

Despite all of this, there are many people who still want to give Sofia a chance. Often mentioned in the debate over Sofia’s suitability is the troubled past of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, who was caught up in the underground drug scene in her younger days. She ended up as a single mother struggling to make ends meet. When she met Crown Prince Haakon and he proposed, everything changed for her. Haakon and Mette-Marit went before the press, where she tearfully expressed embarrassment about her past. It was a tough life of questionable choices and people, but she seemed genuinely sorry about it. Importantly, it was out of the limelight. Mette-Marit did not seek to profit from her lifestyle and tout it as appropriate. Sofia, however, seems to have a cavalier attitude over her past choices. She claims that she wouldn’t do anything like it now, but that goes without saying. You don’t see a princess representing her nation in a lad’s magazine each month.

I’m glad if Prince Carl-Philip and Sofia truly love each other, but the prospect of Sofia representing Sweden as a royal princess is depressing. It lowers the bar on what a princess and a professional woman should be. Would you take the U.S. ambassador seriously if they had already spent the majority of their career prancing half-naked?

No doubt the wedding is still on no matter what anyone thinks, so it’s best to try and look on the bright side. It’s nice to see that Sofia is willing to style herself like a grown woman with some decency. She cut that far-too-long black hair that was neither suited to her skin tone nor her face shape. It’s now shorter, softer, and lighter. Her hats are cute. Her clothes are elegant, and most importantly, they’re on.

At least Carl-Philip isn’t next in line for the throne. Sweden gets to avoid having to explain to the world why their queen’s former title was “Miss Slitz”. The prospect of the wedding is depressing, but at least we can be thankful for small miracles.

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