Norwegian Monarchy: Overview
The Monarchy in Norway dates back to the 800’s – though it has gone through periods where the title had been shared with the Kings of Sweden and Denmark.
The current Monarchy was formed in 1905 when Norway gained independence from Sweden, before this Norway was part of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway.
In 1905 several constitutional crisis brought about failure of King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway, the King was deemed in the summer of 1905 to have failed in his function as King of Norway as he was unable to form a government with the support of the Norwegian Parliament.
A vote held later indicated that almost 99% of the people of Norway wanted the dissolution between Sweden and Norway – a later vote also indicated the people wished to keep the Monarchy as the system of government, after the results were published, a Norwegian delegation approached Prince Carl of Denmark and invited him to take the new independent throne of Norway.
The Norwegian invited him amongst other candidates as he was married to Princess Maud, a member of the British Royal Family – they hoped the links to the British Crown would ensure support for the newly independent Norway.
Prince Carl of Denmark accepted the throne in November 1905 and chose the regnal of Haakon VII, King of Norway. Princess Maud became Queen Maud of Norway and their son, Prince Alexander of Denmark was renamed Olav, and made Crown Prince Olav of Norway.
King Haakon VII was enthroned on 27 November 1905.
The Sovereign of Norway is the current King of Norway, His Majesty King Harald V – he ascended to the throne on 17 January 1991.
Norway is a Constitutional Monarchy, though the King as Head of State retains considerable influence and reserve powers, including the accreditation of ambassadors, the granting of Royal Assent to laws and the appointing of the Prime Minister and senior government officials.
The King of Norway acts as Norway’s representative abroad, and often travels on State Visits around the world. In Norway, the King and the Royal Family undertake public duties in aid of charitable organizations.
The Sovereign is also High Protector of the Church of Norway, Supreme Commander of the Norwegian Armed Forces and Grand Master of the Order of St. Olav and the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit.
In 1990, the Norwegian Constitution was modified in order to change the laws governing the succession to the throne – it allowed for absolute primogeniture to take place meaning the eldest child regardless of gender can inherit the throne. The current line of succession includes:
- H.R.H. The Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
- H.R.H. Princess Ingrid
- H.H. Sverre Magnus
- H.H. Princess Martha Louise
- Maud Isadora Behn
- Leah Isadora Behn
- Emma Tallulah Behn
Their Majesties the King and Queen of Norway reside at the Royal Palace in Oslo, they also in the summer reside at Bygdøy Royal Estate. The Crown Prince and his family however, reside at the Skaugum Estate in Asker.