May 9, 2017

3041 NORWAY - Norwegian Royal House

3041 King Harald V, Queen Sonja,
Crown Prince Haakon, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit

Norway is a constitutional and hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary system. In this country there is a distinction between the Royal House and the Royal Family, i.e. the Royal House includes only the monarch and his or her spouse, the heir apparent and his or her spouse, and the heir apparent's eldest child. Therefor, in nowadays members of the Royal House are King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

The Norwegian monarchy can trace its line back to the reign of Harald Fairhair and the previous petty kingdoms which were united to form Norway; it has been in unions with both Sweden and Denmark for long periods. Since the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden and the subsequent election of a Danish prince as King Haakon VII in 1905, the reigning royal house of Norway has been a branch of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg branch of the House of Oldenburg; originally from Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, the same royal house as the Danish and former Greek royal families.

The present monarch is King Harald V, who has reigned since 17 January 1991, succeeding his father. Harald (born in Skaugum on 21 February 1937) was the only son of Olav V of Norway and Princess Märtha of Sweden. In 1940, as a result of the German occupation during WWII, 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. Harald married Sonja Haraldsen in 1968. Born in 4 July 1937 at Red Cross Clinic in Oslo, as the daughter of clothing merchant Karl August Haraldsen and Dagny Ulrichsen, the future Queen Sonja has an undergraduate degree from the University of Oslo. She became engaged to then Crown Prince Harald in March 1968. They had been dating for nine years, although their relationship had been kept secret because she was a commoner.

The couple had two children, Princess Märtha Louise (born 22 September 1971) and Crown Prince Haakon (born 20 July 1973). Haakon has served in the Royal Norwegian Navy, where he undertook his first-level officer's education at the Norwegian Naval Academy. He also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999, and completed his education in 2003 at the London School of Economics, where he was awarded an MSc in development studies. He married commoner and single mother Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby on 25 August 2001.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit (born on 19 August 1973 in Kristiansand, as the daughter of the journalist Sven O. Høiby and Marit Tjessem) has championed humanitarian projects and arts, as well as taking part in official visits at home and abroad. The couple have two children together: Princess Ingrid Alexandra (born 21 January 2004) and Prince Sverre Magnus (born 3 December 2005). Mette-Marit is also mother to Marius Borg Høiby, born 13 January 1997.

About the stamps
The stamp is part of the series Lighthouses,about which I wrote here.

Monarchy of Norway - Wikipedia
Harald V of Norway - Wikipedia
Queen Sonja of Norway - Wikipedia
Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway - Wikipedia
Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway - Wikipedia

Sender: Roxana Dreptu
Sent from Oslo (Oslo / Norway), on 23.04.2017
Photo: Cathrine Wessel 

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