Norwegian royal family

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The Norwegian royal family—King Haakon VII, Queen Maud and Crown Prince Olav in 1913

The Norwegian royal families are the families of either previous or present Norwegian monarchs. The current family who holds the throne are members of the House of Glücksburg[1] and ascended the throne after the election of Prince Carl (regal name Haakon VII) during the dissolution of the Swedish-Norwegian union in 1905.

In Norway there is a distinction between the Royal House (kongehuset) and the royal family (kongelige familie). The Royal House includes only the monarch and their spouse, the heir apparent and their spouse, and the heir apparent's eldest child. The royal family includes all of the sovereign's children and their spouses, grandchildren, and siblings.[2] The current royal family, and Royal House, maintains a high approval rating among the Norwegian people.[3][4]


The Norwegian monarchy traces its history and origin back to the unification and founding of Norway, as well as Norway's first king, Harald I of the Fairhair dynasty. With the introduction of the Norwegian Law of Succession in 1163, the legal framework established that only one monarch and one royal family was, through succession, allowed to rule.[5]

Norway, Sweden and Denmark had joint monarchs during the Kalmar Union in the late Middle Ages, and Norway remained in union with Denmark after Sweden left the union in 1523. Following the reformation a joint Danish-Norwegian state was established 1536-37, which was ruled from Copenhagen by the House of Oldenburg until Norway was ceded to Sweden at the Treaty of Kiel in 1814 following Denmark-Norway's defeat in the Napoleonic Wars. Norway was briefly independent with its own king in 1814, but forced into a new union with Sweden under the rule of the House of Bernadotte.

Upon becoming independent in 1905, Norway decided through a referendum to remain as a monarchy, with its first monarch being the Danish-born King Haakon VII, whose family consisted of the British Princess Maud and their son Olav. It is King Haakon's descendants that today make up the current royal family of Norway.

Through marriages and historical alliances, the Norwegian royal family is closely related to the Swedish and Danish royal families as well as being more distantly related to royal families of Greece and the United Kingdom.[6]

The current king Harald V descends from all of the four kings belonging to the House of Bernadotte (1818-1905) that preceded the House of Glücksburg on the throne and is the first Norwegian monarch to be a descendant of all previous Norwegian monarchs since 1818.


Members of the Royal House are:

Members of the Royal Family (people who are in the royal bloodline or who have become a member of the family through marriage but are not in the Royal House) are:

Deceased members of the Royal Family are:

Family tree of members[edit]

The royal family with King Haakon VII, Crown Princess Martha, Crown Prince Olav, Princess Astrid, Princess Ragnhild and Prince Harald on the Royal Palace balcony in 1946
Members of the Royal House at 2007 Constitution Day celebrations with Princess Ingrid Alexandria, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Queen Sonja and King Harald V
King Olav VCrown Princess Märtha
Erling LorentzenPrincess Ragnhild, Mrs. LorentzenJohan Martin FernerPrincess Astrid, Mrs. FernerThe King*The Queen*
Ari BehnPrincess Märtha LouiseThe Crown Prince*The Crown Princess*
Maud Angelica BehnLeah Isadora BehnEmma Tallulah BehnPrincess Ingrid Alexandra*Prince Sverre Magnus

* Member of the Royal House

Royal coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms of Norway is one of the oldest in Europe and serves both as the coat of arms of the nation and of the Royal House. This is in keeping with its origin as the coat of arms of the kings of Norway during the Middle Ages.[7]

Håkon the Old (1217–1263) used a shield with a lion. The earliest preserved reference to the colour of the arms is the King's Saga written down in 1220.[7]

In 1280 King Eirik Magnusson added the crown and silver axe to the lion.[7] The axe is the martyr axe of St. Olav, the weapon used to kill him in the battle of Stiklestad in 1030.

The specific rendering of the Norwegian arms has changed through the years, following changing heraldic fashions. In the late Middle Ages, the axe handle gradually grew longer and came to resemble a halberd. The handle was usually curved in order to fit the shape of shield preferred at the time, and also to match the shape of coins. The halberd was officially discarded and the shorter axe reintroduced by royal decree in 1844, when an authorized rendering was instituted for the first time. In 1905 the official design for royal and government arms was again changed, this time reverting to the medieval pattern, with a triangular shield and a more upright lion.[7]

The coat of arms of the royal house as well as the Royal Standard uses the lion design from 1905. The earliest preserved depiction of the Royal Standard is on the seal of Duchess Ingebjørg from 1318.[8] The rendering used as the official coat of arms of Norway is slightly different and was last approved by the king 20 May 1992.[9]

When used as the royal coat of arms the shield features the insignias of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav around it and is framed by a royal ermine robe, surmounted by the crown of Norway.

The royal coat of arms is not used frequently. Instead, the king's monogram is extensively used, for instance in military insignia and on coins.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History". Norwegian Royal Court. Archived from the original on 2014-10-25.
  2. ^ "The Royal Family". Norwegian Royal Court. Archived from the original on 2014-10-25.
  3. ^ Central, Guest PostsRoyal (2014-06-26). "How popular are Europe's Monarchies?". Royal Central. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  4. ^ "Royal romance raised a ruckus". 15 January 2016. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  5. ^ "Rikssamling". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  6. ^ "The Family tree". Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  7. ^ a b c d A web page featuring the history of the coat of arms of Norway Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 21 November 2006
  8. ^ An article from the Norwegian National Archives depicting the seal of Duchess Ingebjørg Archived 2006-02-14 at the Wayback Machine (in Norwegian) Retrieved 5 November 2007
  9. ^ Web page on rules for the use of the coat of arms (Norwegian) Archived 2013-11-18 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 21 November 2006

External links[edit]