Princess Ragnhild, Mrs. Lorentzen

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Princess Ragnhild
Princess Ragnhild, Mrs. Lorentzen.jpeg
Born (1930-06-09)9 June 1930
Royal Palace, Oslo,[1] Norway
Died 16 September 2012(2012-09-16) (aged 82)[2][3]
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Burial 28 September 2012
Asker Church[4], Oslo, Norway
Erling Lorentzen (m. 1953)
Issue Haakon Lorentzen
Ingeborg Lorentzen
Ragnhild Lorentzen
Full name
Ragnhild Alexandra
House Glücksburg
Father Olav V of Norway
Mother Princess Märtha of Sweden

Princess Ragnhild, Mrs. Lorentzen (Ragnhild Alexandra; 9 June 1930 – 16 September 2012) was the eldest child of King Olav V of Norway and Princess Märtha of Sweden. She was the older sister of King Harald V and Princess Astrid. She was the first royal born in Norway since the middle ages. Although she was the King's eldest child, she was never in the line of succession to the Norwegian throne due to Norway's agnatic principle. However she was in the line of succession to the British throne for her entire life, and occupied the 18th place in the succession line at the time of her birth.[5] From 1953 she was married to the industrialist Erling Lorentzen, a member of the Lorentzen family of shipping magnates.

Early life[edit]

Princess Ragnhild was the first Norwegian princess born on Norwegian soil for 629 years.[6] She grew up at the royal residence of Skaugum near Asker, west of Oslo. She was christened in the Palace Chapel on 27 June 1930 and her godparents were: her paternal grandparents, The King and Queen of Norway; her maternal grandparents, The Duke and Duchess of Västergötland; her granduncle, The King of Sweden; her grandaunt, Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom; her maternal aunt, Princess Axel of Denmark; and The Duke of York.

During World War II, she fled the German invasion of Norway with her family in 1940,[2] spending the wartime years in exile with her mother and siblings in Washington, D.C.. Before the birth of her younger brother, it was assumed she would accede to the throne in the absence of a male heir, although this would have required a constitutional amendment, as women could not inherit the throne at the time.[2]

Marriage and family[edit]

Princess Ragnhild married Erling Lorentzen, a member of the Norwegian merchant upper-class (see Lorentzen family), in Asker on 15 May 1953. There was great controversy when she married Lorentzen, a businessman and army officer who had served as her bodyguard during the War, as she was the first member of the Norwegian Royal Family to marry non-royalty. (In Norway, there is a tradition of "official flagdays", and royal birthdays are normally listed as such occasions; however, soon after the couple's wedding, it was announced that her birthday (9 June) would cease to be such an official flagday.)

Following her marriage, the couple moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where her husband has substantial business holdings, originally as a temporary residence, but they eventually settled there, and remained there in until her death in 2012.[3] In Brazil, her husband founded Aracruz Celulose. She had three children with her husband: Haakon (23 August 1954), Ingeborg (27 February 1957), and Ragnhild (8 May 1968).

Public life[edit]

Princess Ragnhild opened the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway, as her father and grandfather were attending the funeral of King George VI.[7]

A conservative, Princess Ragnhild publicly criticized her niece and nephew, Princess Märtha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon Magnus, for their choice of spouses, in 2004.[8]

Princess Ragnhild was patron of the Norwegian Organisation for the Hearing Impaired.

Several ships, including MS Prinsesse Ragnhild, were named for her.


Princess Ragnhild died at her home in Rio de Janeiro on 16 September 2012,[9] following a period of cancer illness, aged 82.[3] Her body arrived in Oslo on 24 September 2012, where her brother King Harald V and her sister Princess Astrid were present to greet her alongside her spouse Erling and their children. The funeral of Princess Ragnhild was held on 28 September 2012 in the chapel of the Royal Palace of Oslo. She was later cremated and privately interred in the church of Asker.[4]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]


Styles of
Princess Ragnhild of Norway
Royal Monogram of Princess Ragnhild of Norway.svg
Reference style Her Highness
Spoken style Your Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
  • 9 June 1930 – 15 May 1953: Her Royal Highness Princess Ragnhild of Norway
  • 15 May 1953 – 16 September 2012: Her Highness Princess Ragnhild, Mrs. Lorentzen


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]

Honorific eponym[edit]

A 540 000 km² area in Antarctica is named Princess Ragnhild Coast in her honour. The Jahre Line (later Color Line) cruiseferry MS Prinsesse Ragnhild was named in her honour.


She was a great-great granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and thus a second cousin to Queen Elizabeth II.[21] At the time of her birth she was 18th in the line of succession to the British throne, and 77th at the time of her death. Princess Ragnhild's maternal aunt was Queen Astrid of Belgium, which also made Princess Ragnhild a first cousin of kings Baudouin and Albert II of Belgium.[22]


  1. ^ "Princess Ragnhild". 
  2. ^ a b c Solveig Husøy (16 September 2012). "Prinsesse Ragnhild er død" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Lohne, Jenny-Linn (16 September 2012). "Prinsesse Ragnhild er død" (in Norwegian). VG. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Prinsesse Ragnhild, fru Lorentzen". 
  5. ^ Roger Reynolds (1982), Who's who in the royal family: the first one hundred and fifty in line of succession to the British throne, p. 7, Proteus
  6. ^ Isaksen, Trond Norén (9 June 2010). "Trond Norén Isaksen: On this date: Princess Ragnhild is 80 today". 
  7. ^ "Oslo 1952 Winter Olympics - results & video highlights". 23 October 2017. 
  8. ^ Here's what Princess Ragnhild said Archived 2007-06-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Prinsesse Ragnhild er død" (in Norwegian). The Royal House of Norway. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Photo" (JPG). 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Photo" (JPG). 
  12. ^ "Photo" (JPG). 
  13. ^ a b c "Casa Real de Noruega - Página 2". 
  14. ^ a b "Photo" (JPG). 
  15. ^ "Photo" (JPG). 
  16. ^ "Photo". 
  17. ^ "Photo" (JPG). 
  18. ^ "Photo" (JPG). 
  19. ^ "Photo" (JPG). 
  20. ^ "Photo" (JPG). 
  21. ^ "Princess Ragnhild of Norway". 23 September 2012 – via 
  22. ^ "Person Page". 

External links[edit]