- Olav V of Norway
Olav V King of Norway Reign 21 September 1957 - 17 January 1991 (33 years, 118 days) Consecration 22 June 1958(aged 54) Predecessor Haakon VII Successor Harald V Spouse Princess Märtha of Sweden Issue Princess Ragnhild
Harald V of Norway
Full name Olav, né Alexander Edward Christian Frederik House House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg Father Haakon VII of Norway Mother Maud of Wales Born 2 July 1903
Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, England
Died 17 January 1991(aged 87)
Holmenkollen, Oslo, Norway
Burial 30 January 1991
Akershus Castle, Oslo
Olympic medal record Men's sailing Competitor for Norway Gold 1928 Amsterdam Sailing 6 m mixed
Olav V (2 July 1903 – 17 January 1991) was the king of Norway from 1957 until his death. A member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Olav was born in the United Kingdom as the son of King Haakon VII of Norway and Queen Maud of Norway. At birth Olav given the names Alexander Edward Christian Frederik.
He became Crown Prince and heir-apparent to the throne of Norway when his father was elected king in 1905. He was the first heir to the Norwegian throne to be brought up in Norway since Olav IV, and his parents made sure he was given as Norwegian an upbringing as possible. In preparation for his royal duties, he attended both civilian and military schools. In 1929, he married his first and second cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden. During World War II his leadership was much appreciated and he was appointed Norwegian Chief of Defence in 1944. At his death, he was the last surviving grandchild of Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexandra of Denmark.
Due to his considerate down-to-earth style, King Olav was immensely popular, resulting in his popular nickname the "People's King" (folkekongen). In a 2005 poll by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Olav was voted "Norwegian of the century".
Birth and early life
Born in Appleton House, Flitcham, Sandringham estate, Norfolk, United Kingdom to Prince Carl of Denmark and Princess Maud of Wales, (daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom), he was given the names and title of Alexander Edward Christian Frederik, Prince of Denmark. He was given the name Olav when his father became King Haakon VII of Norway in 1905.
Olav was the first heir to the throne since medieval times to grow up in Norway. He graduated from the Norwegian Military Academy in 1924, and went on to study jurisprudence and economics at Balliol College, Oxford.
He was an accomplished athlete. Olav jumped from the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, and also competed in sailing regattas. He won a gold medal in sailing at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam and remained an active sailor into old age.
On 21 March 1929 in Oslo, he married his first cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden with whom he had one son, Harald, and two daughters, Ragnhild and Astrid. As exiles during World War II, Crown Princess Märtha and the Royal children lived in Washington, D.C., where she struck up a close friendship with Franklin D. Roosevelt. She died in 1954, before her husband ascended the throne.
The British Film Institute houses an early film, made in 1913, in which a miniature car commissioned by Queen Alexandra for the Crown Prince Olav tows a procession of Londoners through the streets of the capital, before being delivered to a pair of 'royal testers' of roughly Olav's age.
World War II
As Crown Prince, Olav had received extensive military training and had participated in most major Norwegian military exercises. Because of this he was perhaps one of the most knowledgeable Norwegian military leaders and was respected by other Allied leaders for his knowledge and leadership skills. During a visit to the United States before the war, he and his wife had established a close relationship with President Roosevelt. These factors would prove to be important for the Norwegian fight against the attacking German forces.
During World War II, Olav stood by his father's side in resisting the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany. During the campaign he was a valuable advisor both to civilian and military leaders. When the Norwegian government decided to go into exile, he offered to stay behind with the Norwegian people, but this was declined. He followed his father to the United Kingdom, where he continued to be a key advisor to the government-in-exile and his father.
During the war, Olav made several visits to Norwegian and Allied troops in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. In 1944, he was appointed to the post of Norwegian Chief of Defence and after the war he led the Norwegian disarmament of the German occupying forces. His war decorations from other nations, including the War Crosses of Norway, France, Greece and the Netherlands, the US Legion of Merit and the French Médaille Militaire, are testament to the international recognition of his contribution to the war against Hitler.
Succeeding to the Norwegian Throne in 1957 upon his father's death, Olav reigned as a "People's King," and became extremely popular. He liked to drive his own cars, and would drive in the public lanes, though as a monarch he was allowed to drive in public transport lanes. During the 1973 energy crisis driving was banned on certain weekends. King Olav never wanted to miss an opportunity to go skiing, and while he could have driven legally, he wanted to lead by example. So he dressed up in his skiing outfit, and boarded the Holmenkollbanen suburban railway carrying his skis on his shoulder. He was later asked how he dared to go out in public without bodyguards. He replied that "he had 4 million bodyguards" —the population of Norway was at the time 4 million.
For his athletic ability and role as King, Olav V earned the Holmenkollen medal in 1968. He had a strong interest in military matters and took his role as titular Commander-in-Chief very seriously. As well as his ceremonial roles in the Norwegian Army, he also served as Colonel-in-Chief of the Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Yorkshire Regiment), the British regiment named for his grandmother Queen Alexandra.
King Olav V opened the 14th World Scout Jamboree in July 1975 in the presence of 17,259 Scouts from 94 countries.
During the summer of 1990, the King suffered from health problems, but recovered somewhat during Christmas the same year. On 17 January 1991, while residing in the Royal Lodge Kongsseteren in Oslo, he became ill and died in the evening of a myocardial infarction. An interview given by King Harald V, and hints in a biography by Jo Benkow, who was the president of the parliament in that time, mention the possibility that King Olav suffered a great trauma during the outbreak of the first Gulf War. Olav's son Harald V succeeded him as King.
The night after he died, and for several days up until the state funeral, Norway saw a great demonstration of mourning as Norwegians lit hundreds of thousands of candles in the courtyard outside the Royal Palace in Oslo, with letters and cards placed amongst them. The National Archives have preserved all these cards.
Olav and his wife Märtha are buried in the green sarcophagus in the Royal Mausoleum at Akershus Fortress.
Crown Prince Olav arrives in Norway in 1905 on his father's arm and is greeted by Prime Minister Christian Michelsen
Märtha and Olav on the cover of Time on the occasion of their wedding
Crown Prince Olav and his father King Haakon VII take shelter under birch trees as the German Luftwaffe bombs Molde
Orders and medals
- Norway War Cross
- Norway Medal for Outstanding Civic Achievement in gold
- Norway Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav (later Grand Master)
- Norway Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (Grand Master)
- Norway St Olav's medal
- Norway Coronation Medal of 1906
- Norway War Medal (Norway)
- Norway Haakon VII's 70th Anniversary Medal
- Norway Haakon VII's Jubilee Medal 1905–1955
- Argentina Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Liberator General San Martin
- Austria Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria
- Belgium Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold
- Brazil Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Rose
- Chile Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Merit of Chile
- Denmark Knight of the Elephant
- Denmark Grand Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog
- Denmark King Christian X's Freedom Medal
- Denmark Commemorative Medal for King Christian IX's 100th birthday
- Denmark Commemorative Medal for King Frederik VIII's 100th birthday
- Ethiopia Grand Cross of the Order of Solomon
- Finland Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose
- France Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur
- France Croix de guerre
- France Médaille militaire
- Germany Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Great Britain 926th Knight of the Garter
- Great Britain Knight of the Thistle
- Great Britain Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
- Great Britain Royal Victorian Chain (Commonwealth Realms)
- Great Britain Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (Commonwealth Realms)
- Great Britain King George V Silver Jubilee Medal
- Great Britain King George VI Coronation Medal
- Great Britain Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
- Greece Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
- Greece Grand Cross of the Order of St. George and St. Constantine
- Greece War Cross 1940
- Iran Grand Cross of the Order of Tadj
- Iceland Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon
- Japan Grand Cross of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Luxembourg Grand Cross of the Order of the Gold Lion
- Mexico Grand Cross of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
- Netherlands Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
- Netherlands Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange
- Netherlands War Cross
- Netherlands Medaille d'Installation Solennelle 1948
- Peru Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun
- Portugal Grand Cross of the Order of St. Bento d'Aviz
- Romania Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star
- Saxony Grand Cross of the Ernestine Order (Saxony, Germany)
- Spain Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece
- Spain Grand Cross Collar of the Order of Charles III
- Sweden Knight of the Seraphim
- Sweden King Gustaf V's 70th Anniversary Medal
- Sweden King Gustaf V's 90th Anniversary Medal
- Thailand Knight Grand Cross of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao
- Tunisia Grand Cross of the Order of Independence
- USA Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit
- Yugoslavia Order of the Yugoslav Great Star
- Norway A 180 000 km² area (Prince Olav Coast) and the Prince Olav Mountains in Antarctica are named in his honour.
- Norway Olav V Land on Svalbard is named in his honour.
- Norway In 1961 the King was a laureate of the Nansen Refugee Award.
- Norway In 1968 he was awarded the Holmenkollen medal.
- Norway In 2005, Olav was proclaimed the Norwegian of the century, with 41 percent of the tele-votes in a popular competition held by NRK.
- United Kingdom In 1959, Olav was granted the honorary rank of Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force.
- United Kingdom In 1988, Olav was granted the honorary rank of Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy.
- United Kingdom Honorary Freeman of Richmond
- United Kingdom - Honorary Freedom of Newcastle upon Tyne
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Prince Olav Harbour on South Georgia is also named in his honour.
House of Oldenburg (Glücksburg branch)
Haakon VII Children Crown Prince Olav Olav V Children Crown Prince Harald Princess Ragnhild Princess Astrid Harald V Children Princess Märtha Louise Crown Prince Haakon Grandchildren Princess Ingrid Alexandra Prince Sverre Magnus
Titles from birth to death
Styles King Olav bore from birth to death, in chronological order:
- His Highness Prince Alexander of Denmark 1903–1905
- His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Norway 1905–1957
- His Majesty The King of Norway 1957–1991
Monarchical styles of
King Olav V of Norway
Reference style His Majesty Spoken style Your Majesty Alternative style Sir
- ^ Coronation discarded by constitutional amendment in 1908. Olaf V instead received the benediction in the Nidaros Cathedral.
- ^ "Folkekongen ble århundrets nordmann" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. 17 December 2005. http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/kongelige/article1181274.ece. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- ^ "Olav to Martha". Time Magazine. 21 January 1929. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,732173,00.html. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- ^ Bratli 1995, p. 93
- ^ 
- ^ Article from NRK on the king Featuring a photo of the event and explanatory text (Norwegian). Retrieved 24 November 2006
- ^ "People". Time Magazine: p. 1. 26 October 1962. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,874532,00.html. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- ^ Royal House of Norway web page on King Olav V's decorations (Norwegian) Retrieved 5 October 2007
- ^ London Gazette: . 11 September 1959. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- ^ Solholm, Rolleiv (14 November 2008). "King Harald receives honorary title". Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (Norway Post). http://www.norwaypost.no/Culture/King-Harald-receives-honorary-title/menu-id-32.html. Retrieved 14 November 2008. [dead link]
- Bratli, Kjell Arne; Øyvind Schau (1995) (in Norwegian). Sjøoffiser og samfunnsbygger : Vernepliktige sjøoffiserers forening : 100-års jubileumsbok : 1895-1995. Hundvåg: Sjømilitære Samfund ved Norsk Tidsskrift for Sjøvesen. ISBN 82-91008-09-4(ib.). http://www.nb.no/utlevering/nb/da9b2a184e0dd4da7991e63055b37827#&struct=DIV92.
Olav VCadet branch of the House of OldenburgBorn: 2 July 1903 Died: 17 January 1991
- Royal House of Norway
- Royal House of Sweden and Royal House of Norway
- Official Website of the Norwegian Royal Family
- King Olav - biography (Official Website of the Norwegian Royal Family)
- The Royals – Regularly updated news coverage of the Norwegian royal family (Aftenposten)
- The Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav - H.M. King Olav V the former Grand Master of the Order
- Holmenkollen medalists - click Holmenkollmedaljen for downloadable pdf file (Norwegian)
Political offices Preceded by
Wilhelm von Tangen Hansteen
Chief of Defence of Norway
Regnal titles Preceded by
King of Norway
Norwegian princes The generations are numbered from the ascension of Haakon VII as King of Norway in 1905. 1st generationOlav V 2nd generation 3rd generation 4th generation Monarchs of Norway Fairhair dynasty · rival
rulers of other housesc. 870–985
1035–1319Harald I Fairhair · Eric Bloodaxe · Haakon I the Good · Harald II Greycloak · Haakon Sigurdsson 1 · Olaf I Tryggvason · Eiríkr Hákonarson 1 & Sveinn Hákonarson 1 & Hákon Eiríksson 1 · Sweyn Forkbeard · Olaf II the Saint · Hákon Eiríksson 1 · Canute the Great · Sveinn Álfífuson 1 · Magnus I the Good · Harald III Hardrada · Magnus II Haraldsson · Olaf III Kyrre · Haakon Magnusson & Magnus III Barefoot · Olaf Magnusson · Eystein I Magnusson · Sigurd I the Crusader · Magnus IV the Blind · Harald IV Gille · Sigurd the Noisy · Sigurd II Munn · Eystein II Haraldsson · Inge I Haraldsson the Hunchback · Haakon II Broadshoulder · Magnus Erlingsson · Sigurd Markusfostre · Olav the Unlucky · Eystein the Maiden · Sverre Sigurdsson · Jon Kuvlung · Sigurd Magnusson · Inge Magnusson · Haakon III Sverresson · Guttorm Sigurdsson · Inge II Bårdsson · Erling Stonewall · Philip Simonsson · Haakon IV Haakonsson · Haakon the Young · Magnus VI the Law-mender · Eric II Magnusson · Haakon V Magnusson
Bjelbo1319–1387 The Kalmar union1387–1448 Oldenburg1448–1814 Holstein-Gottorp
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