Palace party for princess’ 40th

Norway’s Princess Martha Louise celebrated her 40th birthday on Thursday but no flags were flying on public buildings and the day wasn’t marked on public calendars. Her party, though, will be held this weekend at her parents’ home – the Royal Palace in Oslo.

Princess Martha Louise PHOTO: Det Kongelige Hoff

It’s planned for Saturday evening and was listed on King Harald’s official schedule as “a private dinner” at the palace. The dinner, however, is expected to be quite a party that’s attracting other royals, family and friends from in and out of Norway.

In addition to Martha Louise’s older brother, Crown Prince Haakon, Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg was on the list but not Martha Louise’s sister-in-law, Crown Princess Mette-Marit. VG reported that Mette-Marit is off on a “long-planned” foreign trip that palace spokeswoman Marianne Hagen said was arranged before the birthday party was set.

September 24 is the same day that Mette-Marit’s favorite fashion designer Pucci is holding a showing in Milan, VG noted. Mette-Marit has attended the show for the past two years.

Princess Martha Louise’s birthday dinner will be held in the palace’s ballroom, which can accommodate up to 225 guests. When Martha Louise turned 30, she held a big party at Håkonshallen in Bergen, with live entertainment, and VG reported that the weekend’s 40th birthday party was expected to offer the same.

The princess seems to have been keeping a lower profile in the Norwegian media in recent months, after lots of wanted and unwanted publicity connected to her book projects and not least her so-called “angel school,” where she and a partner train their clients on how to communicate with angels. The princess’ ventures, along with those of her husband, author Ari Behn, have often sparked controversy and always lots of attention.

She’s drawn attention since the day she was born, when Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) interrupted its radio and TV broadcast just before 6pm on September 22, 1971, to bring the news that the first of a new generation of royals had arrived. Her younger brother Haakon Magnus was born three years later but he’s the heir to the throne since succession rules at the time called for a male heir. Now the first-born of heirs to the throne will be first in line regardless of their sex.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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