King’s sister turns 80

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Princess Ragnhild, the oldest sister of Norway’s King Harald, was celebrating her 80th birthday at the Royal Palace in Oslo on Wednesday. The princess, who moved to Brazil after marrying a commoner in 1953, has been known for some harsh assessments of the modern monarchy.

Princess Ragnhild turned 80 on June 9. PHOTO: Kongehuset.no

She often travels back to Norway, however, and King Harald was returning from a royal tour of Oppland County to act as host for her party with family and friends. News bureau NTB reported that among those on the guest list are several longtime girlfriends from schooldays in the late 1940s.

That was after Ragnhild and the rest of her immediate family had returned to Norway after being in exile during the war years. That’s also when she met the man she married, resistance fighter and shipping man Erling Lorentzen.

She’s stirred controversy in the past, like when news emerged that she had burned all the letters she sent to and received from her father, King Olav V, over the years. She made no secret of the fact that she did not approve of the marriages of her brother’s children, and told TV2 in a memorable documentary six years ago (external link) that she was “certain” the spouses of both Crown Prince Haakon (Crown Princess Mette-Marit) and Princess Martha Louise (Ari Behn) would be “negative” for the monarchy.

She may have warmed up to them by now, and both Haakon and Mette-Marit have spent holidays visiting their relatives in Brazil.

Next week, most of Norway’s royal family will be traveling over to Stockholm for the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria. Speculation has been brewing over whether Mette-Marit’s and Haakon’s daughter Ingrid Alexandra, the youngest heir to the throne, will be a flower girl in the wedding. As of Wednesday, only a little princess from the Netherlands and Denmark’s Prince Christian, age 4, had been confirmed as being in the wedding party.

Views and News staff