UPDATED: Norway’s Princess Ingrid Alexandra, heir to the throne after her father and grandfather, has tested positive for the Corona virus. She’s the first member of the Royal Family to become infected with the virus and has been placed in isolation at the Crown Prince-family’s official residence, Skaugum in Asker, west of Oslo.
The Royal Palace announced Sunday night that other members of her immediate family including Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Prince Sverre Magnus have been tested “but have not delivered positive results.”
The 17-year-old princess is just starting her first year of Norway’s three-year high school known as videregåendeskole (VGS) at the popular Elvebakken VGS in Oslo. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported later on Monday that 29 cases of Corona infection have been registered at Elvebakken VGS. All pupils and employees at the school who aren’t fully vaccinated were being tested. The chief medical officer for the neighbourhood (Grünerløkka) said the situation was not fully under control.
It was unclear whether the princess had been vaccinated. Norway’s public health institute FHI, in charge of the country’s vaccination program, is in the process of launching vaccinations of 16- and 17-year-olds as soon as everyone over age 18 is fully vaccinated.
As second in line to the throne, however, Princess Ingrid may have been among those considered by the government last winter to be “critical” to the functioning of Norwegian society. Her grandparents, King Harald V and Queen Sonja, were vaccinated during the first phase because of their ages (over 80) while Crown Prince Haakon (age 48) was vaccinated with two doses of the Moderna vaccine ahead of his age group because of his position.
The infection trend in Norway has been rising for the past few weeks, which health officials have claimed was expected after the summer holidays and more social mobility. The princess’ infection reflects a trend of much higher infection rates among young Norwegians than older, mostly because nearly 90 percent of Norwegians aged 18 and over have been vaccinated with at least their first shot. More than half the Norwegian population is fully vaccinated.
The princess’ infection has forced cancellation of several events involving the Crown Prince’s family this week, as a precaution to others. The palace announced that Crown Prince Haakon has postponed Monday’s visit to a youth organization in Modum, nor will he take part in traditional ceremonies marking the end of the summer sailing season of the royal yacht Norge.
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were also planning to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, August 25, but that has been postponed as well, along with the 20th anniversary of the charitable fund set up when they married in 2001.