Norwegian historian and author Tore Rem published his second volume of a royal biography of King Olav V this week. He was not impressed that state broadcaster NRK’s TV-series about the royals’ war years, Atlantic Crossing, was nominated for an Emmy Award in the US late last week.
Rem and many others have panned the series as being factually inaccurate if not misleading. “I want to forget that series as soon as possible,” Rem said during one of many presentations of his latest book on Olav V, which covers the war years from 1940-1945. The war itself “defined who Olav was,” Rem believes, after years of research on his unauthorized biography but with access to Royal Palace archives. The first volume in his series concentrated on the construction of Norway’s royal family as immigrants (Olav’s father, King Haakon, was a Danish prince and his mother, Queen Maud, was a British princess) while Olav himself was born in England.
The first volume ends just before Germany invaded Norway in 1940, and the second volume picks up from there. Rem details disagreements between Olav and his father over whether to remain in Norway or go into exile in London (the latter prevailed, at the insistence of British authorities) while Olav’s wife Martha and their three children were brought to the US as war refugees, albeit highly privileged, by US President Franklin Roosevelt.
That what the Atlantic Crossing TV series was all about, which Rem dismisses as a “fundamentally untrue tale” about Crown Princess Martha. He still finds it guilty of “investigative disinformation.” The series was nonetheless nominated for an international Emmy prize late last week in the category of best TV film or mini-series. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York in late November.