Relationships between princess Ragnhild, Märtha-Louise and Haakon-Magnus
"It's been 50 years since Norway's Princess Ragnhild, eldest sister
of King Harald, moved to Brazil with her husband, businessman Erling
Lorentzen. Now she's speaking out in a TV documentary, offering
candid opinions about some members of the royal family, which her
husband didn't want broadcast.
Royal adviser Berit Tversland won't comment on Princess Ragnhild's
Norway's national commercial TV station, TV2, was due to broadcast
the documentary Monday evening, as scheduled. TV2 officials,
however, spent the weekend "discussing" the program with both
Lorentzen and his lawyer, known media prosecutor Per Danielsen.
In the program, called "Princess in exile," the eldest daughter of
Norway's late King Olav says among other things that both her nephew
Crown Prince Haakon and niece Princess Martha Louisee must have
had "poor advisers" regarding their choice of spouses. Princess
Ragnhild earlier has criticized single mothers, an indirect stab at
Haakon's wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit, who was a single mother
when he met her.
On Monday, the palace official who's been the adviser for both
Haakon and Martha Louise, declined to comment on Princess Ragnhild's
criticism. Berit Tversland, who has functioned as part-nanny and
part-professional consultant since both royal children were born, is
known as having had probably the closest relationship to Haakon and
Martha Louise as anyone.
"I don't want to comment on Princess Ragnhild's statements,"
Tversland told newspaper Aftenposten. "I must refer you to the
palace's information department."
Palace spokeswoman Wenche Rasch, however, won't comment, either.
Princess Ragnhild claims to be concerned about the future of the
monarchy in Norway, and reportedly has worried that "royal
etiquette" isn't always followed by today's royals.
She also was reportedly hurt and felt overlooked when her brother
King Harald and his wife, Queen Sonja, made a state visit to Brazil
last fall. She wasn't included on the private jet that carried the
royals from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia, and the king and queen
cancelled plans for lunch at the Lorentzen home in Rio just a few
hours before they were to arrive.
Erling Lorentzen, the princess' husband, said over the weekend that
his wife "stands by what she said." He claims to be mainly upset by
the timing of the TV2 program, saying it was meant to be broadcast
in connection with the state visit last fall and now can be taken
out of context.
TV2 offered to add an updated interview to the program, but
Lorentzen declined. He later said he wouldn't legally challenge
TV2's right to air the program.
One thing is clear: TV2 stands to boost its sagging ratings by
airing the program as planned."
More articles on the whole controversary here.
So has anyone been following Prince Ragnhilld's scating comments on the RF in the documentary titled Princess in Exile? It's caused a quite a storm in Norway and her husband even tried not to have it aired. It was filmed around the time of the state visit to Brazil (when she was felt ditched by the King and Queen).
Here's a copy of an Aftenposten article that appeared today.
She hopes she dies before the day comes when Crown Princess Mette-Marit may become Norway's queen. She's less than impressed with her nephew, Crown Prince Haakon, and her niece, Princess Martha Louise. Princess Ragnhild thinks their new spouses threaten the future of the monarchy.
As the eldest daughter of Norway's late King Olav, Princess Ragnhild once held a central role in the country's monarchy. Ships have been named after her, she's been a fixture at most royal events and she endured a strict, tradition-bound life as a royal herself.
Now, at age 73, she's spoken out in a TV2 documentary peppered with harsh assessments of today's royals in Norway. She's lived in Brazil for the past 50 years, and clearly has been watching the royal family from afar with no small amount of dissatisfaction.
Asked whether she ponders the future of the monarchy, she said she does. "I'm not worried for myself, but for Norway, yes," she said. "I hope I die before that happens. I really hope so."
She made it clear she does not admire Crown Prince Haakon or his sister, Princess Martha Louise, and said she thinks they've had "poor advisers." She absolutely does not approve of their spousal choices, the former single mother from Kristiansand, Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoeiby, and Bohemian author Ari Behn.
Are they negative for the monarchy? "Yes, that I'm certain of," she said.
"If my father had lived a bit longer, everything would have been very different," she claimed.
King Olav wouldn't have allowed the marriages? "No, I don't think so," she said.
'Feels sorry' for Marius
Princess Ragnhild said she also feels "terribly sorry for that son she (now-Crown Princess Mette-Marit) has." Once the couple had a new child who's a royal heir, she claimed, "poor Marius is nothing. He is six (now seven) years old, but will understand that there's a difference. And that will give them (Haakon and Mette-Marit) problems. I hope they have thought about that."
Princess Ragnhild suggested that she was nearly forced to leave the country when she married a commoner herself in 1953. "I'm not really sure, but I think it was such that if we moved (to Brazil) we'd be allowed to marry," she said. Today she has three children and four grandchildren of her own.
She said it was difficult to move to a new country, where she didn't know anyone and couldn't understand the language. But she said it was a relief to be able to live as a normal person.
She maintained contact with her father through weekly letters, but she burned all those she received from King Olav a few years ago.
Both Princess Ragnhild and her husband have been in Norway recently, but Erling Lorentzen flew back to Brazil on Monday after trying to get TV2 to edit his wife's remarks. The princess, who reportedly remains in Norway for a while longer, said she stands by her comments in the TV2 documentary and stressed
For more articles on the fall-out go to
I think all European Royalty by and large face the same issues -its an older generation criticising a younger generation. The next generation of European queens will all be commoners and for some thats a frightful thought. There's alot more freedom in your chouce of bride and for some that breeds in instability if bad judgements are made - e.g. Charles made a bad judgement and we all know now that there were doubts about the wedding and it should have been stopped. She does make interesting comments about advise - I raised the same issues in another thread (is mary beign used as a doormat) and the preparedness of the CPrincesses, but by and large before the Crown Princesses become Queens they'll each have around 30 years+ to prove their worth to the nations (a long time of serving, so if any are wearing masks they'll slip of in the end) they've either adopted or decided to serve (because Monarchy today is about serving the nation and not the other way round as it was in the Divine Right era) if they cock up along the way (divorce rates in England are 1 in 2 now I think, I don't know what they are in Europe) I guess they won't be queens. Simple as that.
I don't know a lot about Princess Ragnhild but from the above article Sean posted, she seems more bitter than interested in preserving the monarchy in Norway. Her comments seem heartless and lacking in affection for her niece and nephew, let alone their spouses.
I had planned on watching the programme, but opted for going to bed instead. I really dislike people who talk to other parties instead of straight out to each other. But that's personal.
I can sort of see her point, though: she's concerned with protecting the state of the Norwegian monarchy. It's still weak, and fragile.
She watched her parents, and grandparents build it up from scratch, she had weekly letters from her father about lots of stuff, she lived five years in the States and watched her parents be split because of Norway and their fight for it, and she doesn't know Mette-Marit and Ari.
She married a commoner herself, but he did have another background, as she pointed out. (How could marrying someone who had been part of the resistance during the war with Germany be a misstep for a princess in the 1950s? ;)) Even the queen is a commoner, but she's a commoner from the right side of the tracks. :innocent:
She's also old, and set in her ways.
The interview was supposed to be longer, with both she and her husband. It was also supposed to be sent earlier.
That being said: if you have any problems with your family, go tell them. Not tell the press.
I didn't care much for Mette-Marit & Ari at first either. Well, I still don't care much for Ari, but that's another matter. But I think, during these two years in the spotlight, that Mette-Marit has grown and adapted to her new role in a manner fit for a princess.
I agree with some of your points and will write more tomorrow, as I'm off to bed. I will say, however, I've been following this for the last few days and it seems to be that she's rather bitter. I think she was put off by the fact that she basically had to move to Brazil in order to marry someone from 'the right side of the tracks', while her brother's kids have made, in her opinon, rather questionable marriages (I don't mean that in any pejorative sense). Also, the fact that she wasn't invited to join the King and Queen on their plane when they were flying to or from Rio to Brazilia (she brought that up) and the fact that the King and Queen cancelled lunch at her house at the last minute. All of this, coupled with her scathing comments and her burning of 1500-2000 letters last year leads me to believe that she's hurting about something.
My first thoughts on reading the comments is that this is one bitter old woman. I know she comes from a different generation but please do not malign your family in public. It is simply not done. If reflects badly on you more than them. IF YOU HAVE NOTHING GOOD TO SAY, SAY NOTHING AT ALL!!!! I hope that the rest of the family can show good grace and ignore these comments because for them to respond publicly will be just as bad.
I have noticed in pictures of the Norwegian royals in the other forums that Ragnhild doesn't smile very much unlike her beautiful sister and niece. Maybe that's what her problem is. She needs to smile and let go of all the hurt. It certainly is not going to be any good for her to go around with a sour disposition (maybe that is the real reason she was 'exiled' to Brazil :P )
Maybe before she dies she can find some time to apoligize to her brother for doing this interview. He has just survived a health crisis and now has to listen to this!
She doesn't seem very grateful that she was allowed to marry her love. Imagine how (more) bitter she would be if it wasn't allowed.
I agree w/the other poster who said she can't possibly know her niece or nephew or their spouses all that well, since she has lived so far away.
As an archivist I am totally appalled that she burned the letters from her father.
I hope they don't feel obligated to invite her to Ingrid's christening.
Overall, I wonder what her point was in doing this interview. As has been previously said, to mend relations with her family (if she is interested) she should go to them, not tell us!
I am very upset by her comments. It reminds of the very public comments made by Princess Margarita and her husband about her aunt, Queen Beatrix.
I believe that people should have their own opinions, but she really should not have said such things publicly about her family members, especially since they are all public individuals.
She does sound somewhat bitter, which I can understand. She had to move extremely far away to marry a man because he was a commoner and her niece and nephew have had many freedoms to choos their own spouses and remain in Norway with many liberties when making choices in their lives. I guess that I would be upset as well. However, she still should not have said such things in public. In my opinion, by revealing her true feelings she made it clear that she was somewhat bitter and that she is not only concerned for the future of the monarchy, but just very angry and has obviously been for years.
What a headache for the King, huh?! Has the royal family issued a statement about the princess' comments in the interview? Or are they hoping that the whole situation will just go away and if they don't comment on it, it will go away quicker?
I think that perhaps the princess wanted to marry for love as well as live in the country she was born and retain some of the privileges and liberties she now sees her nephew and niece have, even though they, too, have married commoners. But she was very lucky to have been able to marry for love. Princess Margaret of Great Britain wasn't permitted by her own sister to marry her love (or her first love) and "ended up" marrying Lord Snowdon instead.
But I think times have changed a lot since the Princess was young and there were different expectations of the monarchy, then there are now with Haakon and Martha Louise and the choices they make in terms of spouses. Maybe if the Princess lived in today's time she would've been able to have it all: marry for love, live in Norway, retain some of her prestige and liberties of being a princess.
What's her pleasure?? That MM and Haakon to live also in another country just because SHE wanted to marry a marry a commoner? ... and, she doesn't care a bit about Marius, I believe. To me, that's "all made up" to add to the "junk pile" she's building. I say, "Raggy, go back to Brazil !" You have no say in your brothers kingdom. :shock: " I hope her brother "knocks her head off". What insulting remarks to her brother and his wife plus their children and now grandchildren.
I'm sure MM and Haakon have seen this program, right? I sure hope that the strength of their characters will carry them through this invasion by a member of the "aunt heep" (Prince Charles used to say this.) Wonder what Sonja and Harald think about Raggy's interview? How hurtful some can be about something they have no control over.
I dont know if any one have tolde her but the year is now 2004 and if she cant accept her nephew and nieces choice of spouses well thats her choice well then she cant accepte HM Queen Sonja of Norway becaus she is only a commoner who had marryed her brother.
So my advise to Princess Ragnhilld is shut up if you dont have somthing nice to say about your family and pleas do not go to the press with it.
I think Ragnhild was in some term right with his declaration. Mette Marit can't be a good princess, mainly because she does NOT have that special and innate touch of elegance. Everything she does seems to be very pretentious. However, it's normal she feels sorry for Marius, as he'll grow up in a place that doesn't belong to him.
When you compare her to other princesses, she wears a minimal amount of make up, is more casual than the others on her royal duties, and is the pretty unfussy with her hair, clothes, jewellery, accessories, etc.
Well... when I said pretentious I wanted to say pretentious in the way she behaves. I really prefere a queen like Maxima, with his pretentious forms if you want to say it that way, than Mette Marit, that seems a doll in the hands of designers and more designers that want to show a natural girl. At least Maxima has a personal opinion which is absolutely chic and elegant.
I don't think that Mette-Marit lacks personal style. Her personal style is very down to earth. She wears fairly tailored clothing, and nothing very extravagant looking. Of course just because something doesn't appear to be extravagant doesn't mean that it isn't. Sometimes, simple and elegant costs more than detail. However, she is really very natural in her appearance and I think that is what she is known for currently. She wears little to no make up, but I don't think that she really needs it with her skin. She doesn't have over the top hair styles either. There is nothing pretentious about her. If she were pretentious it would instantly be reflected in her personality. People who are pretentious are usually prone to imposingly ostentatious displays in order to make themselves feel superior to others, and that doesn't sound like MM, IMO. I can't recall ever hearing about her going around and imposing herself upon others. :unsure: :unsure:
So, Maxima is chic, and elegant and wears things that are more colorful and expensive looking...so what? Maxima is a different woman, with a different background who was raised in a completely different country on another continent from MM. Her personality is different, so her clothing reflects it. It doesn't mean that MM lacks elegance. Elegance is not based on whether or not your clothing is more expensive looking or if you have stylists come in and do your hair for each major event or like some royal women everyday.
Elegance is about the way in which you move, how you relate to people and how you make them feel when they are around you, it's about restraint and grace of style, not about who is done up better.
And, I don't think that Maxima is pretentious either. I think that her style is reflective of her personality and the way in which she carries herself. I don't find her to be ostentatious or tasteless.
Very well put, Jacqueline.
I think both these women are elegant in their own, opposite ways, and that neither woman is pretentious.
Maxima certainly possesses an exuberance of spirit that Mette-Marit does not, while Mette-Marit projects an aura of down to earth naturalness that is not as evident in Maxima.
Well, since King Harald stated in an interview with VG today (translated for you guys by me, and put in King Harald and Queen Sonja forum) that he hoped they still were friends, and they had talked several times since... she even bought him a birthday present...
I can't imagine very sour feelings on either side. As King Harald says most families have troubles from time to time... the difference here is that the press is standing around waiting to pick up on those problems.
Of course she should have shut up, but most people become more outspoken when they grow old. Telling people those things they never got to say when they were younger.
Of course both Princess Ragnhild and Princess Astrid talked in their biographies on how important it was for King Haakon that neither of them did anything that would out them in the press, like Princess Margaret of Great Britain did.
I didn't said MM didn't dress well. I really like the way she dresses but I think (sincerely and not trying to offend, just a comment) that that kind of clothes are not suitable for her.
And now I have found an example of this pretentiousness I said yesterday :P : do you remember when MM went to a visit to London (or the Queen went to Norway, I don't remember)? She tried to act in a very 'pretentious' way, receiving Queen Elizabeth in a way nobody would. It seemed that she had learnt a book on protocol by heart and just did it. Elegance is not like that. If you are a good princess, you should know how to do things and how to addapt you to new situations. I don't know too much about high protocol, but I think it was totally out what she did. Also the British royals were surprised because of that 'strange' receiving...
I remember this and I compare with Letizia, the first time she appeared in public, the day of the Carta Magna. She was so polite and smart... she behaved very very good and nobody said nothing about her manners. And it was only a month after she started taking classes... Maxima also behaved in a very smart way when she appeared in public the first time with the dutch royals...
PD: Are here many MM fans? Maybe I should stop being so hard with my opinions.. :blush:
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