1905-2005, January biography: Maud
On November 26th, 1869, the Princess of Wales gave birth to a girl. On Christmas Eve the same year the girl was christened and received the names Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria. She would be known as Maud.
Maud had four older brothers and sisters, Albert Victor, born in 1864, George Frederick Ernest Albert, born in 1865, Louise, born in 1867 and Victoria, born in 1868.
Her young life was spent at Sandringham with her brothers and sisters. They travelled to Balmoral, and Denmark in the summers. But their time was mostly spent at home.
She was tutored at home, in everything a proper young royal girl was expected to know, including reception of important persons.
Her life was calm, and she was particularly interested in painting, woodwork, and animals. She was also interested in sports, and she rode nearly every day. She also played tennis, participated in cricket and hunting. Maud was nicknamed Harry by her family, after her father’s friend, Admiral Harry Keppel, who was renowned for his courage.
The British people had their own nickname for her: Her Royal Shyness, because of her shyness and modesty in public.
There is a rumour that she has written a play under the pseudonym Graham Irving. King Olav said that while he had never had it confirmed or denied, he doubted it. But his mother enjoyed the speculation around it. “They can never be sure if I’ve written it, or not,” she said.
In 1893 Maud made her first visit to Norway. With her mother and her sister Victoria, they were visiting the Norwegian nature, but also had time to visit the capital Christiania. When in Christiania, they visited the Royal Palace briefly, and Maud and her sister spontaneously began to dance in the ballroom.
At the time it was the goal for every young princess to marry well. Maud held off so long that her relatives began to think that it would never happen. Though Queen Victoria thought differently, and as with all Royals, there were plenty of rumours. Prince Christian of Denmark, the older brother of Prince Carl, was rumoured to be a suitor, as was Prince Nicholas of Greece. The latter admitted to the fact after Maud and Carl were suitably tied together… but we get ahead of ourselves. :)
Carl and Maud met in Denmark. More precisely, they met at Fredensborg Castle where their grandparents gathered all the relatives for the summer, but the friendship didn’t develop to something else until the summer of 1892. But their parents wanted them to wait, to be certain that their feelings were real, before they did anything permanent about it.
It was also a mystery to some people why a British princess, who was the granddaughter of the most powerful queen in the world, would “settle” for a second lieutenant in one of the smallest navies in the world. Strategically, it was not viewed as a brilliant move. Prince Carl was the second son of the Crown Prince. His chances of ever becoming a King were limited, as were his funds.
But Maud and Carl persevered, and were engaged in 1895. First unofficially on September 22nd, then later the official engagement came on October 25th.
The wedding took place at Buckingham Palace on the 22nd of July. They received a house on the land surrounding Sandringham as a wedding-present from her parents; it was called Appleton House. The newly-wed spent most of the fall in Britain before they journeyed to Copenhagen just before Christmas.
They settled in an apartment owned by the Greek King in Bredgate 48.
Maud did not like Copenhagen. Her health did not agree with the climate, and Carl was away most of the time with the navy. She never quite found her place with Carl’s family, and missed her own. In the years that followed she would spend more and more time in Britain, for health reasons.
But in 1903 something happened that ensured that she wouldn’t be alone when her husband was out with the navy: she gave birth to her only child.
They named him Alexander Edward, after his maternal grandmother and grandfather, and Christian Frederik, as it is customary that all princes in line to the Danish throne have at least one of these names.
The little family was complete.
Two years later their lives would be altered dramatically, and forever as Carl was approached about the Norwegian throne.
Maud liked Norway. The climate was better for her health than the Danish had been, although she still spent parts of the falls in Britain, she spent less time there. She also liked the Norwegian nature, and attitude towards life. The Royal family set out from the beginning to be as Norwegian as possible.
Skis were a large part of that, and the royal family often tried out their skis. Olav remembered a dog he had, who spent his time jumping on the back of people’s skis. Unfortunately for Queen Maud, the dog was heavier than her, and she couldn’t get anywhere when it was on. But she would continue to ski until she was well past sixty.
She once told Olav when they were looking at the jumpers in Holmenkollen: “You’re not really Norwegian until you’ve tried this.” Maud wanted her son to be just almost like the other Norwegian children, and he did jump there, eventually.
Maud’s hobbies later in life included gardening, dancing, painting, art, photography, and she was an avid writer of letters. She also enjoyed children, to the point that she held parties in the Palace for them, even after her son had grown too old. She was thrilled upon getting grandchildren to spoil, and she would host their birthday parties at Bygdøy.
A sore point was her grandson’s name. Maud did not like the name Harald. It had been one of the options in 1905 for her son, and she had not chosen it then. When she carried her grandson to his christening she had threatened King Haakon before she left the royal apartments: she would answer Magnus when the Bishop asked the name of the child. King Haakon is said to have worried all through the ceremony, and he most likely breathed out in relief when his wife said Harald.
Unfortunately she did not get to spend much time with them. She had cancer, and died on November 20th, 1938. She was brought back to Norway, and buried in Oslo.
The only flower arrangement on her coffin was a simple arrangement made of light red carnations. They were from King Haakon.
Dronning Maud – Et liv – En Motehistorie, by Anne Kjellberg
Dronning Maud – Et Portrett by Arvid Møller
2) Maud with her family in 1883.
3) Maud with her mother and sisters around 1885. Maud wore her hair down, as she hadn't yet been confirmed.
4) Confirmation photo, Maud 17 years old.
1) Maud and Haakon are a couple.
2) Maud in her newly bought bunad. Bergen, 1893.
3) The newly engaged couple, 1895
4) The bride, Maud, and the bridesmaid, her sister Victoria, 1896.
5) The wedding, 1896
6) The Honeymoon, 1896.
1) Masked Ball in 1897
2) In Mourning for Queen Victoria
5) 1904 (Picture from Aftenposten.no)
6) 1905 Olav
1) Skiing in 1906,
2) The Coronation in Trondheim, 1906
3) Royal family skitrip in 1907
4) Maud, Haakon and Olav in 1907
6) On a sled.
1) Maud and her sisters
2) Maud and Olav in 1913
3) Maud, Haakon and Olav. 1914
5) Queen Maud and the grandchildren, 1936
6) The Coronation in London, 1937. Maud was the only one of King Edward VII's children present.
(Unless otherwise noted: all pictures are scanned from the books in the above bibliography.)
Feel free to add on with pictures of Queen Maud.
Thanks for the biography and the pictures Norwegianne.
Here are a few more pictures. Some are from postcards and some are from the Internet.
1. July 4, 1883 - Princess Victoria and Princess Maud of Wales.
2. July 6, 1893 - The Wedding of the Princess Victoria Mary of Teck to HRH Prince George Duke of York later King George V.
3. 1905 - Painting of Maud.
4. 1906 - Maud and Olav.
5. May 1929 - Queen Maud.
6. April 18, 1932 - Queen Maud in Newcastle.
Thank you very much for this profile of Queen Maud, norwegianne and Mandy! I really learned a lot -- not having known much about the Norwegian royal family.
Queen Maud seems to have possessed some hidden spunk even if she was a very shy individual. The spontanous dancing in the palace ballroom during that first visit to Norway with her mother and sister and the incident quoted below over the name of her grandson.
Honestly Alexandria, I don't know why she didn't like it. I read about it in a few of the biographies. Harald was also the name of her husband's younger brother. It might be some other reason completely. It's hard to know when you only have second-hand accounts of it all.
A large picture of Queen Maud in her later years. The picture is from the National Library's home page.
Thank you so much Interesting.....
I am wonder I read some article. that Maud and her husband are frist cousin???? am I wrong..... let me know...
There was an article in today's paper edition of either Dagbladet or VG, that compared Queen Sonja and Queen Maud. Apparently the two of them seem to be roughly the same height, though Queen Sonja thought she was a centimeter or two taller.
It's hard to tell how much Queen Maud weighed, but King Olav once told about a ski-trip with his mother. His dog liked to sit on people's skis, and jumped on back on the Queen's. It made her irritated, because with the dog at the back of the skis, she was unable to move. Olav also said that he wasn't very old before he was bigger than his mother, though what he meant by very old, I don't know.
1. Queen Maud and King Haakon at their coronation, 1906
2. Queen Maud with Crown Prince Olav, 1910
3. The royal family in 1916
4. Haakon and Maud, 1896
5. King Haakon and Queen Maud with Crown Prince Olav, 1905
6. King Haakon and Queen Maud, 1905
7. Princess Maud with Prince Carl (later King Haakon), 1895
8. Queen Maud, unknown
9. Queen Maud, King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav, 1910
10. Queen Maud, King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav, 1905
1. Queen Maud, Crown Prince Olav and King Haakon, 1939
2. Queen Maud, 1929
3. Queen Maud, unknown
4. Queen Maud and Crown Prince Olav, 1927
5. Queen Maud, King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav, 1905
6. Queen Maud, King Haakon, Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha, 1930.
7. Queen Maud with Crown Prince Olav, unknown
8. Queen Maud, King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav, unknown
9. Queen Maud with Crown Prince Olav, unknown
Wow! Fantastic photos :) I've never seen them before! Where did you find them?
I, actually, scouted around for the pics, therefore I am not too sure of the source. But, some of them were taken from Corbis.
1-3. Princess Maud and Prince Carl at their wedding, 1896
4. Queen Maud, unknown
5. Princess Maud (R) with her sister Princess Victoria, 1893
6. Princess Maud (L) with her sisters Princess Victoria and Princess Louise, 1889
7. Princess Maud with Princess Victoria, 1893
8. Queen Maud with her son, Crown Prince Olav, unknown
9. Queen Maud with Crown Prince Olav, 1904
10. Queen Maud, King Haakon with Crown Prince Olav, unknown
1. Princess Maud with her family (L-R: Prince George, Queen Alexandra, King Edward VII, Princess Victoria; Seated, Princess Maud, Prince Albert and Princess Louise, 1884.
2. Princess Maud with Princess Victoria and Princess Louise, 1886
3. Princess Maud as a baby with her mother, Queen Alexandra, 1872
4. Princess Maud as a bridesmaid at the the wedding of George V, 1893
5. Queen Maud, unknown
6. Queen Maud, 1929
7. Queen Maud, unknown
8. (L-R) Empress Dagmar of Russia, Princess Victoria, Queen Maud and King Haakon, unknown
9. Queen Maud and King Haakon, unknown
1. Queen Maud, 1906
2. Queen Maud and King Haakon, 1906
3. Queen Maud, King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav, 1907
4. Queen Maud, King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav, 1910
5. Queen Maud, King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav, 1911
6. Queen Maud, King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav, 1917
7. Queen Maud, 1917
8. Queen Maud and Crown Prince Olav, 1917
9. Queen Maud, King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav, 1917
10. Queen Maud and Crown Prince Olav in London, 1920
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