Princess Astrid’s 80th Birthday

  February 12, 2012 at 5:24 am by

Today, Princess Astrid celebrates her 80th birthday. In honour of the occasion, King Harald and Queen Sonja will host a gala banquet at the Royal Palace. Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Märtha Louise will attend as well.

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Princess Astrid was born at Villa Solbakken in Oslo on February 12th, 1932 as second child of King Olav and Crown Princess Märtha. She was named Astrid Maud Ingeborg after her aunt, Queen Astrid of Belgium, and her grandmothers, Queen Maud and Princess Ingeborg. Like her elder sister, Princess Ragnhild, she is not in the line to the throne. Princess Astrid spent her early years in Skaugum, near Oslo. When German troops invaded Norway in 1940, Crown Princess Märtha and the three children, Princess Ragnhild, Princess Astrid and Prince Harald, had to flee and lived five years in exile in the outskirts of Washington, D.C., separated from King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav, who stayed in London.

After returning home to Norway, Princess Astrid graduated from upper secondary school in 1950 and studied economics and political history at Oxford University for two years.  When Crown Princess Märtha died in 1954, Princess Astrid took over the role as First Lady, being only 22 years old. She continued in this role until 1968, when then Crown Prince Harald married Miss Sonja Haraldsen. During the years before the Crown Prince married, Princess Astrid represented Norway and the Royal Family on many occasions, both at home and abroad. Until today she continues to undertake official engagements on behalf of the Royal Family. She is still an active patron of a number of organizations and responsible for Crown Princess Märtha’s Memorial Fund.

On January 12th, 1961 Princess Astrid married Mr Johan Martin Ferner in Asker Church. They have five children. Since her marriage she carries the title Her Highness Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner. In 2002, the Government granted her an honorary pension in recognition of all her efforts on behalf of Norway, both during and following her years as First Lady.

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