The Norwegian Monarchy 1905-2005: Biographies and timeline

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Nov 26, 2003
The year 2005 is the anniversary of many things. For Norwegians it first and foremost marks that Norway has been a country of its own for a century. But it also marks the 100th year anniversary for the Norwegian royal family.

Throughout the year we aim to give you a special retelling of the Norwegian royal history, and of current events. We shall bring you a timeline. We shall bring you the story of how Norway gained its independence. And last, but not least, we shall bring you the biographies of the Royal family.

We shall start with Queen Maud in January and then move on chronologically with King Haakon, etc. until we reach January, again, and the youngest members of the family.

We would like to encourage you all to participate in this project, and post pictures, anecdotes and comments along the way. However, we shall try to keep some order on it all, in this thread at least, and would like to request that you save the pictures of the individual royals until we have reached “their” month. That means that current photographs of Princess Ingrid Alexandra do not belong in this thread until December, at least.

This is a historical thread and not a current events thread. Special events that will take place during the year 2005 will get their own threads, and we are certain that there will be many such occasions that will make 'Watching of the Royal Norwegians' extra interesting next year.

We hope that you all have fun, and don’t forget to post pictures during the year, if you have some.

Mandy and Norwegianne.
Norwegian Forum Moderators
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The Norwegian Monarchy: 1905-2005

In 1905, the Norwegians dissolved their union with Sweden. The union had lasted since Norway had ceded from Denmark in 1814, a total of 91 years. Many events led to the dissolution of the union, the foremost amongst those being Sweden’s proposal for a new law concerning Consulates. Norway and Sweden shared the same foreign policy, and both embassies and consulates. After adopting their own Constitution in 1814, Norway had its own parliament and wanted greater control over its policies.

On January 11th, the Norwegian Cabinet rejected a resolution put forth by Sweden proposing that the Norwegian Consulates fall under the control of the Swedish Foreign Minister. In February, they broke off negotiations with Sweden and decided to attempt to handle the legislation in their own parliament. Unfortunately, the King’s signature was needed to enact the law. On the 27th of May, King Oscar II refused to sign the Norwegian law proposal. The Norwegian Cabinet members resigned in protest but the King refused to accept their resignations since he wasn’t prepared to name a new Cabinet.

The Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget, drafted a letter to the King accusing him of not fulfilling his duties by not accepting the members' resignations and by not providing the country with a new Cabinet. Thus, on June 7, 1905, the Norwegians declared the union with Sweden dissolved. The Cabinet, who had resigned, was appointed by Stortinget as the temporary leadership of the country until a new ruler could be found. Later that summer, a referendum was held to determine whether or not to keep the Union with Sweden. Even though the people that had a right to vote represented only a portion of the entire population, the results were crystal clear; 368,208 people voted yes to dissolve the union, and 184 people voted no. The People had spoken.

Negotiations had also begun in Karlstad to ensure that the dissolution of the union with Sweden would not result in war and, in October, the King of Sweden renounced his and his descendants’ rights to the Norwegian throne. However, at this time, there was a general feeling throughout Europe that a free Norway would be unacceptable unless governed by a monarchy. Driven by strategy and in deference to courtesy, the Norwegian Cabinet offered the throne to two Prince Carls, one Swedish and one Danish. The throne was officially offered to Prince Carl of Sweden who was the third son of King Oscar II . Since Prince Carl had three daughters, there was talk of changing the constitution to allow his eldest daughter, Princess Margaretha, to become queen. But, both Prince Carl of Sweden and his father refused the offer.

The Cabinet’s alternate choice, Prince Carl of Denmark, had been approached secretly in June with an offer from the Cabinet; discussions took place all summer. Prince Carl of Denmark accepted but with two conditions. Sweden had to completely renounce its right to the Norwegian throne and the Norwegian people would have to hold a referendum to confirm their choice of government. Prince Carl was a better choice since he was married to Princess Maud of Wales, daughter of the King of England, and the couple had a two-year-old son, Prince Alexander.

In a plebiscite in November of 1905, the Norwegian people confirmed that a monarchy was their choice of government. Of the total population, 259,563 voted for monarchy while 69,264 voted for a republic. Stortinget officially declared Norway a monarchy and elected Prince Carl Head of State. Prince Carl accepted and sent the following telegram from Copenhagen to Christiania (present day Oslo):

“With His Majesty the King’s, my elevated grandfather’s permission I intend to accept the election to be Norway’s king, as I take the name Haakon the Seventh, and give my son the name Olav. My wife and I wish the rich blessing of God to the Norwegian people. Its honour, and luck, we will dedicate our future lives to. Carl.”

The Norwegian Royal Family arrived in Christiania on November 25, 1905.
The February Biography of Haakon VII can be found here.

We hope that you join in, post pictures, comment, or simply watch the thread.

Have a nice February.
Here is the April biography of Olav V written by norwegianne. Don't forget to post all those wonderful pictures you have been saving. Enjoy!
The July biography of Harald has been posted. Please join in the fun with pictures, anecdotes, articles and comments...
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There has been a slight change in plans. Due to computer, holiday and minor personal problems, there isn't an August bio. Sonja's bio has been switched into being the bio for September, and the rest of the biographies have been pushed back in a similar manner.

Sonja's bio has now been posted. Maybe it is also a time to take a look at the other bios in our special threads collection of Norwegian royals?

NOTE: The pictures collections, and text written for these threads, count as material created especially for TRF, overall, and should not be posted elsewhere, according to the posting rules. If reposting the pictures in other TRF threads, remember to give credit - it takes a lot of time to put together bios like these.

The schedule for the next profiles are as follows, if everything runs smoothly after this:

October - Märtha Louise
November - Haakon Magnus
December - Mette-Marit
January - Maud Angelica, Ingrid Alexandra, Leah Isadora and the new baby.

That being said: Have fun with Sonja's bio. Have a good September.
Here is the Märtha Louise profile. Have a wonderful month of October and please join in the fun with pictures, articles and stories of the lovely princess.
The November profile of Haakon has been posted. Have a wonderful month. Hopefully, we should hear the pitter-patter of little Norwegian feet once again... very soon!
Here is the December profile: Mette-Marit. Many thanks to Norwegianne who has put a lot a work and effort into this biography. Enjoy!
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In June, 2006, it was also celebrated that it was 100 years since Haakon and Maud's coronation. 100th Anniversary of the Coronation. A lot of Haakon and Maud's descendants joined in on the celebration, and the thread on it, is really worth a look.

Thanks to everybody who has contributed to this with pictures, opinions, articles and what not.
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