Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Royal Family of Norway.

Pictures:Royal palace, Oslo; the Crowns of Norway; King Harald V of Norway; King Harald, Queen Sonja, with Crown Prince Haakon Magnus, heir to the throne, and his wife Princess Mette-Marit; Queen Sonja; the young generation of the family(!)and
bottom pictures:
King Haakon VII(3 August 1872 to 21 September 1957)
(Son of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess
Louise of Denmark. Elected to the Norwegian throne after
dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905.)......last picture, a picturesque fiord in Norway

Norway, a country running north to south in the western region of the Scandinavian landmass on the tip of north western Europe, famous for its picturesque fiords, with an area of 385,252 sq kl ms. forms along with Sweden to the east and Denmark to the south the famous "Nordic" region-Scandinavia, Oslo is the capital of Norway.

Norway, historically a country of the Vikings, has had a history of political sovereign union with Denmark as well as Sweden.

Before the small countries of Panama and Liberia acquired this distinction, Norway was the shipping haven of the world.

The Norwegian monarchy dates back more than one thousand years. Harald Fairhair, regarded as the first Norwegian king, united the petty kingships of Norway into a single realm in about 885. From the time of Harald Fairhair until the present day, Norway has had more than 60 named sovereigns. The current King belongs to the House of Gl├╝cksburg, which has ruled Norway since 1905. The King is descended from the Danish rulers of Schleswig-Holstien, an old German ducal dynasty that trace their descent from the German ducal House of Oldenburg. Oldenburg descendants have at some time in history, been the Tzars of Russia, Catharine the Great, a German princess before marrying the Russian Tzar, descended from this House.

Christian Michelsen, a Norwegian shipping magnate and statesman, Prime Minister of Norway from 1905 to 1907 played a central role in the peaceful separation of Norway from Sweden on 7 June 1905. After a national referendum confirmed the people's preference for a monarchy over a republic, the Norwegian government offered the throne of Norway to the Danish Prince Carl and Parliament unanimously elected him king. He took the name of Haakon VII, after the medieval kings of independent Norway. The present King is his grandson.

King Harald V, as a young man, entered the Norwegian Cavalry Officers’ Training School and went on to finish his military education at the Military Academy in 1959. Upon completion of his compulsory military service, Crown Prince Harald went to Oxford for further study. He attended Balliol College from 1960 to 1962, studying social science, history and economics.

Queen Sonja was born Sonja Heraldsen in 1937 and married King Harald in 1968, their children are Princess Martha Louis and Crown Prince Haakon Magnus.

Crown Prince Haakon is married to Princess Mette-Marit, born Mette-Marit Tjessem in August 1973; she has specialised in Development Experience, Theories of Development, HIV/AIDS and Development, and The Global Refugee Crisis. The Crown Princess spent three months as an observer at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), where she focused on HIV/AIDS issues.

Prince Haakon graduated in 1995 from the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy in Bergen. In autumn 1996 he moved to the USA to study at the University of California at Berkeley, and received his BA in political science in spring 1999. The following autumn the Crown Prince was a member of Norway’s third delegation to the UN General Assembly. In 2001 he followed the Foreign Ministry’s trainee programme for diplomats, and completed his education in 2003 at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was awarded an MA in development studies, specializing in international trade and Africa..

In 2003 the Crown Prince was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP with a particular focus on the UN Millennium Development Goals. In this capacity he has travelled to Tanzania, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Guatemala and Burundi.

The present Norwegian Royal House is descended from the Kings of Denmark, who in turn are descended from the Dukes of Schleswig Holstien, north Germanyand the Dukes of Holstien Sonderburg, and back again some ancestors are the Kings of Denmark, then further, to the parent line of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl├╝cksburg


Similar to all constitutional monarchies, the Monarch, is Head of State, a symbol of the country, representing the country's aspirations and traditions, the first person, in most cases as per a written Constitution, representing the country's freedom and democratic values, its continuity and political, social, cultural and other aspirations; although seen a figurehead, this is only partly true, there is a two way communication between the Monarch and his people.
The enlightened Monarch sets the example of a national identity of the country, and its dignity as a sovereign nation.

Today the King’s duties are mainly representative and ceremonial. When the Constitution states that: “the executive power is vested in the King”, this now means that it is vested in the Government.

The King undertakes the formal opening of the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) every autumn. He plays an important role in connection with changes of government and presides over the Council of State at the Royal Palace. The King and Queen make state visits to other countries and are hosts to foreign Heads of State who visit Norway. Newly appointed ambassadors to Norway from other countries must present their credentials to the King during a formal audience at the Royal Palace. The King is Commander-in-Chief of the country’s armed forces, and holds the rank of general in the Army and Air Force, and admiral in the Navy. He is also the formal head of the Church of Norway.

In addition to granting audiences, the King’s day-to-day duties also include meetings with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and representatives of the Defence Establishment. The King also travels to different parts of Norway, where he visits public and private institutions.

The King presides over the Council of State, Friday at 11.00 hours. The meeting is held in the Council Chamber at the Royal Palace.
Decisions made by the Government as a single body are made in the Council of State. This is presided over by the King, and such decisions are said to be made by “the King in the Council of State”. All acts of legislation and other decisions in the Council of State must be sanctioned by the King and countersigned by the Prime Minister before they can take effect.

Under Article 35 of the Constitution the heir to the throne may also participate in the Council of State: “As soon as the heir to the throne has completed his or her eighteenth year, he or she is entitled to take a seat in the Council of State, although without vote or responsibility.”

Thus His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon also participates in the Council, and when the King is absent, for example due to illness or when travelling abroad, Crown Prince Haakon presides over the Council in his capacity of Crown Prince Regent.

1 comment:

  1. I Love your Blog....
    i am doing a project on princesses, with the govermental suport of norway---> please follow my blog.. and i do likewise...

    the i will keep track of your royal blogging. :-)

    all best Rudi