Olav V of Norway
|Reign||21 September 1957 - 17 January 1991 (&000000000000003300000033 years, &0000000000000118000000118 days)|
|Consecration||22 June 1958(1958-06-22) (aged 54)|
|Spouse||Princess Märtha of Sweden|
Harald V of Norway
|Olav, né Alexander Edward Christian Frederik|
|House||House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg|
|Father||Haakon VII of Norway|
|Mother||Maud of Wales|
|Born||2 July 1903(1903-07-02)|
Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, England
|Died||17 January 1991(1991-01-17) (aged 87)|
Holmenkollen, Oslo, Norway
|Burial||30 January 1991|
Akershus Castle, Oslo
|Olympic medal record|
|Competitor for Norway|
|Gold||1928 Amsterdam||Sailing 6 m mixed|
Olav V (2 July 1903 – 17 January 1991) was the king of Norway from 1957 until his death.
A member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Olav was born in the United Kingdom as the son of Prince Carl of Denmark and Princess Maud of the United Kingdom and given the names Alexander Edward Christian Frederik. He became Crown Prince and heir-apparent to the throne of Norway when his father was elected king in 1905. He was the first heir to the Norwegian throne to be brought up in Norway since Olav IV, and his parents made sure he was given as Norwegian an upbringing as possible. In preparation for his royal duties, he attended both civilian and military schools. In 1929, he married his first and second cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden. During World War II his leadership was much appreciated and he was appointed Norwegian Chief of Defence in 1944. At his death, he was the last surviving grandchild of Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexandra of Denmark.
Born in Appleton House, Flitcham, Sandringham estate, Norfolk, United Kingdom to Prince Carl of Denmark and Princess Maud of Wales, (daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom), he was given the names and title of Alexander Edward Christian Frederik, Prince of Denmark. He was given the name Olav when his father became King Haakon VII of Norway in 1905.
Olav was the first heir to the throne since medieval times to grow up in Norway. He graduated from the Norwegian Military Academy in 1924, and went on to study jurisprudence and economics at Balliol College, Oxford.
During the 1930s, Crown Prince Olav was a naval cadet serving on the minelayer/cadet training ship Olav Tryggvason.
He was an accomplished athlete. Olav jumped from the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, and also competed in sailing regattas. He won a gold medal in sailing at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam and remained an active sailor into old age.
On 21 March 1929 in Oslo, he married his first cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden with whom he had one son, Harald, and two daughters, Ragnhild and Astrid. As exiles during World War II, Crown Princess Märtha and the Royal children lived in Washington, D.C., where she struck up a close friendship with Franklin D. Roosevelt. She died in 1954, before her husband ascended the throne.
The British Film Institute houses an early film, made in 1913, in which a miniature car commissioned by Queen Alexandra for the Crown Prince Olav tows a procession of Londoners through the streets of the capital, before being delivered to a pair of 'royal testers' of roughly Olav's age.
As Crown Prince, Olav had received extensive military training and had participated in most major Norwegian military exercises. Because of this he was perhaps one of the most knowledgeable Norwegian military leaders and was respected by other Allied leaders for his knowledge and leadership skills. During a visit to the United States before the war, he and his wife had established a close relationship with President Roosevelt. These factors would prove to be important for the Norwegian fight against the attacking German forces.
During World War II, Olav stood by his father's side in resisting the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany. During the campaign he was a valuable advisor both to civilian and military leaders. When the Norwegian government decided to go into exile, he offered to stay behind with the Norwegian people, but this was declined. He followed his father to the United Kingdom, where he continued to be a key advisor to the government-in-exile and his father.
During the war, Olav made several visits to Norwegian and Allied troops in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. In 1944, he was appointed to the post of Norwegian Chief of Defence and after the war he led the Norwegian disarmament of the German occupying forces. His war decorations from other nations, including the War Crosses of Norway, France, Greece and the Netherlands, the US Legion of Merit and the French Médaille Militaire, are testament to the international recognition of his contribution to the war against Hitler.
Succeeding to the Norwegian Throne in 1957 upon his father's death, Olav reigned as a "People's King," and became extremely popular. He liked to drive his own cars, and would drive in the public lanes, though as a monarch he was allowed to drive in public transport lanes. During the 1973 energy crisis driving was banned on certain weekends. King Olav never wanted to miss an opportunity to go skiing, and while he could have driven legally, he wanted to lead by example. So he dressed up in his skiing outfit, and boarded the Holmenkollbanen suburban railway carrying his skis on his shoulder. Famously, he also attempted to pay for the ride, but the conductor informed him that someone in the back had already paid his ticket. He was later asked how he dared to go out in public without bodyguards. He replied that "he had 4 million bodyguards" —the population of Norway was at the time 4 million.
For his athletic ability and role as King, Olav V earned the Holmenkollen medal in 1968. He had a strong interest in military matters and took his role as titular Commander-in-Chief very seriously. As well as his ceremonial roles in the Norwegian Army, he also served as Colonel-in-Chief of the Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Yorkshire Regiment), the British regiment named for his grandmother Queen Alexandra.
King Olav V opened the 14th World Scout Jamboree in July 1975 in the presence of 17,259 Scouts from 94 countries.
During the summer of 1990, the King suffered from health problems, but recovered somewhat during Christmas the same year. On 17 January 1991, while residing in the Royal Lodge Kongsseteren in Oslo, he became ill and died in the evening of a myocardial infarction. An interview given by King Harald V, and hints in a biography by Jo Benkow, who was the president of the parliament in that time, mention the possibility that King Olav suffered a great trauma during the outbreak of the first Gulf War. Olav's son Harald V succeeded him as King.
The night after he died, and for several days up until the state funeral, Norway saw a great demonstration of mourning as Norwegians lit hundreds of thousands of candles in the courtyard outside the Royal Palace in Oslo, with letters and cards placed amongst them. The National Archives have preserved all these cards.
Olav and his wife Märtha are buried in the green sarcophagus in the Royal Mausoleum at Akershus Fortress.
Crown Prince Olav arrives in Norway in 1905 on his father's arm and is greeted by Prime Minister Christian Michelsen
Drawing, 1906, by Andreas Bloch
Märtha and Olav on the cover of Time on the occasion of their wedding
Crown Prince Olav and his father King Haakon VII take shelter under birch trees as the German Luftwaffe bombs Molde
- Norway War Cross
- Norway Medal for Outstanding Civic Achievement in gold
- Norway Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav (later Grand Master)
- Norway Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (Grand Master)
- Norway St Olav's medal
- Norway Coronation Medal of 1906
- Norway War Medal (Norway)
- Norway Haakon VII's 70th Anniversary Medal
- Norway Haakon VII's Jubilee Medal 1905–1955
- Argentina Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Liberator General San Martin
- Austria Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Merit
- Belgium Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold
- Brazil Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Rose
- Chile Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Merit of Chile
- Denmark Knight of the Elephant
- Denmark Grand Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog
- Denmark King Christian X's Freedom Medal
- Denmark Commemorative Medal for King Christian IX's 100th birthday
- Denmark Commemorative Medal for King Frederik VIII's 100th birthday
- Ethiopia Grand Cross of the Order of Solomon
- Finland Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose
- France Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur
- France Croix de guerre
- France Médaille militaire
- Germany Grand Cross First Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Great Britain 926th Knight of the Garter
- Great Britain Knight of the Thistle
- Great Britain Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
- Great Britain Royal Victorian Chain (Commonwealth Realms)
- Great Britain Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (Commonwealth Realms)
- Great Britain King George V Silver Jubilee Medal
- Great Britain King George VI Coronation Medal
- Great Britain Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
- Greece Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
- Greece Grand Cross of the Order of St. George and St. Constantine
- Greece War Cross 1940
- Iran Grand Cross of the Order of Tadj
- Iceland Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon
- Japan Grand Cross of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Luxembourg Grand Cross of the Order of the Gold Lion
- Mexico Grand Cross of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
- Netherlands Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
- Netherlands Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange
- Netherlands War Cross
- Netherlands Medaille d'Installation Solennelle 1948
- Peru Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun
- Portugal Grand Cross of the Order of St. Bento d'Aviz
- Romania Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star
- Saxony Grand Cross of the Ernestine Order (Saxony, Germany)
- Spain Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece
- Spain Grand Cross Collar of the Order of Charles III
- Sweden Knight of the Seraphim
- Sweden King Gustaf V's 70th Anniversary Medal
- Sweden King Gustaf V's 90th Anniversary Medal
- Thailand Knight Grand Cross of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao
- Tunisia Grand Cross of the Order of Independence
- USA Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit
- Yugoslavia Order of the Yugoslav Great Star
- Norway A 180 000 km² area (Prince Olav Coast) and the Prince Olav Mountains in Antarctica are named in his honour.
- Norway Olav V Land on Svalbard is named in his honour.
- Norway In 1961 the King was a laureate of the Nansen Refugee Award.
- Norway In 1968 he was awarded the Holmenkollen medal.
- Norway In 2005, Olav was proclaimed the Norwegian of the century, with 41 percent of the tele-votes in a popular competition held by NRK.
- United Kingdom In 1959, Olav was granted the honorary rank of Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force.
- United Kingdom In 1988, Olav was granted the honorary rank of Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy.
- United Kingdom Honorary Freeman of Richmond
- United Kingdom - Honorary Freedom of Newcastle upon Tyne
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Prince Olav Harbour on South Georgia is also named in his honour.
Styles King Olav bore from birth to death, in chronological order:
- His Highness Prince Alexander of Denmark 1903–1905
- His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Norway 1905–1957
- His Majesty The King of Norway 1957–1991
|Monarchical styles of|
King Olav V of Norway
|Reference style||His Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Majesty|
Cadet branch of the House of OldenburgBorn: 2 July 1903 Died: 17 January 1991
Wilhelm von Tangen Hansteen
Defence of Norway