Saturday, 28 March 2009

On this date: Birth of two Bernadotte princesses

28 March was the birthday of two princesses of Sweden who both married the heir to the throne in another Scandinavian country. Princess Märtha was born on 28 March 1901 as the second of three daughters of Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg. Princess Ingrid was born on 28 March 1910 as the only daughter of the future King Gustaf VI Adolf and his first wife, Crown Princess Margareta.
Sadly Crown Princess Margareta died already in 1920, when her daughter was only 10. Princess Ingrid's great grief for her mother and her difficult relationship with her stepmother meant that she came to spend much time with Princess Ingeborg's family and became a close friend of her daughters.
In 1929 Princess Märtha married Crown Prince Olav of Norway. Six years later Princess Ingrid married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. Both had three children, both became immensly popular in their adopted countries and both played an important role in keeping up their people's morale during the Second World War.
Märtha and Ingrid resembled each other in many ways and there were many parallells in their lives. But there was one significant difference: Queen Ingrid lived to the ripe age of 90, dying in 2000 as a much-loved matriarch of the Danish royal family, while Crown Princess Märtha passed away in 1954, aged only 53, and never became Queen of Norway.
The pictures both show them in 1914. Princess Ingrid is on top; Princess Märtha below.

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