Thursday, 30 April 2009

Historian reveals that Skaugum was not a gift

In yesterday's Budstikka the historian Dag T. Hoelseth revealed that the Skaugum estate, since 1929 the home of the heir to the Norwegian throne, was after all not a gift to the then Crown Prince Olav, as has been commonly believed until now, but that King Haakon had to pay for it.
It was the diplomat and self-styled Baron Fritz Wedel Jarlsberg who in connection with Crown Prince Olav's and Crown Princess Märtha's wedding in March 1929 contacted the royal family and offered them his estate Skaugum in Asker as a home for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. The offer was gladly accepted by the royals, particularly after the plans to rebuild Oscarshall Palace had been scrapped.
Hoelseth reveals that Wedel in August 1929 demanded that King Haakon should pay for the "gift". The King paid 120,00 kroner, which is roughly the equivalent of 3,500,000 NOK today.
King Haakon's biographer Tor Bomann-Larsen says he has come across the same information in his work on the fifth volume of his biography, which is expected to be published in 2011.

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