Wednesday, 31 March 2010

What to see: Statue of Ingegjerd Løvenskiold, Bærums Verk

The unveiling of a statue of Ingegjerd Løvenskiold Stuart at Bærums Verk last year made the Mistress of the Robes one of the increasing number of Norwegians to be honoured by monument in their lifetimes.
The statue was done by Kirsten Kokkin, an American sculptor of Norwegian descent who is perhaps best known for her statue of Crown Princess Märtha outside the Norwegian ambassador’s residence in Washington, of which replicas have been erected in Oslo’s Palace Park and outside Crown Princess Märtha’s Church in Stockholm.
The statue of Ingegjerd Løvenskiold Stuart is called “Fruen til verket”, loosely translated as “the Lady of the Manor”, and honours her commitment to the restoration of the former industrial village of Bærums Verk.
The ironwork to which it belonged had come into the possession of her husband Harald Løvenskiold’s family in the days of his great-great-great-great-grandfather Peder Anker and since the death of Harald Løvenskiold in 1994 it belongs to his and Ingegjerd’s son Carl Otto, who resides at the nearby manor.
Ingegjerd Løvenskiold, née Andvord, was appointed Mistress of the Robes by King Olav in 1985, making her the highest-ranking female member of the royal court. Shortly after her husband’s death she remarried the wealthy American Robert D. Stuart and moved to the USA. Following her remarriage she was relieved of her duties as Mistress of the Robes, although she retains the title and the rank.
A successor is not expected to be appointed, making her the last to fill the position first held, between 1816 and 1845, by her husband’s great-great-great-grandmother, Countess Karen of Wedel-Jarlsberg, and later by her husband’s great-grandmother, Elise Løvenskiold, from 1887 to 1905.

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