Today is the golden wedding anniversary of Princess Astrid of Norway and Johan Martin Ferner, who were married in Asker Church on 12 January 1961.
The Princess, who was at the time first lady of Norway, and Mr Ferner had known each other for a long time when their engagement was announced in November 1960. Their betrothal caused quite an outcry at the time because of the fact that Johan Martin Ferner was divorced.
One newspaper called it the worst storm in the history of the Norwegian royal family and many churchmen were not happy that the daughter of the head of the Church of Norway would marry a divorced man. Nevertheless the storm soon died down and relatives from around Europe gathered in Asker Church on a bitterly cold day two months later to witness the marriage.
Five children were born in ten years, three of them while Princess Astrid was still the nation’s first lady. While the Princess has continued to be a working member of the royal family until this day, her husband has never carried out public engagements on behalf of the royal family.
Instead he dedicated himself to the family business, the clothing store Ferner Jacobsen in Parliament Street, where he can still be seen occasionally. In public Johan Martin Ferner has always been the very epitome of discretion and loyalty.