Wednesday, 2 November 2011

At the road’s end: Sivert A. Farstad (1931-2011), former Lord Chamberlain

Among the death announcements in Aftenposten today is that of former Lord Chamberlain Sivert A. Farstad, who died at the hospital Diakonhjemmet in Oslo on 28 October, aged 80.
Sivert Andreas Farstad was born on 4 July 1931 and made a career in the Navy, where he reached the rank of Rear Admiral.
He was appointed Lord Chamberlain in 1993 in succession to Kaare Langlete. This was a rather challenging time for the royal court, which was in the middle of the complicated (and eventually controversial) restoration of the Royal Palace.
Farstad took his leave in the autumn of 1996 at a crucial phase of the restoration process, citing age as his reason. He was succeeded by Lars Petter Forberg, who became the (so far) last Lord Chamberlain from the armed forces (following Forberg’s resignation one has chosen diplomats instead).
Unlike most other Lord Chamberlains, Farstad was not given the Grand Cross of the Order of St Olav when he left royal service.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, two daughters and five grandchildren. His funeral will take place in Ullern Church in Oslo on 8 November.


  1. Any thoughts on why he wasn't given the Grand Cross.

  2. I have no inside information about that, but as the King gave the Grand Cross to Farstad's predecessors Smith-Kielland and Langlete and to his successor Forberg it seems the King somehow did find Farstad as deserving as them of receiving it. It could have to do with the fact that Smith-Kielland, Langlete and Forberg were in royal service for a longer time (also before they became Lord Chamberlain) or it could be other (unknown) reasons.

  3. Faktafeil. Sivert Farstads ektefelle er født i 1933 og følgelig 78 år. Ikke 55.

  4. No factual mistake, but obviously you have misunderstood the meaning of the English term. The term "his wife of 55 years" does not mean that his wife is 55 years old, but that she has been his wife for 55 years (i.e. that they were married for 55 years).

  5. This is very interesting. I knew Sivert Farstad and his wife Solveig slightly, as we lived next door to them in Ullern from 2007 to 2009. I always got the impression that he and his former employers were on good terms, as he often seemed to be invited to official events in his capacity of former head of the Royal Court.

    Ben McPherson


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