Earlier today I visited the cemetery in Asker, a bit outside Oslo, where Princess Ragnhild was laid to rest on Friday. The Princess’s gravesite, which was chosen by her and her husband, is just inside the southern gate to the churchyard; indeed there is only one grave which is nearer to the statue of Princess Ragnhild’s mother, Crown Princess Märtha.
Among the many wreaths and bouquets were floral tributes from her children, children-in-law and grandchildren (a large heart of red roses), the King and Queen, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn, Princess Astrid’s children and their families, the King and Queen of Sweden (the latter was scheduled to attend the funeral, but had to cancel because of a cold, which meant that Crown Princess Victoria went instead), the Queen and Prince Consort of Denmark, Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, the ex-King and ex-Queen of the Hellenes, Princess Kristine Bernadotte and Madeleine Kogevinas (who had chosen white lilies, which have been known in Norway as Märtha lilies ever since Crown Princess Märtha used them for her bridal bouquet in 1929), the government, Parliament, the county governors and many friends. There were no wreaths from the Princess’s Belgian or Luxembourgian relatives.
Asker Church is situated just down the road from the crown princely residence Skaugum, which was Princess Ragnhild’s childhood home. It was in this church that Princess Ragnhild married Erling S. Lorentzen in 1953. The statue of Crown Princess Märtha holding Prince Harald (who plays with her tiara), is by Dyre Vaa and was unveiled in 1969.