Erling S. Lorentzen, businessman, war veteran and brother-in-law of the King, celebrates his ninetieth birthday today.
The son of shipping magnate Øivind Lorentzen and his wife Ragna, Erling S. Lorentzen was born in Oslo on 28 January 1923. During World War II he joined the resistance movement, becoming one of the youngest members of the elite resistance group Company Linge.
When the royal family returned from exile in 1945, Lorentzen became part of the royal protection squad. He was also given the task of teaching the young princesses to sail, and captured the heart of Princess Ragnhild in 1946. Despite initial strong opposition from King Haakon and Crown Princess Märtha, Lorentzen and Princess Ragnhild were eventually allowed to marry. The wedding took place in Asker Church in Asker outside Oslo on 15 May 1953.
Meanwhile, Lorentzen had studied at Harvard Business School, graduating with a Master of Business Management degree in 1948. Following their wedding, Lorentzen and the Princess settled in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to take care of the Lorentzen family’s business interests. The initial plan was for them to stay there for two years, but it turned out to be forever.
In 1968 Erling S. Lorentzen founded the company Aracruz Cellulose, which turned out to be a great financial success; Lorentzen was able to sell his share for approximately $ 1.7 billion when Aracruz merged with another company in 2008.
At the age of ninety, Erling S. Lorentzen remains active and apparently healthy. Princess Ragnhild died on 16 September last year.