Sunday, 7 June 2015

Statue of King Olav unveiled in Oslo

24 1/2 years after the death of King Olav V and 20 years after the municipality of Oslo decided to erect a statue of him, the King and Princess Astrid today unveiled Olav Orud's statue of their father outside the City Hall in Oslo. 36 members of the extended royal family attended the unveiling ceremony.
The statue shows the late King in a civilian outfit and holding his hat behind his back, having stepped down from the plinth, which is decorated with four reliefs showing scenes from King Olav's life. It is located in Crown Princess Märtha Square, where Queen Maud Street, Haakon VII Street and Olav V Street meet.
There were speeches by among others the Mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang, and the Minister of Defence, Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, and all surviving cabinet ministers and members of the royal household during the reign of King Olav had been invited to the unveiling, which also saw an unusual gathering of almost all the living descendants of King Olav and Crown Princess Märtha.
The King and Queen were of course there, accompanied by the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Prince Sverre Magnus, the Crown Princess's son Marius Borg Høiby, and Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn with their three daughters, Maud, Leah and Emma Behn.
Princess Astrid's branch of the family was also complete. The Princess's eldest daughter Cathrine Ferner Johansen was accompanied by her husband Arild Johansen and their children Sebastian and Madeleine; Benedikte Ferner by her partner Aage Hvinden; Alexander Ferner by his wife Margrét and their children Edward and Stella; Elisabeth Ferner by her partner (whose name escapes me) and her son Benjamin Beckman; and Carl-Christian Ferner by his wife Anna-Stina S. Ferner.
Sadly Princess Ragnhild, who would have turned 85 on Tuesday, did not live to see the statue of her father unveiled, but her 92-year-old widower, Erling S. Lorentzen, had come from Brazil. Their son Haakon Lorentzen and his wife Martha were absent, but Haakon's and Martha's eldest son, Olav, and their daughter Sophia Anne were present, while their younger son Christian was absent. Princess Ragnhild's eldest daughter, Ingeborg Lorentzen Ribeiro, was accompanied by her husband Paulo Ribeiro, their only child Victoria Ribeiro Falcão and her husband Felipe Falcão. The late Princess's youngest daughter, Ragnhild Lorentzen Long, did not bring her husband and their two daughters.
The unveiling took place on a symbolically important date: The union of crowns with Sweden was dissolved 110 years ago today, paving the way for the election of the new dynasty in the autumn, King Haakon VII and Crown Prince Olav were forced to leave Norway for exile in Britain 75 years ago today, and King Haakon, Crown Princess Märtha, Prince Harald, Princess Ragnhild and Princess Astrid returned to Norway in triumph 70 years ago today (Crown Prince Olav had returned already on 13 May).

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