Wednesday, 20 January 2016

My latest articles: Coronations and solemn blessings

My new book on the role of coronations in Norwegian history, Norges krone - Kroninger, signinger og maktkamper fra sagatid til nåtid, is of course of some relevance to the King's Silver Jubilee, and in connection with the jubilee I have had several related articles published.
In this year's first issue of the history magazine Aftenposten Historie, which is on sale from today, I have an eight-page article on the origins of the rites of coronation and anointing. The last Norwegian coronation was that of Haakon VII in 1906, but his son, Olav V, instituted a new tradition to replace coronations, namely a solemn blessing, making Norway the only European monarchy besides Britain that still marks the accession of a new monarch with a solemn religious ritual. On Saturday, I had an article in the newspaper Vårt Land about the transition from coronations to solemn blessings and its significance to King Olav, which is now also available online (external link). On the same day, I also wrote a piece in the newspaper VG on King Olav's struggle to introduce this new ritual, looking in particular at how he clashed with Prime Minister Einar Gerhardsen, who wanted at most a much simpler service. This is also available online (external link), but only to subscribers, I am afraid.

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