7 Essential Details About the Norwegian Royal Family You Probably Didn’t Know

We know just about everything about Prince William, Kate Middleton, and the rest of the British royal family—thanks in part to Netflix's hit series, The Crown. However, they’re not the only royal clan that inspired a compelling TV series.

Perhaps you've heard of Atlantic Crossing, PBS's eight-part historical drama that follows the Norwegian royal family after Crown Princess Märtha and her children flee the 1940 Nazi invasion of Norway. In the series, we learn that they journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean to get to America, where the princess became fast friends with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. But now, we're curious to learn more about who currently represents the monarchy.

For instance, who is in the Norwegian line of succession? And where does the royal family live? Keep reading for details.

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norwegian royal family
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1. Who Currently Represents the Norwegian Royal Family?

The current heads of the Norwegian royal family are King Harald and his wife, Queen Sonja. Similar to the U.K., Norway is considered a “constitutional monarchy.” While there is one person (i.e., a king) who acts as the head of state, the duties are mainly ceremonial. The majority of the power lies within parliament, which includes the country’s elected bodies.

norwegian royal family king harald
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2. Who Is King Harald?

King Harald ascended the throne in 1991 after the death of his father, King Olav V. As the third child and only son of the monarch, Harald was born into the role of Crown Prince, which made him the first prince to be born in Norway in 567 years. However, he wasn’t always tied to his royal duties. In fact, the royal represented Norway in sailing at the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games. (NBD)

As it turns out, King Harald is the late Queen Elizabeth's second cousin, since they shared the same great-grandparents, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. This means that he and King Charles III are second cousins once removed—and they have quite a bit in common. Per the Norwegian king's official biography, he's a hunter and fisherman who "enjoys spending time in the wilderness" and is "deeply concerned with environmental issues."

norwegian royal family queen sonja
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3. Who Is Queen Sonja?

The queen was born in Oslo to parents Karl August Haraldsen and Dagny Ulrichsen. During her studies, she obtained degrees in multiple subjects, including fashion design, French and art history.

Queen Sonja dated King Harald for nine years before tying the knot at Oslo Cathedral in 1968. Prior to the marriage, their relationship wasn’t widely accepted by the royal family due to the simple fact that she was a commoner.

As part of her royal duties, the queen accompanies the king on official state visits abroad and participates when foreign heads of state visit Norway. Additionally, she serves as patron of several fundraising initiatives, including Norway's humanitarian telethon campaign.

norwegian royal family prince haakon
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4. Do They Have Any Children?

King Harald and Queen Sonja have two children: Crown Prince Haakon (49) and Princess Märtha Louise (51).

Prince Haakon is married to Miss Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby and they share three children: Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra (19) and His Highness Prince Sverre Magnus (17). She also has one son, Marius Borg Høiby (26), from her previous relationship with Morten Borg.

Meanwhile, Princess Märtha Louise is not married, but she is currently in a relationship with Durek Verrett. She also shares three daughters with her former husband, Ari Behn: Maud Angelica (20), Leah Isadora (18), and Emma Tallulah. While the princess's children are members of the royal family, they live as private citizens and do not hold official titles.

king harald v of norway queen sonja of norway
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5. Who Is in the Norwegian Line of Succession?

The line of succession follows Article six of the Norwegian Constitution, which reads, "The order of succession is lineal, so that only a child born in lawful wedlock of the Queen or King, or of one who is herself or himself entitled to the succession may succeed, and so that the nearest line shall take precedence over the more remote and the elder in the line over the younger."

Here is the full line of succession:

  1. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon
  2. Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra
  3. His Highness Prince Sverre Magnus
  4. Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise
  5. Miss Maud Angelica Behn
  6. Miss Leah Isadora Behn
  7. Miss Emma Tallulah Behn

You may notice that Marius Borg Høiby isn't included on the list. This is due to the fact that he isn't the biological son of Prince Haakon.

norwegian royal family monarchy
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6. What Is the Royal House Vs. the Royal Family?

In Norway, there’s a difference between the royal house and the royal family. While the latter refers to every blood relative, the royal house is far more exclusive. Currently, it includes King Harald, Queen Sonja and the heir apparent: Prince Haakon. Haakon’s wife, Princess Mette-Marit, and his first-born child, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, are also considered members.

norwegian royal family palace
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7. Where Do They Live?

The Norwegian royal family currently resides at The Royal Palace in Oslo. The residence was originally built in the early 19th century for King Charles III John. As of today, it consists of 173 different rooms (including its own chapel).


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...