31 October 2014

Colorful Diadems

A Belle Epoque style sapphire and diamond tiara, 1910's.

A Belle Epoque style diamond and ruby tiara/necklace combination, 1915.

A tiara originally made for the Duchesse d'Angoulême in 1820, it later became a favorite tiara of the Empress Eugénie of France (1826-1920).

An emerald and diamond tiara originally made for the Empress Josephine of France (1763-1814), it is now in the collection of the Norwegian royal family and is often worn by Queen Sonja.

A garnet, natural pearl, cultured pearl, and diamond tiara by Aage Dragsted, 1930's.

A gem-set silver and silver gilt crown from North India, the late 19th to the early 20th century.

A ruby and diamond tiara that King Edward VII gave to Princess Margaret of Connaught (1882-1920) on her wedding day to King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden in 1905. It is still in the collection of the Swedish royal family.

A cabochon sapphire and diamond tiara.

A sapphire and diamond tiara, designed as a band of hexagons graduated in size from the front of the tiara, 1930's.

30 October 2014

King Olav V of Norway


Olav V (Alexander Edward Christian Frederik; 2 July 1903 – 17 January 1991) was the King of Norway from 1957 until his death. A member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Olav was the son of Haakon VII and Maud of Wales.

He became heir apparent when his father was elected king in 1905. He was the first heir to the Norwegian throne to be brought up in Norway since Olav IV, and his parents made sure he was given as Norwegian an upbringing as possible. In preparation for his royal duties, he attended both civilian and military schools. In 1929, he married his first cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden. During World War II his leadership was much appreciated and he was appointed Norwegian Chief of Defence in 1944. At his death, he was the last surviving grandchild of Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexandra of Denmark.


Due to his considerate, down-to-earth style, King Olav was immensely popular, resulting in the nickname Folkekongen ("The People's King"). In a 2005 poll by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Olav was voted "Norwegian of the century". Born as prince of Denmark in Appleton House, Flitcham, United Kingdom,Olav was named Alexander Edward Christian Frederik. His parents were Prince Carl, second son of King Frederick VIII of Denmark, and Princess Maud, youngest daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. When his father was elected king of Norway, he took the Norwegian name Haakon VII, and on the day he was inaugurated, he gave his son the Norwegian name Olav.


Olav was the first heir to the throne since mediaeval times to grow up in Norway. Unlike his father, who was a naval officer, Olav chose to do his main military education in the army. He graduated from the three-year Norwegian Military Academy in 1924, with the fourth best score in his class. Olav then went on to study jurisprudence and economics for two years at Balliol College, Oxford.

During the 1930s, Crown Prince Olav was a naval cadet serving on the minelayer/cadet training ship Olav Tryggvason. Olav moved upwards in the ranks of the Norwegian armed forces, rising in the army from an initial rank of first lieutenant, to captain in 1931 and colonel in 1936.


He was an accomplished athlete. Olav jumped from the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, and also competed in sailing regattas. He won a gold medal in sailing at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam and remained an active sailor into old age.

On 21 March 1929 in Oslo, he married his first cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden with whom he had one son, Harald, and two daughters, Ragnhild and Astrid. As exiles during World War II, Crown Princess Märtha and the Royal children lived in Washington, D.C., where she struck up a close friendship with Franklin D. Roosevelt. She died in 1954, before her husband ascended the throne.

The British Film Institute houses an early film, made in 1913, in which a miniature car commissioned by Queen Alexandra for the Crown Prince Olav tows a procession of Londoners through the streets of the capital, before being delivered to a pair of 'royal testers' of roughly Olav's age.



As Crown Prince, Olav had received extensive military training and had participated in most major Norwegian military exercises. Because of this he was perhaps one of the most knowledgeable Norwegian military leaders and was respected by other Allied leaders for his knowledge and leadership skills. During a visit to the United States before the war, he and his wife had established a close relationship with President Roosevelt. These factors would prove to be important for the Norwegian fight against the attacking German forces.


In 1939, Crown Prince Olav was appointed an admiral of the Royal Norwegian Navy and a general of the Norwegian Army.



During World War II, Olav stood by his father's side in resisting the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany. During the campaign he was a valuable advisor both to civilian and military leaders. When the Norwegian government decided to go into exile, he offered to stay behind with the Norwegian people, but this was declined. So, against all his deep patriotic instincts, he reluctantly fled with/followed his father to the United Kingdom, where he and his staff and servants and aides continued to be a key advisor to the government-in-exile and his father. It is a popular legend among his countrymen that he did not allow himself any dessert or sweets for the duration of the Norwegian occupation.

Olav made several visits to Norwegian and Allied troops in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. In 1944, he was appointed to the post of Norwegian Chief of Defence and after the war he led the Norwegian disarmament of the German occupying forces. His war decorations from other nations, including the War Crosses of Norway, France, Greece and the Netherlands, the US Legion of Merit and the French Médaille Militaire, are testament to the international recognition of his contribution to the war against Hitler.


Succeeding to the Norwegian Throne in 1957 upon his father's death, Olav reigned as a "People's King," and became extremely popular. He liked to drive his own cars, and would drive in the public lanes, even though as a monarch he was allowed to drive in private transport lanes. During the 1973 energy crisis driving was banned on certain weekends. King Olav never wanted to miss an opportunity to go skiing, and while he could have driven legally, he wanted to lead by example. So he dressed up in his skiing outfit, and boarded the Holmenkollbanen suburban railway carrying his skis on his shoulder. He was later asked how he dared to go out in public without bodyguards. He replied that “he had 4 million bodyguards" —the population of Norway was at the time was 4 million.

For his athletic ability and role as King, Olav V earned the Holmenkollen medal in 1968. He had a strong interest in military matters and took his role as titular Commander-in-Chief very seriously. As well as his ceremonial roles in the Norwegian Army, he also served as Colonel-in-Chief of the Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Yorkshire Regiment), the British regiment named for his grandmother Queen Alexandra.

The King represented Norway extensively abroad during his reign, conducting state visits to both neighbouring countries and more distant destinations such as Ethiopia.

King Olav V opened the 14th World Scout Jamboree in July 1975 in the presence of 17,259 Scouts from 94 countries.


He was an accomplished athlete. Olav jumped from the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, and also competed in sailing regattas. He won a gold medal in sailing at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam and remained an active sailor into old age.

On 21 March 1929 in Oslo, he married his first cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden with whom he had one son, Harald, and two daughters, Ragnhild and Astrid. As exiles during World War II, Crown Princess Märtha and the Royal children lived in Washington, D.C., where she struck up a close friendship with Franklin D. Roosevelt. She died in 1954, before her husband ascended the throne.

The British Film Institute houses an early film, made in 1913, in which a miniature car commissioned by Queen Alexandra for the Crown Prince Olav tows a procession of Londoners through the streets of the capital, before being delivered to a pair of 'royal testers' of roughly Olav's age.



*Thanks to Wikipedia for the Olav V biography.

28 October 2014

The Royal Family of the Netherlands

Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

The new King and Queen of the Netherlands.

The smiling happy royal family of the Netherlands.


The King with his eldest daughter and heir, Princess Amalia, the Princess of Orange.

The Queen and King of the Netherlands with their three lovely daughters.

The Queen with her three daughters.

Princess Alexia, Queen Maxima, Princess Ariane, King Willem Alexander, and Princess Amalia.

The couple with one of their newborn daughters.

On a skiing holiday with their three daughters and Princess Beatrix, at right.

Willem-Alexander and Maxima with their two eldest daughters, Amalia and Alexia.

The young King and Queen with there three daughters.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands poses with the cast of the musical Hij Gelooft in Mij (He Believes in Me), after a benefit performance in Amsterdam.

A young King Willem-Alexander.

27 October 2014

The always lovely Princess Märtha Louise

Princess Martha Louise with Prince Carl Philip of Sweden.

Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise was born at Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo on 22 September 1971. She is the oldest child of His Majesty King Harald and Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway. She has one brother, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon.

The Princess was named after her father’s mother, Crown Princess Märtha, and her great-great grandmother, Queen Louise, the mother of King Haakon VII. A constitutional amendment adopted in 1990 established the right of eldest born child to succeed to the Throne regardless of gender; however, as the amendment entered into force long after the Princess and Crown Prince were born, it was decided that males would continue to take precedence over females for children born prior to 1990.



Princess Märtha Louise and her brother spent their childhood at Skaugum Estate, near Oslo. Her parents attached great importance to giving their children an upbringing that was as similar as possible to that of other Norwegian children, and both the Princess and the Crown Prince attended a municipal day-care centre and a local primary school, and took part in various after school activities. The Princess sung in a choir and played the flute, and for many years she was a member of a folk dancing group at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. She was also an avid equestrian.


The Princess attended Smestad school in Oslo. She completed her upper secondary education at Kristelig Gymnasium in Oslo in 1990, with an emphasis on languages. That same autumn the Princess moved to England to train at Waterstock House Training Centre and to study literature at the University of Oxford. She later trained at Arena UK to perfect her skills as a show jumper.  In autumn 1992 Princess Märtha Louise began attending Bjørknes Privatskole in Oslo. She subsequently pursued a physiotherapy education programme at Oslo University College. After finishing the programme, the Princess completed her practical training in Maastricht, the Netherlands. In December 1997 she was awarded her formal qualification as a physiotherapist, and in 2000 she qualified as a Rosen practitioner. She also concentrated on her career as a show jumper, and was a member of the national equestrian team for several years. She retired from show jumping in 2000.


Princess Märtha Louise became engaged to the author, Mr Ari Behn, on 13 December 2001. The couple were married in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 24 May 2002. Bishop Finn Wagle presided over the ceremony  The Princess and her husband have three daughters, Miss Maud Angelica Behn, born at Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo on 29 April 2003, Miss Leah Isadora Behn, born at the couple’s summer home, Bloksbjerg at Hankø, on 8 April 2005 and Miss Emma Tallulah Behn born at Lommedalen on 29 September 2008.  All three were christened in the Palace Chapel: Miss Maud Angelica on 2 July 2003, Miss Leah Isadora on 16 June 2005 and Miss Emma Tallulah on 20 January 2009.  The Princess lives with her family in Lommedalen, in Bærum, outside of Oslo.

Martha Louise wearing an amethyst and diamond parure that has also been worn by Crown Princess Mette-Marit, her sister-in-law.

Princess Märtha Louise undertakes official engagements as a representative of the Royal Family in areas concerning persons with disabilities.
She is also active as patron of six organisations, and as Chair of Princess Märtha Louise's Fund. Allocations from the fund are awarded to projects that aim to benefit disabled children.


Princess Märtha Louise has long been engaged in cultural work, and especially in disseminating traditional Norwegian fairy tales to a wider audience. Among other activities, she has starred in a storytelling series on Norwegian television. The Princess is the author of several books and audiobooks, and has participated in the production of television programmes for children.  The Princess established a sole proprietorship on 1 January 2002 under which she conducts her independent professional activities in the cultural sphere and as a Rosen therapist. As of that date she has been subject to Norwegian tax laws.  In 2007 The Princess established Astarte Education with Elisabeth Nordeng.






An official portrait of Martha Louise. She is wearing an antique diamond tiara that once belonged to Queen Maud.

*Thanks to RoyalCourt.no for the Martha Louise biography.

26 October 2014

Prince Sverre Magnus

Prince Sverre Magnus is the youngest child of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway.


His Highness Prince Sverre Magnus was born on 3 December 2005 at Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo. The Prince is third in line of succession to the throne.

The Prince was christened in the Palace Chapel by Bishop Ole Kristian Kvarme on 4 March 2006.

His godparents are Her Majesty The Queen of Norway, Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Her Royal Highness Princess Rosario of Bulgaria, Mr Espen Høiby, Mr Bjørn Stensland and Ms Marianne Gjellestad.

In autumn 2007 Prince Sverre Magnus began attending kindergarten in Asker, and on 18 August 2011 he began attending Jansløkka elementary school. On 18 August 2014 Sverre Magnus began attending Oslo Montessori school.



Prince Sverre Magnus has his mother's beautiful blue eyes and blond hair.






*Thanks to RoyalCourt.no for the Sverre Magnus biography.