22 March 2014

The time I met Princess Martha Louise of Norway

I met Princess Martha Louise of Norway in 2006 when she was touring the US, promoting her children's book, Why Kings and Queens Don't Wear Crowns, illustrated by Svein Nyhus.

Princess Martha Louise came to Seattle twice, actually, but I missed her the first time around, but caught her at the downtown Seattle Barnes and Noble Bookstore during her second trip. I am the blurry character in the front right of the picture. I was so excited to meet her, and was too nervous to ask her any questions.
The beautiful princess. I remember she was wearing Guess? brand shoes.

My personalized autograph from the Princess (my first name is Allison; the name I use for this blog, Marie, is my middle name).

Martha Louise read the book to the apt audience of 5 people. Also, as was obvious by her facial expression, she was incredibly disappointed that almost no one showed up to hear her read the book. The bookstore tried in vain to collect a bigger audience by announcing over its loudspeaker that Princess Martha Louise was there, but to no avail.
My favorite part about the Princess' reading of her book was the way she said "Little Olav," in such an endearing way. I also learned how a Norwegian pronounces "Haakon" and "Maud." She also had a little green parakeet as a child, and she would have it attack her nanny, whom she didn't like much, I guess.

The newspaper clipping from the Seattle Times for her first visit to Seattle in October of 2005.
Seattle has its own share of Norwegian history. Many descendants of Norwegians live in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, and in 1975, Bergen Place in Ballard was dedicated by King Olav V of Norway. This plaque is right near the Ballard Sunday Farmer's Market, so if you're ever in town, take a look. King Olav was Princess Martha Louise's grandfather, and son of King Haakon VII, the first King of Norway.
Another anecdote that Martha Louise shared was a time when Queen Elizabeth II visited her home, and she had a beautiful white fur coat that she had left, hung up on a coat hook in a different room. Princess Martha Louise, being a small child, put the jacket on and was dancing around in it when her parents and Queen Elizabeth walked into the room! I don't remember if she said she got in trouble or not.