Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Olav V of Norway
Olav V (July 2, 1903 - January 17, 1991) reigned as King of Norway from 1957 to 1991. Born in England, the son of Prince Carl of Denmark and of Princess Maud, (daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom), and given the names and title of Alexander Edward Christian Fredrik, Prince of Denmark, he assumed the name Olav when his father became King Haakon VII of Norway in 1905.
On March 21, 1929, he married Princess Märtha Louise of Sweden (like him, a direct descendant of Josephine de Beauharnais) 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 Delano Roosevelt. She died in 1954, before her husband ascended the throne.
Olav reigned as a king of the people, and became extremely popular. He liked to drive his own cars and would drive in the regular highway lanes though he was allowed to drive in the public transportation lane. During the 1973 energy crisis Norway banned car-driving for certain weekends, but the king, not wishing to miss an opportunity to go skiing outside Oslo, took the tram. When he tried to pay for his tickets, the conductor told him that people further back had already paid for him. A journalist once asked him if he was afraid to walk around unprotected, he answered Why should I be afraid? I have 4 million bodyguards! -- referring to the Norwegian people.
King Olav also was an accomplished athelete. He jumped from Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, and also competed in sailing regatas. He won a gold medal in the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, in sailing (6m mixed) and was an active sailor until old age. He had a strong interest in military matters and took his role as titular commander-in-chief very seriously.
The night after he died and for several days up until the state funeral, Norway saw a great demonstration of mourning as Norwegians lit hundreds of thousands of candles in the courtyard outside the Royal Castle in Oslo, with letters and cards placed amongst them. The National Archives have preserved all these cards. He was nicknamed "Folkekongen" (English: "The people's king".)
Olav's son Harald V succeeded him as King.
In 2004, biographer Tor Bomann-Larsen raised the possibility that Haakon VII might not have been the biological father of Olav. Bomann-Larsen provided non-conclusive evidence that Maud could have been made pregnant through artificial insemination with the semen of either her doctor, Sir Francis Laking , or his son Guy Laking. In addition to circumstantial evidence related to the whereabouts of Haakon (then Karl) at the time of conception, Bomann-Larsen supported his hypothesis with photographs of Guy Laking which show a strinking resemblance with Olav. In March 2005, historian Odd Arvid Storsveen at the University of Oslo published a highly critical review of of Bomann-Larsen's book. Storsveen claims that there does not exist adequate sourcing for Bomann-Larsen's "hypothesis" that Olav wasn't the biological son of Haakon and is further extremely critical of the way Bomann-Larsen uses photographic resemblance as "proof".
Royalists agree that even if Bomann-Larsen's theory should be true, it would not have constitutional consequences for the royal house of Norway, in large part because the plebiscite that made Haakon king also included consideration of Olav's hereditary status.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details