“The Kings of the Liberation”
H.M. King Harald V of Norway was born at the Crown Prince residence Skaugum outside of Oslo on February 21st in 1937 as the son of H.R.H. Crown Prince Olav and H.R.H. Crown Princess Märtha. He is a member of the House of Glücksburg, a Royal house originally from Northern Germany. King Harald is closely related to other European monarchs, such as H.M. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
King Harald is married to H.M. Queen Sonja (born Haraldsen in Oslo in 1937) and they have two children; H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon (born in 1973) and Princess Märtha Louise (born in 1971). The King is the formal head of the Church of Norway and the Norwegian Armed Forces.
King Harald succeeded to the throne of Norway upon the death of his father King Olav V on January 17th 1991, and his benediction was held on June 23rd 1991 in the medieval cathedral Nidarosdomen in Trondheim.
The Norwegian Royal Family is especially closely linked to the events of WWII. When Nazi-Germany invaded Norway on April 9th 1940 the family was forced to flee the country, and came to play an immensely important role in the resistance movement.
The triple portrait “The Kings of the Liberation” was painted to Norway’s Resistance Museum at Akershus fortress at the occasion of the 70 years celebration of the liberation of Norway from Nazi occupation in 2015.
The triptych was unveiled at Akershus fortress on March 26th in the presence of His Majesty as well as the Secretary of Defense, Oslo's Mayor, WWII veterans and some 250 guests. The paintings were a gift from Samlerhuset and Norway’s Resistance Museum’s friends.
The documentary film “The Kings of the Liberation” tells the tale of the Royal Family’s role in WWII and sets Kolby’s portraits of King Haakon, King Olav and King Harald in a historic perspective.
After the liberation in the autumn of 1945 back then Prince Harald was the world’s first Royal to attend a public school. He later studied at the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Military Academy and at the Balliol College in Oxford.
Although Norway is a constitutional monarchy The King is highly involved in the state affairs. He heads the Council of State at The Royal Palace in Oslo every Friday at 11 O’Clock, as well as he has weekly meetings with his Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. His Majesty also conducts the solemn opening of the Parliament every autumn.
King Harald is also an avid sailor and has represented Norway in three Olympic Games as well as several World Championships.
The King is a highly respected monarch, and especially after his very personal and caring involvement after the tragic terror attempt of July 22nd 2011 many a Norwegian expressed their warm feelings for the grandfather-like and heartily warm people’s King.