21 September 2017

Author Olav Duun's childhood home and grave

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway are currently paying a county visit to Nord-Trøndelag. Today they arrived at the island of Jøa in the municipality of Fosnes, where they among others visited the childhood of the author Olav Duun (1876–1939). On the Royal Court's official website you will find will find an article about today's visit to Jøa as well as photos from the country tour. See also NRK.no.

Duun was born at the farm Stein nearby, but lived at Øver-Dun farm at Ramnfjellaksla from he was 7-8 years old until he was 25. After he married Emma Møller (1881–1970) in 1908, he lived in Botne in Vestfold county (Botne became a part of Holmestrand municipality in 1964). He died in Tønsberg in 1939 and was buried at Dun Cemetery at Jøa near his childhood home.

I visited Jøa and Olav Duun's childhood home two years ago. Here are some photos of the farm Øver-Dun and Dun Church and Cemetery.





For no particular reason I never took photos of the entrance side of the house. But you you can see one photo of the Crown Prince couple in the door opening here.

 The Olav Duun memorial behind the farm house.



From the back side of the headstone you can actually spot Olav Duun's childhood home.


The first church at Dun was consecrated in 1900. It burnt down in 1944. The present church was consecrated 5 years later.

All photos: © 2015 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. 

6 September 2017

Denmark: Prince Henrik suffers from dementia

The Danish Royal Court issued today the following press statement concerning Prince Henrik's health:
It is with deep regret that Her Majesty The Queen has asked the Lord Chamberlain to announce:

Following a longer course of investigation, and most recently, a series of examinations conducted during late summer, a team of specialists at Rigshospitalet has now concluded that His Royal Highness Prince Henrik suffers from dementia.

The diagnosis implies a decline in The Prince’s cognitive functional level. The extent of the cognitive failure is, according to Rigshospitalet, greater than expected considering the age of The Prince, and can be accompanied by changes in behaviour, reaction patterns, judgement and emotional life and may therefore also affect the interaction with the outside world.

As a consequence of the diagnosis, The Prince will further downgrade his future activities, just as patronages and honorary memberships will be considered.

It is the wish of The Queen and the Royal Family that The Prince will have the peace and quiet as required by the situation. 
During her new year's speech in 2015, Queen Margrethe announced that Prince Henrik had decided to retire from his official duties as of January 2016. A few months later he decided to stop using his title «Prince Consort» and reverted to being «just» Prince Henrik. On 3 August 2017 the Danish Royal Court informed that the prince had requested «not to be buried in Roskilde Cathedral as otherwise planned». The reason for his rather surprising decision was that he felt he was discriminated against because he had not received the title of king (consort) and thus felt he was not on equal foot with his wife the queen. Following the press release, he made comments to the media saying among others that the queen had made a fool of him. Prince Henrik has been occupied with the idea of being titled as king consort for quite some time, but his rather erratic behaviour in August made many observers feel that something was wrong with him. Although one could understand the reasoning behind his demands, his way of punishing his wife was uncalled for. In other words, today's press release doesn't come as a big surprise, and his health situation obviously explains his behaviour to a large extent. It is just sad that the court didn't protect him better back in August, and equally sad that the media didn't follow the Danish set of principles concerning press ethics, as it was obvoious to most people that the prince needed to be protected against himself.

I also hope not only that the media now will respect Prince Henrik's need for peace and quiet, but also that the public will also remember his many years of tireless work for the good of Denmark.



4 September 2017

UK: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child

Just before the name of Prince Gabriel of Sweden was announced in the Council of State at Stockholm Palace today, the British Royal Court at Kensington Palace informed that Catherine, the wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, was pregnant again:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child.

The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.

As with her previous two pregnancies, The Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Her Royal Highness will no longer carry out her planned engagement at the Hornsey Road Children's Centre in London today. The Duchess is being cared for at Kensington Palace.
As far as I know no information has been revealed about the due date, but obviously the duchess is less than 12 weeks pregnant, so the baby will be born some time in the spring of 2018.

The ducal couple's first child, Prince George, was born in 2013, while the second child, Princess Charlotte, arrived in 2015.

Sweden: HRH Prince Gabriel Carl Walther, Duke of Dalarna

In the Council of State held at Stockholm Palace today it was announced (*) that Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia's son, who was born on Thursday 31 July 2017, had received the name Gabriel Carl Walther. It was also announced his first given name Gabriel was to be his call name. He had also received the title Duke of Dalarna.

When I commented on the name possibilities on Thursday, I said that everything was possible. That was why I argued, with my tongue in cheek, that Alfred was a good alternative for the newborn prince. It would go well together with his brother Alexander's name  as well. I was certain, however, that Folke would be one of the names, as the three earlier princes of the present generation – Nicolas (Paul Gustaf), Oscar (Carl Olof) and Alexander (Erik Hubertus Bertil) – all had got one of their names from their grandfather King Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus. But I was wrong on that as well.

In the end no-one had guessed Gabriel for the baby prince's call name. No members of the Bernadotte family have the name Gabriel. But in the European Royal Family we have Prince Gabriel of Belgium – second child of King Philippe – and Prince Gabriel of Nassau, eldest son of Prince Louis. So in other words not a tradtional Swedish royal name, but something the parents opted out of personal preference. They might have felt that as Prince Gabriel was far down in the line of succession, they were less bound by tradition. Then again, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel were not so committed to royal traditions when they named their first child Estelle... Prime minister Stefan Löfven said that the prince «without any doubt was a little Gabriel», whatever he meant by that.

Gabriel is a common name in Sweden, but not among the most popular names. According to Statistiscs Sweden, 341 boys received the name Gabriel last year, which resulted in a 42nd place. All in all 17 709 men in Sweden have the name Gabriel, while 10 297 men has Gabriel as their call name.

It should be added that there have been a few surprises earlier as well. Just think about Prince Sigvard and Prince Lennart. The name Gabriel, even though it is not a traditional Swedish royal name, will work well, and it goes well together with Alexander too, I think.

The second name Carl is of course a very popular royal name in Swedish history. It is part of the current king's name, and is also the second name of Prince Gabriel's first cousin Prince Oscar. The third name Walther obviously comes from Queen Silvia's father Walther Sommerlath (1901–1990). One of her brothers also has the name Walther.

Many had guessed that Prince Gabriel would receive the ducal title of Dalarna, because his mother Princess Sofia grew up there. Then again, so did many before Prince Alexander's title was announced. As Trond Norén Isaksen pointed out in his blog article today, it was actually «the first time that such personal connections are taken into consideration for the choice of dukedom». Isaksen wrote, by the way, an excellent article on Swedish Royal Dukedoms in Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 2, 2016.

Prince Gabriel is the third member of the Bernadotte dynasty to receive the title Duke of Dalarna. Previous dukes of Dalarna were Prince August (1831–1873) and Prince Carl Johan (1916–2012) until he lost his titles in 1946.

Following the birth of Prince Gabriel, the line of succession to the Swedish throne is as follows:
  1. Crown Princess Victoria (1977)
  2. Princess Estelle (2012)
  3. Prince Oscar (2016)
  4. Prince Carl Philip (1979)
  5. Prince Alexander (2016) 
  6. Prince Gabriel (2017)
  7. Princess Madeleine (1982)
  8. Princess Leonore (2014)
  9. Prince Nicolas (2015)
(*) English version of the announcement.

Updated on Tuesday 5 September 2017 at 09.30 (subject title standardization).

31 August 2017

Royal birth in Sweden: A son for Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia

The second child of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia was expected to take place in September, but arrived already today. The Marshal of the Realm released the following press statement earlier today:
Announcement from the HE The Marshal of the Realm

The Office of The Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce that HRH Princess Sofia gave birth to a healthy child Thursday the 31 August 2017 at 11.24am at Danderyd Hospital.

Both mother and child are in good health.

Svante Lindqvist
Marshal of the Realm
Just like when the newborn baby's brother Prince Alexander was born, the sex of the child was not revealed until Prince Carl Philip held a press conference. That event took place at Danderyd Hospital around 3 p.m., and the court released another press statement:
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia have had a son

On Thursday 31 August at 11.24 am, Princess Sofia gave birth to a son at Danderyd Hospital in Stockholm.

Weight: 3.400 gram
Length: 49 cm

Both mother and child are in good health.

Prince Carl Philip was present at Danderyd Hospital throughout the birth. In the afternoon, Prince Carl Philip met the media at Danderyd Hospital.
Just like when Prince Alexander and Prince Nicolas (the second child of Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill) were born, midwife Anna Ståhl and birth doctor Sophia Brismar Wendel assisted the birth.

The newborn prince is no. 6 in the line of succession to the Swedish throne, after his brother Prince Alexander, but before his aunt Princess Madeleine. The prince is King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia's fourth grandson and sixth grandchild.

The happy event was marked by a salute – 21 shots – from the salute stations in Boden, Härnösand, Karlskrona and Gothenburg at 6 p.m.

The court has also informed that a Council of State, in which the name and ducal title will be announced, and a service of thanksgiving («Te Deum»), will take place on Monday 4 September 2017 at the Royal Palace.

The name guessing has of course already started. It has been rather difficult to predict the names of the royal babies in Sweden. Prince Oscar, the son of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, was perhaps the exception. So it is not easy to say what to expect. Everything is possible! I have said many times before that my personal preference would be a traditional Swedish royal name – and now I am first of all thinking about the name to be used daily – or at least a traditional European royal name. Alternatively a name with Swedish/Norse roots. So I was actually quite pleased with choice of the name Alexander for Prince Carl Philip's eldest son. I have read that many have mentioned William – or Wilhelm – as a possibility. I agree that the name would go well together with Alexander. In the Facebook group Royalty Digest Quarterly I suggested – just for fun, mind you – the name Alfred and the ducal title Dalarna. At least Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, was a distant relative of the newborn baby. And I think Alfred would go well with Alexander. I am confident, however, that I will be wrong on at least one of the guesses, probably on both accounts.

What about the other names? An interesting point, as made by Robert Warholm at the Facebook group Kungligt forum back in 2016, is that the three earlier princes Nicolas (Paul Gustaf), Oscar (Carl Olof) and Alexander (Erik Hubertus Bertil) all have got one of their names from their grandfather King Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus. So I think that we can expect Folke as one of the given names. Princess Sofia's grandfathers were named Stig and Janne Herbert, just to mention it. So, how about Alfred Wilhelm Herbert Folke?!

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia could be influenced by the current trends. According to Statistics Sweden, these were the most popular names for the boys born in 2016:
  1. Oskar 879
  2. Lucas 864
  3. William 850
  4. Liam 790
  5. Oliver 700
  6. Hugo 688
  7. Alexander 668
  8. Elias 664 
  9. Charlie 650 
  10. Noah 627

27 August 2017

Sweden: Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill to become parents for the third time

The Swedish Royal Court announced today that Princess Madeleine and her husband Christopher O'Neill are expecting their third child in March 2018:
HRH Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill are expecting a child

HRH Princess Madeleine and Mr. Christopher O'Neill are delighted to announce that The Princess is expecting their third child.

The Princess is feeling well and the birth is expected to take place in March 2018.
The couple's first child, Princess Leonore, was born in New York City on 20 February 2014. The second child, Prince Nicolas, was born on 15 June 2015.

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are expected to become parents again for the second time in September, which means that the March child will become King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia's seventh grandchild.

In other words, the Swedish royal house is blessed with many princes and princesses. The king has decided that all his grandchildren will receive the title of Prince or Princess as well as a ducal title. In the next generation I expect that the royal titles will be reserved for the grandchildren of Crown Princess Victoria.

13 July 2017

Romslektenes hærverk på gravminner i Oslo

Sist søndag kveld skrev jeg en kort bloggartikkel etter besøket mitt på Alfaset gravlund i Oslo tidligere på dagen. Under besøket passerte jeg gravfeltet til romslektene i Norge og oppdaget at graven til Marina Jansen var blitt utsatt for hærverk. Jeg har siden forsøkt å få klarhet i når dette kan ha skjedd, men har ikke fått noen svar. Jeg nevnte at også Karoli-graven på Vestre gravlund  var blitt utsatt for hærverk ved minst et par anledninger, og at jeg kanskje ville komme tilbake til dette ved leilighet. Her følger noen bilder fra Vestre gravlund tatt med års mellomrom samt bilder fra Alfaset gravlund tatt i 2016 og i dag.

 01. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, august 2005.

 02. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, august 2005.

 03. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, april 2007.

 04. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, mai 2015.

05. Dronningkrone skal det være! Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, mai 2015.

 06. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, juli 2017.

 07. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, juli 2017.

 08. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, juli 2017.

 09. Malepenselen lå igjen etter gravskjendningen på graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, juli 2017.

 10. Graven til Milos og Lisa Jansen, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, april 2016.

 11. Graven til Milos og Lisa Jansen, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, april 2016.

 12. Graven til Milos og Lisa Jansen, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, 12. juli 2017.

 13. Graven til Milos og Lisa Jansen, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, 12. juli 2017.

 14. Graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, 12. juli 2017.


15. Navneplaten på graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, 12. juli 2017.

 16. Gravplaten på graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund , Oslo, 12. juli 2017.

17. Graven til Frans Josef (1919–1989), Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, 12. juli 2017.

Den såkalte sigøynerdronningen, Lola Karoli, f. 1929, døde i 1996 og ble gravlagt på Vestre gravlund i et eget gravkammer. Ifølge romfolkets gravtradisjon kan ikke kisten berøre jord og derfor har romfolket fått tillatelse til å bygge egne gravkamre. Lolas ektefelle, Polykarp Karoli, på gravplaten (se for eksempel bilde 02), stod det forresten Polikina, døde i 2001 og ble gravlagt samme sted. Man kan se bilder fra begravelsen blant annet i en reportasje TV2.no skrev etter gravskjendingen i 2010. Lola og Polykarp var forresten folkeregistrert under navnene Eva og Pål Karlsen, jf. Gravferdsetatens offentlige register (Begravdeioslo.no).

Under studietiden jobbet jeg en sommer som gartner på Vestre gravlund, men det var før Lola Karoli døde. Senere har jeg besøkt gravlunden med jevne mellomrom for å ta bilder for diverse slektsartikler og andre slektsforskningsprosjekter, samt for å besvare såkalte «photo requests», bildeønsker, på nettsiden Findagrave.com. Jeg har derfor passert og/eller stukket innom Karoli-graven flere ganger.

Natt til 17. mai 2010 ble gravmonumentet utsatt for hærverk. Som man kan se av TV2.no's reportasje ble «gravhodet» revet over ende og tilsølt med maling. Ifølge reportasjen skal et motiv for udåden ha vært at «gravrøvere ville plyndre sigøynerdronningen», ettersom ryktet gikk på at Lola «skal ha hatt gull og diamanter for mellom to og tre millioner kroner i kisten da hun ble gravlagt». Jeg er nok litt skeptisk til disse påstandene, men når noe blir gjentatt ofte nok, ender de som regel opp med å bli en vedtatt sannhet. Den eller de som stod bak gravskjendingen lyktes ikke i sitt forehavende, men sørget altså for betydelige ødeleggelser.

«Romfolket mener å vite hvem som står bak gravskjendingen – en tidligere straffedømt mann som tilhører en konkurrerende romfamilie», kunne TV2.no fortelle. Om dette gjaldt et medlem av Jansen-familien, dvs. etterkommere etter Polykarp Karolis yngre bror Milos Jansen (1928–2001), eller et medlem av Josef-familien, har jeg ikke fått klarhet i. Konfliktene, som flere ganger har utartet seg til voldelige sammenstøt mellom de nevnte familiene, har som kjent pågått i mange år.

Når det gjelder gravmonumentet, så passerte jeg det under minst ett gravlundsbesøk mens gravhodet fortsatt lå ved siden av, men jeg tok dessverre aldri bilde av det. Bildene tatt i 2015 dokumenterer i hvert fall at fotoet av Lola Karoli, fotoet av Polykarp Karoli og et fellesfoto var borte, det samme var gravplaten med navnet til Polykarp. Som overhode for Karoli-familien var han en omstridt person, og man tenkte kanskje at det å fjerne navneplaten ville virke preventivt.

16. juni 2017 ble gravmonumentet utsatt for hærværk nok en gang, noe både NRK.no/Østlandssendingen og Aftenposten har skrevet om. Jeg tok bilder av gravmonumentet i går. Som man kan se lot gjerningspersonene malepenselen ligge igjen. Ifølge en representant for Jansen-familien skal hærværket ha vært en hevnaksjon for at farens gravstein var blitt tauet bort. Han vistge altså til gravmomumentet til Milos Jansen på Alfaset gravlund. Jeg må innrømme at jeg ikke la merke til at noe hadde skjedd med Jansen-graven på Alfaset da jeg besøkte gravlunden sist søndag, mest fordi gravskjendingen av Marina Josefs grav var så iøynefallende. Jeg besøkte Alfaset igjen onsdag ettermiddag og så nå at gravhodet var blitt revet ned, men det skulle ikke være noe stort problem å få det på plass igjen. Jeg vet ikke når dette bortauingsforsøket fant sted, men antar at det skjedde i våres en gang. Bilde 10 og 11 over viser hvordan gravmonumentet så ut i april 2016. Den gangen var det faktisk et gravhode tilhørende et annet medlem av Jansen-familien som var blitt revet ned, men jeg lar det ligge nå.

Jeg vet fortsatt ikke hva som ligger bak gravskjendingen av Marina Josefs grav. Det kan godt tenkes at også hun var blitt utsatt for en hevnaksjon som følge av konflikten(e) mellom familiene, men slik jeg har forstått hadde det ikke sammenheng med den pågående konflikten mellom Karoli- og Jansen-familiene. Kanskje vi får vite mer etter hvert.

Noen har besøkt Josef-graven etter at jeg skrev om gravskjendingen søndag, for da jeg var der onsdag ettermiddag var det delvis ryddet opp. Så får vi håpe at familiene nå besinner seg. Det er ille nok at de har latt stridighetene pågå i så mange år, men det er uverdig at de også skal gå løs på gravminnene. Det må det bli slutt på!

Postskript 13. juli 2017 kl. 19.05, endret 14. juli 2017 kl. 09.55. Diverse søk på ulike nettsider og sosiale medier har ledet meg til å tro at hærverket som gravmonumentet til Marina Josef er blitt utsatt for må ha skjedd nokså nylig, kanskje så sent som lørdag kveld. Man kan ellers undre seg litt over at gravskjendingen ikke har fanget nyhetenes interesse på samme måte som tilsølingen av Karoli-graven på Vestre gravlund gjorde, men nå er det vel så at Karoli-slekten er bedre kjent i norsk media enn Josef-slekten, og Vestre gravlund er litt nærmere «begivenhetenes sentrum» enn det Alfaset gravlund er.

De tre største norske romslektene – Karoli, Jansen og Josef (Karoli og Jansen utgår fra to brødre, så de kan også regnes som én slekt) – teller rundt 5–600 medlemmer (jeg har også sett tallet 800), så det er ikke like enkelt å få god nok oversikt over familiene. Det gjør det heller ikke lettere at de norske romer ofte opptrer med forskjellige navn – de folkeregistrerte navnene er ikke nødvendigvis de samme som de bruker innad i miljøet, og i tillegg kommer eventuelle kallenavn. Polykarp Karoli var folkeregistrert som Pål Karlsen, og mange medlemmer har skiftet folkeregistrerte navn én eller flere ganger. Den avdøde Čugurka Karoli, broren til Polykarp og Milos, hadde barn med helt andre etternavn. Med andre ord, det er ikke lett å plassere Marina Josef, og uten godt nok kildebelegg vil jeg ikke spekulere for mye utad, men jeg kan ikke lenger si at det er umulig at gravskjendingen av Marinas grav ikke hadde forbindelser til tilsølingen av Karoli-graven.

Det er ikke annet ennå forsøke å nøste opp i havet av kilder som tross alt finnes og se om det er mulig å skaffe seg en bedre oversikt etter hvert. Jeg har i mange år vært interessert i de norske romslektenes historie, både fra eldre og nyere tid, og har samlet mye materiale opp gjennom årene, men har ennå ikke gått så systematisk gjennom det. Jeg vet at også andre historikere og slektsforskere har jobbet mye og godt med slektshistorien. Jeg har drevet med slektsforskning i mange år, og har de siste årene også fungert som administrator for og bidragsyter til Slektshistoriewiki. Hovedutfordringen min har lenge vært at jeg synes de aller fleste slektene er interessante og spennende, det være seg fyrsteslekter, adelsslekter, egne slekter, arbeiderslekter eller romslekter, for å gi noen eksempler. Derfor jobber jeg litt for ofte med litt for mange prosjekter på én gang. Men noe har jeg da fått fullført, og mer kommer ...

Når det gjelder gravskjendingen på Vestre gravlund i 2010, så skrev TV2.no vel 3 år senere at hærverket ikke hadde angivelig nedgravne edelstener som motiv, men skyldtes konflikten mellom Karoli- og Josef-slektene.

Oppdatert torsdag 13. juli 2017 kl. 13.30 (et par, tre ortografiske feil); torsdag 13. juli 2017 kl. 19.05 (postskript); sist gang fredag 14. juli 2017 kl. 09.55 (retting av ortografisk feil, tilføyelse av avsnitt).