16 April 2015

Denmark: Queen Margrethe II's 75th birthday celebrations

The official birthday logo. Photo: Torben Eskerod. The logo has been created by the designer Poul Bjørn in co-operation with Wonderful Copenhagen.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark celebrated her 75h birthday today, 16 April 2015. The celebrations began yesterday with a state banquet at Christiansborg Palace, attended by, among others:

The Danish Royal Family
  • HM Queen Margrethe II
  • HRH Crown Prince Frederik
  • HRH Crown Princess Mary
  • HRH Prince Joachim
  • HRH Princess Marie
  • HRH Princess Benedikte
  • HM Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes
  • HM King Constantine of the Hellenes
  • HH Princess Elizabeth
Foreign heads of states and royals
  • HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
  • HM Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • HM King Harald V of Norway
  • HM King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
  • HM Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
  • HM King Philippe of the Belgians
  • HM Queen Mathilde of the Belgians
  • HM King Felipe VI of Spain
  • HM Queen Letizia of Spain
  • HRH Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
  • HE Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland
  • Ms. Dorrit Moussaieff (wife of the president)
Other family
  • HE Count Ingolf of Rosenborg
  • Countess Sussie of Rosenborg
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, other members of the government and other representatives of the official Denmark were also in attendance. Prince Henrik, the Prince Regent, was absent due to illness (flu), while HM Queen Sonja of Norway was on an official engagement in New York, USA. The full guest list can be viewed here.

At 8.30 this morning the traditional birthday morning wake-up for Margrethe II took place at Fredensborg Palace. At noon the Queen, other members of the Danish royal family and even the Norwegian King and Crown Prince couple greeted the people from the balconies of Amalienborg.  Later Queen Margrethe and the Crown Prince couple made a coach ride from Amalienborg to the City Hall, where there was an official greeting and luncheon reception at Copenhagen’s City Hall with participation by representatives from official Denmark, visiting royal guests and the royal family.

At 8 p.m. the birthday was marked by a dinner at Fredensborg Palace, attended by among others:

The Royal Family
  • HM Queen Margrethe
  • HRH Crown Prince Frederik
  • HRH Crown Princess Mary
  • HRH Prince Joachim
  • HRH Princess Marie
  • HRH Princess Benedikte
  • HM Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes
  • HM King Constantine of the Hellenes
  • HH Princess Elizabeth
Foreign royals
  • HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
  • HM Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • HM King Harald V of Norway
  • HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • HRH Prince Daniel of Sweden
  • HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
  • HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Besides Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and the Pesident of the Parliament, Mogens Lykketoft, the guest list included many relatives, members of the nobility and members of the court, for instance several Castenskiolds, Crown Princess Mary's father John Donaldson, Dimitri and Dorrit Romanoff, Count Ingolf and Countess Sussie of Rosenborg, Countess Karin of Rosenborg,
HSH Prince Wilhelm and HSH Princess Ilona of Schamburg-Lippe, Count Bertil Bernadotte af Wisborg, Countess Jill Bernadotte af Wisborg and Count Michael Bernadotte af Wisborg. Prince Henrik, the Prince Regent was also today absent due to the flu he had caught.

Go to the official website to read more about the celebrations.

As a genealogist I thought Rigsarkivet, the Danish National Archives, made a nice gesture by publishing a photo of the entry of the then Princess Margrethe in the church book of Holmens at its Facebook page.

12 April 2015

Fødselsmeldinger for medlemmer av kongefamilien i Oslo byarkiv (Birth reports for members of the royal family in the Oslo City Archives)

Fødelsmeldingen for Erling Sven Lorentzen, 1923.

Jeg besøker fra tid til annen – men dessverre ikke ofte nok – Oslo byarkiv, populært kalt byens «hukommelse». Som historiker og slektsforsker er arkivet et eldorado av skatter – noen kjente, mens andre venter på å bli oppdaget. Arkivet har for eksempel nær 800 hyllemeter med kommunale folketellinger fra Kristiania og Aker, hovedsaklig fra perioden 1899 til 1954. De fleste av disse er tilgjengelige på byarkivets lesesal. I tillegg finner man valg- og skattemanntall, fødsels- og dødsfallsmeldinger, skoleprotokoller, branntakster og byggesaksarkiver, fotosamlinger og saker behandlet i bystyre og formannskap. Og mye, mye mer. [See the end of the article for an English summary.]

Kommunale folketellinger

Jeg har jobbet mye med de kommunale folketellingene for å finne ut mer informasjon om mine slektninger, som for eksempel oldefar Torkild Ekelis to brødre Even og Hermann. Det samme med slekt på min kones side. Og de kommunale folketellingene var kjekt å kunne ty til at det viste seg at familielisten for kongehuset manglet da folketellingen 1910 ble publisert 1. desember 2010. Da sendte byarkivet meg en kopi av familielisten for den kommunale 1909-tellingen i stedet. Sørvisen byarkivets ansatte har vist har vært upåklagelig.

Fødselsmeldinger

Jeg har allerede nevnt fødselsmeldingene man kan finne i arkivet. De er en verdifull kilde da de ikke bare angir nøyaktig fødselstidspunkt (ikke bare dato), men også sted for fødselen samt foreldrenes bopel (som kan være verdifull informasjon hvis tidspunktet for hendelsen er mellom kommunale og nasjonale folketellinger) i tillegg til informasjon om fødselens forløp. Fødselsmeldingene er interessante å skrive om både fordi de gir verdifull historisk informasjon og også som eksempler på hva man kan finne i byarkivet (ikke alt finnes på nettet, man må grave!).

I Oslo byarkiv kan man nemlig lete opp fødselsmeldingene som jordmoren sendte til helserådet i Oslo (eller Aker). Meldingene er ordnet etter dato, for Oslo dekkes perioden 1898 til 1988, både i original og på mikrofilm (det siste fra og med 1939). For Aker dekkes perioden fra 1902 til 1947. Dessuten kan man også bruke protokollene for Oslo fra 1898 til 1953 (sortert etter menighet og dato). I likhet med de kommunale folketellingene opererer man med 60 års klausul for innsyn.

De originale fødselsmeldingene, med rosa farge for guttene og blå farge for jentene (!), er selvsagt morsomst å bla igjennom. De inneholder mors og fars navn, bosted, sivil stand (gift/ugift), tidligere fødsler, mors helsetilstand og ev. opplysninger om fødselens forløp samt navn på jordmor og ev. lege(r). Hvis man forsker på en slekt og kun kjenner fødselsdagen og -året for den man leter etter, så er fødselsmeldingen en uvurderlig kilde, da man ved hjelp av den oppgitte bostedsadressen lettere kan finne ut hvilken kirke vedkommende er døpt i og dermed få fatt i flere genealogiske detaljer.

Fødselsmeldingene for medlemmer av kongefamilien

Fødselsmeldingen for Johan Martin Ferner (opprinnelig med etternavnet Jacobsen).

Jeg har denne gangen brukt nåværende eller avdøde medlemmer av kongefamilien som eksempler. For ordens skyld nevner jeg at det er gjort et skille mellom begrepene «kongehuset» og «kongefamilien». Ifølge kongehusets nettside består kongehuset av kongeparet, kronprinsparet og prinsesse Ingrid Alexandra (dvs. de som har forstavelsen majestet eller kongelig høyhet foran tittelen), mens kongefamilien «omfatter i tillegg Prins Sverre Magnus, Marius Borg Høiby, Prinsesse Märtha Louise, Ari Mikael Behn, Maud Angelica Behn, Leah Isadora Behn, Emma Tallulah Behn, Prinsesse Astrid, fru Ferner og Erling Sven Lorentzen.» Prinsesse Ragnhild fru Lorentzen og Johan Martin Ferner var med andre ord også regnet som medlemmer av kongefamilien så lenge de levde.

Fødselsmeldingen for prinsesse Ragnhild.

Da jeg besøkte byarkivet i slutten av november 2014, var hovedformålet å jobbe mer med Ekeli-slekten min. Men jeg bestilte også frem de aktuelle arkivboksene for de medlemmene av kongefamilien som ble født i Oslo (eller Aker) før 1954, dvs. Erling Sven Lorentzen, f. 1923, Johan Martin Ferner (1927–2015), prinsesse Ragnhild, fru Lorentzen (1930–2012), prinsesse Astrid, fru Ferner, f. 1932 og sist, men ikke minst dronning Sonja, f. Haraldsen, f. 1937.

Fødselsmeldingen for prinsesse Astrid.

Nå er vel det meste kjent om kongefamiliens fødsler, i hvert fall de som er født inn i kongefamilien. Men fødselsmeldingene tjener likevel som gode eksempler på hva man kan finne i byarkivet og hva meldingene kan gi av informasjon. Og det er ikke uviktig at fødselsmeldingene, som primærkilder, bekrefter opplysningene man har fått på annen måte tidligere. For prinsesse Ragnhild og prinsesse Astrid ble også det nøyaktige fødselstidspunktet gjort kjent gjennom pressemelding fra hoffet og for prinsesse Astrid sin del også gjennom kunngjøring i Norsk Lovtidend. Men når det gjelder Erling Lorentzen og Johan Martin Ferner er vel ikke alle detaljene så kjente utover den nærmeste familiekretsen.
For prinsesse Astid sin del ble det nøyaktige fødselstidspunktet også oppgitt i kunngjøringen i Norsk Lovtidend. Så detaljert var ikke kunngjøringen av prinsesse Ragnhilds fødsel, men i oppslaget i Aftenposten 10. juni 1930 nr. 291 stod det at hun ble født kl. 15.10 dagen i forveien.

Fødselsmeldingen som mangler

Men hva med dronning Sonjas fødselsmelding? Jeg kunne ikke finne spor av den i arkivboksen for Oslo helsearkiv. Nå inneholdt arkivboksen for 1937 «et salig rot», men ikke verre enn at fødselsmeldingene startet i september og ikke januar. Jeg satte meldingene i sin naturlige orden igjen, men fant uansett ikke meldingen for Sonja født 4. juli, og jeg lette for sikkerhets skyld et godt stykke før og etter denne datoen. Så viste det seg, etter en e-postutveksling med seksjonsleder Cecilie Lintoft i byarkivet 21. og 22. januar 2015, at jeg – selv om jeg egentlig visste bedre – hadde glemt at selv om dronning Sonja ble født på Røde Kors-klinikken på Frogner i Oslo, så var jo Vinderen, der familien Haraldsen var bosatt på den tiden, i Aker kommune og ikke i Oslo. Aker ble jo slått sammen med Oslo først fra 1. januar 1948. Jeg hadde ikke anledning til å besøke byarkivet der og da, så Lintoft var behjelpelig med å lete frem arkivboksen fra Aker helseråd for meg. Det viste seg at det ikke var spor av fødselsmeldingen for Sonja der heller. I e-post av 23. januar 2015 skrev Lintoft: «I går var jeg nede i Aker Helseråd og lette etter Sonja (4.7.1937). Men hun var faktisk ikke å finne der heller. Dokumentene er ordnet etter måned - jeg hadde ikke tid til å se på alle mappene for juli måned, men jeg tittet raskt på de for primo juli, samt de siste i mappen for juni. Så da kan vi lure: Er dokumentet feillagt? Rotet bort og forsvunnet? Stjålet? Konfiskert? Som du skjønner av det forrige svaret mitt tipper jeg ett av de to første alternativene, men noen fasit har jeg jo ikke. » I «det forrige svaret» hun viser til, hennes e-post av 22. januar 2015, skrev hun at «[… ] det er ikke så lett å svare på hvorfor den ikke var å finne. Vi er dessverre kjent med at dokumenter som har vært gjennomgått på lesesalen noen ganger havner på feil sted når de blir lagt på plass igjen. Dette finner vi i så fall ikke ut før de tilfeldigvis dukker opp igjen på et annet sted, eller hvis vi har bruk for dokumentet og begynner å lete etter det. En annen erfaring er at arkivserier som avleveres til oss slett ikke alltid er fullstendige når de ankommer, dessverre.»

Man skal kanskje ikke gjøre så mye ut av dette «arkivmysteriet». Jeg er enig i at de to første alternativene, at arkivstykket er feillagt eller rotet bort, er mer sannsynlig enn de to siste, at arkivstykket skulle være stjålet eller konfiskert. Vedrørende det siste alternativet så ville det jo være merkelig hvis dronningen, som er født borgerlig, blir gitt strengere personvern, enn hennes svigerinner, som var født inn i kongefamilien. Jeg håper uansett at fødselsmeldingen dukker opp en vakker dag!

Hvis noen skulle lure, så ble dronning Sonja født på Røde Kors Klinikk på Frogner søndag 4. juli 1937 kl. 20.30, jf. Randi Bratteli/Sissel Lange-Nielsens bok «Sonja. Norges kronprinsesse», Oslo: Aschehoug, 1983, s. 18.

Personvern

Fødselsmeldingene i Oslo Helseråd er som nevnt over klausulert for 60 år. For alle de ovennevnte nåværende eller tidligere medlemmene av kongefamilien er fødselsmeldingene offentlig tilgjengelige. Fødselsmeldingene inneholder etter min mening ikke noe av sensitiv art, og det meste, om ikke alt, er kjent fra før av. Jeg mener derfor at tilstrekkelig personvernhensyn er tatt, men valgte likevel å kontakte hoffet samt Erling Lorentzen og Johan Martin Ferner for å høre om det var i orden å publisere meldingene ved leilighet. Alle parter overlot med ulike formuleringer spørsmålet til mitt eget skjønn (Johan Martin Ferner svarte via sin sønn Alexander Ferner per e-post 21. desember 2014 at «har De lyst får De lov»).

Offentliggjøring

Andre arbeidsoppgaver har gjort at jeg ikke har prioritert å skrive denne bloggartikkelen før nå. Fødselsmeldingen for Johan Martin Ferner ble for øvrig inkludert i bloggartikkelen jeg skrev om hans bortgang 24. januar 2015.

English summary

This blog article deals with the material one can find in the Oslo City Archives with a special focus on the birth reports to Oslo (or Aker*) Health Council. The birth report (sent by the midwife to the health council in question) contains the mother's and father's names, address, marital status, former births, mother's health condition and often also details about the course of birth as well as the name of the midwife and the doctor(s) if called. If you are researching a specific family and only know the birth date and year for the one you are looking after, the birth report is an invaluable source, because with the given place of living, one can more easily find out which church the person in question is baptised and thus find even more genealogical details.

In the blog article the birth reports for Erling Sven Lorentzen, b. 1923, Johan Martin Ferner (1927–2015), Princess Ragnhild Mrs. Lorentzen (1930–2012) and Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner, b. 1932, are presented. For unknown reasons the birth report for Queen Sonja, née Haraldsen, is missing from Aker Health Council's archives. Most likely the report has been mislaid.

*Oslo and Aker municipalities were merged to one from 1 January 1948.

Updated on Monday 13 April 2015 at 12.15 (typo corrected), last time updated on Monday 13 April 2015 at 21.00 (typo corrected).

7 April 2015

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2015

 The first issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly in 2015 arrived in my mailbox just before Easter, but so far I have only read the editor's column and the first two articles. For several years I wrote a short summary of each issue of RDQ and later also included the European Royal History Journal, but had to make a break in late 2013 because the moving process took too much time. My last RDQ article covered issue no. 3 for 2013. In 2014 I just didn't manage to get back on track with my blogging, as work and family life, various house projects and various tasks for the Norwegian Genealogical Society limited my time for website and blog updating. As of today I cannot promise too many blog articles in the near future, but I will at least try to continue my RDQ and ERHJ articles.

The front cover photo of the latest issue shows the Greek royal family in around 1900, with King George I at the very right. The photo gives a hint to which family the journal's historical consultant Charlotte Zeepvat focuses on in her traditional family album, which starts on page 17 and ends on page 53. Besides a short introduction to the Greeks, you can enjoy 118 photos of royals and two buildings - the Royal Palace in Athens and Tatoi Palace, as well as 3 pages with genealogical tables. The first portrait actually shows King Otto, who reigned from 1832 to 1862, and was succeeded by the Danish-born Prince Wilhelm (--> King George I) in 1863.

In his Editor's Corner, Ted Rosvall gives his impressions after his recent visit to Kensal Green Cemetery in London. He is shocked by how run down and mismanaged the cemetery has become, something I find easy to agree with. I visited the neighbour cemeteries Kensal Green and St. Mary's Catholic in 2013 and was saddened to witness the poor state of parts of the Kensal Green cemetery, as the following two photos suggest.


The St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery was not that bad, though. And I have seen worse, for instance in Tangier. Hopefully I will be able to publish more (and more interesting) photos from the West London cemeteries in a not too distant future.

Coryne Hall opens the ball with an article about Eleonore of Bulgaria. The Forgotten Queen, in other words the second wife of Prince and later Czar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians. How forgotten she is can be discussed, but it is nevertheless an interesting article, and we learn a lot about her tireless work as a trained nurse and her commitment to the welfare of the Bulgarians. Royals who became nurses is a topic Hall knows everything about. In 2014 she published her book Princesses on the Wards. Royal Women in Nursing Through Wars and Revolutions, so I wouldn't be surprised if Hall will cover other royal nurses in future issuues of the QVD. Coryne gave a promising presentation of her book project back in 2013 at the Royalty Weekend at Ticehurst.

Charlotte Zeepvat's second contribution to the latest issue is her article 'So loyal and strong in her affections...' Princess (Helena) Victoria of Schleswigh Holstein, part I. Princess Helena Victoria (Thora) (1870-1948) was the third child of Princess Helena and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein and the 18th grandchild of Queen Victoria. I have, by the way, just finished reading Zeepvat's latest book Before Action: A William Noel Hodgdon and the 9th Devons, a story of the Great War, which I really enjoyed. A very well-researched book!

Ted Rosvall has not only edited the magazine this time, but has also made his own contribution, Dear Uncle. Incestuous Royal Marriages, which deals with marriages between cousins and other closely related people within the circle of European royal families.

The last article in this issue is written by Lucas Szkopinski, and is titled An Englishman in Durazzo. Sir Andrew Ryan and the wedding of King Zog. I look forward to reading it, as I have always found the history of the Albanian royal family very fascinating.

No book reviews this time, but as always the magazine ends with the column The World Wide Web of Royalty, Births, marriages, deaths and other events in the Royal Families of Europe as well as ads for future publications - Royal Gatherings, Volume II: 1914-1939 by Ilana D. Miller and Arturo E. Beéche, Maria Pavlovna (1890-1958) by Charlotte Zeepvat and Ted Rosvall, The Connaughts. A Family Album by Robert Golden and Harald Brown's Notabilities. Royalty and Celebrity in the 1870s.

Information on Royalty Digest Quarterly can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earlier presentation of RDQ here. See also its Facebook page.

6 April 2015

Serbia: Crown Prince Alexander lays wreath at monument to Prince Milos Obrenovic

Photo: TheMiner, WikipediaCommons.

The Office of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia (Yugoslavia) published a rather interesting article yesterday, 5 April 2015, which was Palm Sunday according to the Orthodox Calendar:
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander, accompanied by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Katherine, Mr Dusan Babac, member of the Privy Council, Prof. Dr Bragoljub Kavran, Mr Predrag Markovic and Mr Darko Spasic, members of the Crown Council, laid a wreath at the monument to Prince Milos Obrenovic in Belgrade, on the occasion of today’s religious holiday Palm Sunday, since it was on this holiday exactly 200 years ago in 1815 Serbian headmen (“knezovi”) gathered in Takovo and asked Milos Obrenovic to be the leader of the uprising, which he accepted.

The Crown Prince on this occasion said: “Honouring Prince Milos Obrenovic today, we pay homage to Serbian history and magnificent efforts of our forefathers to establish the modern Serbian state. The Second Serbian Uprising, which was initiated on Palm Sunday in 1815, gave immeasurable contribution to achieving this goal, continuing the path of Serbia and the Serbian people to freedom, which was started by my great ancestor Karadjordje. Today, we have to continue that way, without divisions, boldly and decisively, respecting our ancestors and thinking about the future of our descendants. Glory and praise to Prince Milos Obrenovic and all the participants of the Second Serbian Uprising”- said Crown Prince Alexander.
You will find photos of the event if you follow the link above. The last time I visited Belgrade was in 2008, but I didn't take any photos of the monument.

Prince Milos Obrenovic (1780-1860) reigned as Prince of Serbia from 1817 to 1839 and from 1858 to 1860.

Takovo is today a small village in the municipality of Gornji Milanovac about 2 hours' drive from Belgrade.

30 March 2015

The Norwegian Royal Court. Annual Report 2014

The Norwegian Royal Court published its annual report for 2014 last Friday, 27 March 2015. The report gives an overview of the activities of the Royal Family and Royal Court and also includes the accounts for the Civil List and a survey of the orders and medals awarded by the King during 2014. The press release read:
"The annual report of the Royal Court for 2014 was submitted today to the Presidium of the Storting, the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, and the Office of the Auditor General of Norway.
[...]

The Royal Family visited 69 municipalities and all of Norway’s counties in 2014. The King and Queen carried out a State Visit to Myanmar in December, while the Crown Prince and Crown Princess paid an official visit to Vietnam in March.

The accounts for the Civil List showed a surplus of NOK 6 846 443 compared to a deficit of NOK 6 701 468 in 2013. The accounts show that a major portion of the funding allocated is used to maintain and develop the Royal Palace, the other buildings at the disposal of the Royal Family and the cultural and historical treasures that these buildings house.

The accounts for the staff of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess showed a surplus of NOK 2 607 816. This surplus has been set aside for future procurements/operating reserves.

The accounts for “Åpent Slott” (cultural outreach activities) showed a surplus of NOK 93 570. This surplus has been transferred to equity capital.

“The positive result in the 2014 accounts demonstrates that the Royal Court has employed good financial management practice through the fiscal year. The results are also a reflection of the modernisation and rationalisation processes that have been implemented. There is a need to free up additional resources for maintenance, renovation tasks and investments that have been put on hold due to financial constraints,” says Lord Chamberlain Åge B. Grutle."
The annual report has as expected not created many headlines, compared to last year when the annual report for 2013 showed a deficit of NOK 6 701 468, which was to be covered by previous appropriations. It is good to note that the court again demonstrates good financial managament. I guess one could say that the lack of big headlines is a positive thing. And people should remember that the expenses to uphold the royal house and monarchy are seldomly a relevant argument in the debate about the form of government. A republic will in most instances not be a cheaper alternative.

As far as I know this is the 11th time the Royal Court has published an annual report, and what a thrill it is to read it. A great way of getting a survey of the activities and to reflect on the events of last year. The biggest event was of course the celebration of the the Norwegian Constitution's 200th anniversary. All in all the members of the royal family carried out 746 official engagements during 2014, a number which among others includes audiences, state visits and county visits. The royal diary shows that the King during 2014 attended 116 official events in Norway and abroad, while the number in 2013 was 94. The Crown Prince attended 117 events (down from 140 in 2013), while the Queen and the Crown Princess attended 78 and 68 events respectively (85 and 68 in 2013).

In my article of last year covering the annual report for 2013, I quoted the press release of 10 April 2014, which said: "During 2013, His Majesty The King attended 314 official events in Norway and abroad, while Her Majesty The Queen attended 98 official events, His Royal Highness The Crown Prince attended 200 official events and Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess attended 72 official events." Obviously one has to add the audiences, councils of state etc. in 2014 to get comparable numbers. I hope we will see higher numbers from the Crown Princess in the years to come.

Besides the royal diary and the accounts for the civil list the annual report also contains information about how the royal court is run, with details about among others The Treasurer's Office, The Communication Staff, The Royal Secretariat, the Department of Royal Estates and Culture and The Royal Household. One can also read about the royal trusts, health, safety and environment (HSE), royal orders and medals and finally various words and expressions are explained in a short dictionary.

From the annual report we learn that 25 persons received the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 2013, compared to 22 in 2013 and 27 in 2012. Among the recipients were Princess Marie of Denmark,  President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia and President Joachim Gauck of Germany, who all received the Grand Cross and the Norwegian actress Lise Fjeldstad (Commander with star).

The Medal of St. Olav was awarded to two persons - the Canadian Russel and Alison Wiigs, who have done extensive work within the Norwegian and Scandinavian Community in Calgary for many years.

105 people received the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, while there were 138 recipients of the King's Medal of Merit (down from 162 in 2013), among them the historian and author Johan Borgos. Finally The King's Commemorative Medal was awarded to 14 persons in 2014.

The annual report can be downloaded from here. For earlier annual reports, go here.

Finally a survey of my own articles on the subject in the past:

17 March 2015

Norway: New Lord Chamberlain at the Royal Court

Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court.

In the Council of State last Friday, 13 March 2015, the King formally appointed the Lord Chamberlain at the Royal Court, Åge Bernhard Grutle, as the new Norwegian Ambassador to Helsinki, Finland. Skrutle, b. 1952, has been in his post at the Royal Court frpom 2009. His starting date for taking over the new post as Ambassador has yet to be decided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a press release the same day the Royal Court informed that the new Lord Chamberlain, to take office in the summer of 2015, will be the current head of the the Royal Secretariat, Chief of Staff Gry Mølleskog (b. 1962). She has been in that position since September 2012, but has also served as the Chief of Staff for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess from 2003 to 2006. Mølleskog, who comes from Bodø in the county of Nordland, has studied at the Norwegian Business School (Executive Master of Management) and has according to Linkedin an impressive CV with lots of business and leadership experience as well as many positions in various boards of directors. She has among others been Senior Vice President of SAS and Senior Client Partner in the international recruiting company Korn Ferry, where she was an consultant in recruiting and reorganisation processes for high ranking executives in larger businesses in Europe and the United States.

Mølleskog becomes the first female Lord Chamberlain at the Royal Norwegian Court and according to Nrk.no also the first female Lord Chamberlain among the European courts. Mølleskog has since 1983 been married to Thoralf Granerød, who is an associate partner at the consulting company First House (of which Per Høiby, Crown Princess Mette-Marit's brother, is the managing partner), and has one daughter.

In the same Council of State last Friday former communication director at the Royal Court, Astrid Versto, was appointed as the new Ambassador to Zagreb, Croatia. She is currently Head of Communications (development cooperation) at the MFA. Versto was at the Royal Court from 2005 to 2008.

(This blog article should of course have been posted last Friday, but as the deadline for submitting articles to Genealogen, the newsletter of the Norwegian Genealogical Society, expired on Sunday, I had to concentrate on finishing my contributions. But at least one of the articles, if accepted by the editior, will be royalty-related ...)

Updated on Wednesday 18 March 2015 at 08.30.

20 February 2015

Longest reigns page finally updated

I have not been able to do much work on my website the last few months, which has meant that the much needed updating on some of the subpages had to be put on hold.

My subpage Longest reigns, which is a survey of the longest reigns among the reigning monarchs, has now finally been updated. Since the last update both Spain and Saudi Arabia have got new kings and Monaco has got a hereditary prince, so it certainly was on time.

I hope that I will be able to do more work on my website in the months to come. But I also hope that I will not have to update the Longest reigns page for a while, as that usually means that someone on the list has passed away.