18 September 2012

Princess Ragnhild's funeral set for 28 September 2012

The Norwegian Royal Court announced today, 18 September 2012, that the funeral service for Princess Ragnhild, Mrs. Lorentzen will take place on Friday 28 September 2012 at noon in the Palace Chapel. King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner and Princess Märtha Louise will be present. Around 120 guests are expected to attend the service. The Bishop of Oslo, Ole Kristian Kvarme, and the Dean of Oslo, Olav Dag Hauge, will officiate.

The announcement besides information from the Norwegian Seamen's Church also said that a memorial service will take place in Christ Church (the Anglican Church) in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday 20 September.  Sjømannskirken. Norsk Kirke i Utlandet (The Seamen's Church. Norwegian Church Abroad) has been asked by the Lorentzen family to take care of the memorial service, and Pastor Anne Netland and Pastor Ørnulf Steen will officiate.

Princess Ragnhild's coffin is expected to arrive at Oslo Airport Gardermoen on Saturday 22 September. King Harald V and Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner will be present.
After the funeral service King Harald will host a reception at the Royal Palace. As mentioned earlier, the burial will take place at the cemetery at Asker Church.

17 September 2012

Princess Ragnhild Mrs. Lorentzen (1930-2012)

The Royal Court of Norway announced on Sunday 16 September 2012 the death of Princess Ragnhild Mrs. Lorentzen, the eldest daughter of King Olav V (at the time of her birth Crown Prince Olav) and Crown Princess Märtha, and the eldest sister of King Harald V. Princess Ragnhild died of cancer in her home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday at 9.45 a.m. (2.45 p.m. Norwegian time).

The announcement said as follows:
Princess Ragnhild has died
His Majesty The King was deeply saddened to receive the news that Her Highness Princess Ragnhild, Mrs Lorentzen has passed away. The princess died in her home in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on 16 September 2012 at 9:45 am local time.

The funeral service will be held in the Palace Chapel. The date and time have not yet been determined. Princess Ragnhild will be laid to rest at Asker Church.

The Princess was born on 9 June 1930 at the Royal Palace in Oslo, and was the eldest child of King Olav and Crown Princess Märtha.
The Royal Court said in a press release today that a condolence protocol would be laid out at the Royal Palace on Tuesday 18 September.

The Speaker of Parliament, the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will be the first to sign the Protocol at 9.30 a.m., followed by the diplomatic corps from 10 a.m. to noon. The general public will be admitted from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement where he among other said that "Our thoughts and our sympathy goes out to Erling Lorentzen and their family, and to King Harald, Queen Sonja and the Royal Family". Stoltenberg said further that "Her home in Brazil became a hospitable place of meeting for Norwegians on visit, and the princess' considerations for them and her care for the less fortunate in her new homeland won her many friends. Among others she established Princess Ragnhild's Fund for Children in Brazil, and she always took part when she was needed at relief actions and social gatherings".

Stoltenberg also said that "We know that Princess Ragnhild was especially close to her father King Olav V. Her friends describe her as considerate, loyal, with an infectious humour and fresh remarks. In larger audiences she seemd to be shy and reserved, but her liveliness and kind heart were soon to appear in more informal gatherings. It has been said that Princess Ragnhild was our best ambassador in Brazil  - a warm-hearted representative for the Norway she alwas was closely attached to."

Princess Ragnhild, who married Erling Lorentzen in 1953 and lost her style of royal highness, leaves behind her husband, 3 children and 6 grandchildren.

When I earlier this year understood that Princess Ragnhild's health was frail, I said to myself that I had to prepare an obituary based on the authorized biography Mitt liv som kongsdatter (1995) and other material I have collected on her, but I never got or took the time. I received the news of her death late last night when I finally got connected to Internet in my hotel room in Norwich, Norfolk (Princess Ragnhild's father King Olav V, was, by the way, born at Appleton House at Sandringham northwest of Norwich). This week I will just be too busy with other commitments, so I just have to refer to others who have written about Princess Ragnhild and her life.
I understand that that the family turned down the offer of a state funeral. As the funeral service will take place at the Palace Chapel, it will due to the limited space there be a "smaller affair", but maybe most fitting for the princess. She married at Asker Church in 1953 and her wish to be interred at Asker Cemetery will be fulfilled. I must say I like the idea of a King's daughter being buried in a common cemetery in a community she partly grew up in, and her grave thus will be easily accessible to everyone.

(Photo: Det kongelige hoff/The Royal Court.)

9 September 2012

No coverage of the Grand Ducal Wedding on Norwegian TV

We learned earlier this week that the French TV channel France 2 had dropped its planned coverage of the wedding between Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy on 20 October 2012 for budgetary reasons.

I have been in contact with the Norwegian TV channels NRK and TV2 and have been informed that they will not cover the religious ceremony either. Certainly one can expect that a short glimpse of the ceremony will be shown during the ordinary news shows, but Norwegian royalty-watchers will not be able to watch the wedding in its entirety.

The royalty-watchers might be saved by Swedish TV, but as of now I have no idea if SVT or TV4 will broadcast the wedding or not.

Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA (2012), Part I

 Grave of William Howard Taft (1857-1930), 27th President of the United States of America (1909-1913) and later 10th Chief Justice (1931-1930), and of his wife Helen Herron Taft (1861-1943).

 Another Taft grave close to the presidential tomb. No relations to the president, it turned out later. A nephew of President Taft, William M. Taft, is buried in section 69, but I didn't get the time to visit his grave. President Taft's grave is in section 30, by the way.
 Grave of Senator Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968).

 Improvements at Senator Edward M. Kennedy's gravesite was under construction when I visited the cemetery. The work is planned to be done by the end of October 2012, cf. The Washington Post. See also Arlington National Cemetery's press release 22 June 2012.
 The temporary grave of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1932-2009).

 The eternal flame at the Kennedy gravesite.

 Grave of John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th President of the United States of America (1961-1963).

 Grave of President Kennedy's wife, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994).
 Grave of President Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy's stillborn daughter (1956).
 Grave of President Kenendy and Jackie Kennedy's son Patrick Bouvier Kennedy (1963).

 The Armored Forces Memorial at Avenue of the Heroes on Memorial Drive. Go to DCmemorials.com for more (and better) pictures and details.
I visited the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia outside Washington D.C. during my first visit to the United States in September 1999, as I have already mentioned in my previous blog article. I didn't get any time to visit the cemetery during my visit to D.C. in 2006, but this year I made sure to find the time. My aim was to take better photos with my digital camera as well as to visit more graves. In 1999 I had for instance not learned that President Taft was also laid to rest in the cemetery.

I remember that the weather was warm back in September 1999 as well, but this year it was much worse (and humid!), and because of other plans on the day I visited the cemetery (14 July 2012), I didn't get as much time as I had wanted to to. When I arrived at the cemetery, I went directly to section 53 where I remembered that my Hoelseth relative was buried,  but when I arrived, I discovered that my notes with the exact grave number was in my rental car, which was parked at the Fashion Center at Pentagon City. There were too many graves - and the weather was too hot - so I decided against making a random look, and it was also too crowded and I had too little time to get the details at the Visitors Center, so I decided to return to the cemetery on my last day of the visit to the US instead. That's why my blog article on Arlington National Cemetery (2012) will have two parts. Part II will most likely be published after my visit to England next weekend, though.

Updated on Sunday 9 September 2012 at 23.30 (link added).

5 September 2012

Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA (1999)

 Grave of Grace Sigrid Hoelseth White (1894-1979), my great-grandfather Oscar M. Hoelseth's first cousin.
 Grave of Grace's husband George Robert White (1893-1980), a captain in the US Air Force who served in both world wars.

 Grave of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963). The eternal flame is invisable on the photo, though.

 Grave of Senator Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968).

 View of Washington D.C.
 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

I visited Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia twice this summer and plan to publish some photos from my visit later. The first time I visited the cemetery was back in September 1999 during my first trip to the United States. I thought it would be an idea (how good it is I am not so sure about!) to scan some photos taken with my old (non-digital) camera and publish them first. I didn't manage to get rid of the dust of some of the paper photos, so the quality will vary a bit. Some of the motives will reappear in my next ANC article, but not all.

I plan to deliver (most of) my old negatives to get them digitalized in a not too distant future, meaning that I will be able to use photos taken with my old camera (before November 2004) without worrying so much about the quality. I will only have myself to blame then, and not the scanning!

See also Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA (2012), Part I.

Updated on Sunday 9 September 2012 at 22.20 (link added).

4 September 2012

Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy to take Luxembourgish nationality

It can hardly be a great surprise to anyone, but according to Wort.lu yesterday (3 September 2012), Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy is to become a citizen of Luxembourg when she marries Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume.

The bill was filed in the Chamber of Deputies yesterday and is expected to be voted on in early October.

Wort.lu claims that the act will come into force on 20 October 2012, the day the religious celebration takes place in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg. However, I can't find anything in the bill that explicitly states when the act is to come into force. It would also make more sense - at least to me - if the act comes into force on the date of the couple's civil wedding on 19 October. I guess we will know for sure when the promulgated law is being published in the legal gazette (Mémorial).

The bill (no. 6474 (2011-2012) can be read here.

Updated on Wednesday 5 September 2012 at 08:10 (minor correction).

2 September 2012

Stamps of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and his fiancée

The P&T Luxembourg is to issue a stamp ("special postmark") and a sheet ("block") in connection with the forthcoming wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg, eldest son of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy. The stamps will be on sale from 25 September.

The civil wedding will take place at the Luxembourg City Hall on 19 October 2012, while the religious wedding will be celebrated in the Notre Dame Cathedral the day after.

See also Wort.lu's article Royal love birds to feature on stamps published on 31 August 2012.

Confirmation of Marius Borg Høiby

Marius Borg Høiby, the son of HRH Crown Prince Mette-Marit of Norway and Morten Borg, was confirmed in Asker Church today, 2 September 2012. Besides the Crown Prince family, the confirmation service was attended by King Harald and Queen Sonja.

Go to the online versions of Budstikka, VG and Dagbladet for articles and photos covering the event.

Long break

 View of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The photo is taken from Grandview Avenue.
 What is in the water at the Lake Farmpark, Kirtland, Ohio...
The rental car we used during the 3 weeks' long visit. A Buick Enclave, one of the best cars I ahve ever driven. Unfortunately no company in Norway imports this brand.

I haven't blogged for quite a while. The long break was mainly caused by my visit to the United States from 13 July to 4 August and work and other commitments both before and after my vacation. I am still quite busy with various commitments both at and off work, so I am not sure how often I will be able to write. Just have to wait and see how things develop. The work on my website is progressing slowly as well, but I will soon pay the bills to continue Hoelseth.com for at least one more year.

My round-trip in the United States together with my wife and daughter took me to some familiar but also many new places: Arlington, Alexandria and Williamsburg, Virginia; Rockville, Maryland; Outer Banks and Raleigh, North Carolina; Charleston, West Virginia; Franklin and Kirtland, Ohio (with excursions!); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Gaithersburg, Maryland and at the end of the tour Alexandria, Virginia once again.

The purpose of the visit was first of all to visit family and friends besides my wife attending a conference in Pittsburgh, but we got to do some sightseeing as well, so rest assure that the round trip will result in many blog articles. I have seen several memorials, Colonial Williamsburg, 2 state capitols, 3 presidential graves (two of them for the first time), one Romanov-related grave, 3 cemeteries (again two of them for the first time), several museums and much more. Of course I had to do several "children-friendly" things as well, as for instance several children's museums, a farmpark and Pittsburgh Zoo, but they will most likely not be covered in my blog. The most pleasant surprise was perhaps Old Town Alexandria in Virginia. Don't spend all your days exploring Washington DC. Go to Alexandria! Or stay in Alexandria (or Arlington), as the hotels are usually cheaper there, and take day visits to DC instead!

There are also many other blog articles waiting to be written, about numerous cemetery visits in and outside Oslo and other visits I have made in Norway and abroad. It is just a matter of getting the time to write...