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When the union with Sweden was dissolved in 1905, Norwegians chose as their own king Prince Carl of Denmark, a member of the Glücksburg family.The grandfather of the current king, he took the name Haakon VII and reigned for nearly 52 years, becoming particularly admired for his strong stance against the Nazi occupation of Norway during World War II.
Because Sweden and Norway were in a union at the time of Karl XIV Johan’s accession, he also became King of Norway, where he was known as Karl III Johan.
Born in 1940, Margrethe is the eldest daughter of King Frederik IX and his wife, Queen Ingrid of Sweden.
Through her mother, Margrethe is a first cousin of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf; she is also a second cousin of Norway’s King Harald V, whose grandfather was a prince of Denmark.
In 1980, a law was passed establishing absolute primogeniture and making this change retroactive, giving Victoria, as the eldest child, the position of Crown Princess.
Over the years, Crown Princess Victoria has triumphed over difficulties such as dyslexia (a challenge her father and siblings have also faced) and anorexia, emerging as a confident heir-apparent and – according to recent polls – the most popular member of the royal family.
Photo by Bill Ebbesen, used under a Wikimedia Creative Commons license.
Queen Margrethe and her French husband, Prince Henrik (born Henri de Laborde de Montepezat) have two sons, Crown Prince Frederik (born 1968) and Prince Joachim (born 1969).
Alongside their roles as representatives of their respective countries, members of the Scandinavian royal families have also taken an active interest in various social and global issues, establishing charities and serving as spokespeople for different causes.
Although discussions about abolishing the monarchies continue to arise, for now the Scandinavian royals all appear to be sitting quite securely on their thrones.
In 2001, Crown Prince Haakon caused a stir by marrying Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, a single mother with a controversial past.
However, their marriage has been a great success, and as Crown Princess Mette-Marit has managed to win the hearts of much of the Norwegian population.
In 1976 King Carl Gustaf married the German-Brazilian Silvia Sommerlath, whom he met at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.