Haakon VII, king of Norway

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Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel

Also Known As: "Carl", "Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar AxeI", "Prins Carl", "Carl /Frederiksen/"
Birthplace: Charlottenlund, Danmark
Death: Died in Oslo, Norge
Place of Burial: Oslo, Norge
Immediate Family:

Son of Frederik VIII, Konge af Danmark and Louise of Sweden
Husband of Maud of Wales, Queen of Norway and Maud, Dronning av Norge
Father of Olav V of Norway and Olav V, king of Norway
Brother of Christian X, Konge af Danmark og Island (King of Denmark); Louise Caroline Glücksburg; Prins Harald af Danmark; Prinsesse Ingeborg af Danmark; Prinsesse Thyra af Danmark and 7 others
Half brother of Emile Augustus Holstein

Occupation: Konge av Norge
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Haakon VII, king of Norway

  • Name/title: Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel Prince of Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, Glücksburg
  • Prince of Denmark on 3 August 1872.
  • King Haakon VII of Norway on 18 November 1905.


Predecessor: Oscar II Successor: Olav V

Haakon VII (Prince Carl of Denmark and Iceland, born Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel) (3 August 1872 at Charlottenlund Palace – 21 September 1957 in Oslo), known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the personal union with Sweden. He was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. As one of the few elected monarchs, Haakon quickly won the respect and affection of his people and played a pivotal role in uniting the Norwegian nation in its resistance to the attack and five-year-long Nazi occupation during World War II.

Haakon is regarded as one of the greatest Norwegians of the twentieth century and is particularly revered for his courage during the German invasion and his leadership and preservation of Norwegian unity during the Nazi occupation. He died at the age of 85 in 1957, after having reigned for nearly 52 years.

Originally known as Prince Carl of Denmark (namesake of his maternal grandfather the King of Norway etc), he was the second son of (the future) King Frederick VIII of Denmark and his wife Louise, a younger brother of Christian X, a paternal grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark (during whose reign he was prince of Denmark), and a maternal grandson of King Charles XV of Sweden (who was also king of Norway as Charles IV). He personally became king of Norway before his father and older brother became kings of Denmark. During his reign, he saw his father, his brother and his nephew, Frederick IX, ascend the throne of Denmark, respectively in 1906, 1912 and 1947.

Prince Carl was born at Charlottenlund Palace near Copenhagen. He belonged to the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg branch of the House of Oldenburg. The House of Oldenburg had been the Danish royal family since 1448, and between 1536-1814, also ruled Norway when it was part of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway. The house was originally from northern Germany, where also the Glucksburg (Lyksborg) branch held their small fief. The family had permanent links with Norway already beginning from late Middle Ages, and also several of his paternal ancestors had been kings of independent Norway (Haakon V of Norway, Christian I of Norway, Frederick I, Christian III, Frederick II, Christian IV, as well as Frederick III of Norway who integrated Norway into the Oldenburg state with Denmark, Slesvig and Holstein, after which it was not independent until 1814). Christian Frederick, who was King of Norway briefly in 1814, the first king of the Norwegian 1814 constitution and struggle for independence, was his great-granduncle.

Prince Carl was raised in the royal household in Copenhagen and educated at Royal Danish Naval Academy from which he graduated near the bottom of his class. He was a key witness in the scandal following the suicide of Kai Simonsen.

At Buckingham Palace on 22 July 1896,[1] Prince Carl married his first cousin Princess Maud of Wales, youngest daughter of the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and his wife, Princess Alexandra of Denmark, daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel). Their son, Prince Alexander, the future Crown Prince Olav (and eventually king Olav V of Norway), was born on 2 July 1903.

After the Union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved in 1905, a committee of the Norwegian government identified several members of European royalty as candidates for Norway's first King of its own in several centuries. Gradually, Prince Carl became the leading candidate, largely because of the fact that he was descended from independent Norwegian kings. He also had a son (and hence an heir to the throne), and Princess Maud's ties to the British Royal Family were viewed as advantageous to the newly independent Norwegian nation.

The democratically minded Carl, aware that Norway was still debating whether to retain its monarchy or to switch to a republican system of government, was flattered by the Norwegian government's overtures, but declined to accept the offer without a referendum to show whether monarchy was truly the choice of the Norwegian People.

After the referendum overwhelmingly confirmed by 79 percent majority (259,563 votes for and 69,264 against[2]) that Norwegians desired to retain a monarchy, Prince Carl was formally offered the throne of Norway by the Storting (parliament) and elected on 18 November 1905. When Carl accepted the offer that same evening (after the approval of his grandfather Christian IX of Denmark), he immediately endeared himself to his adopted country by taking the Old Norse name of Haakon, a name used by previous Kings of Norway.[3] In so doing, he succeeded his grand-uncle, Oscar II of Sweden, who had abdicated the Norwegian throne in October following the agreement between Sweden and Norway on the terms of the separation of the union.

The new Royal Family of Norway left Denmark on the Danish Royal yacht "Dannebrog" and went sailing up Oslofjord. At Oscarsborg Fortress they entered the Norwegian naval ship "Heimdal". After the three-day journey they arrived in Kristiania (Oslo) early on the morning of 25 November 1905. Two days later, Haakon was taken in oath as the Norwegian King.

The coronation of Haakon and Maud took place in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 22 June 1906.[1]

King Haakon gained much sympathy from the Norwegian people. He traveled around and visited many places. He participated in the political process after the first prime minister from the labour party was chosen in 1928, a process that caused a special parliamentary situation.

Norway was invaded by the naval and air forces of Nazi Germany during the early hours of 9 April 1940. The German naval detachment sent to capture Oslo was challenged at Oscarsborg Fortress. The fortress fired at the invaders, causing damage to the pocket battleship Lützow and sinking the heavy cruiser Blücher, with heavy German losses that included many of the armed forces, Gestapo agents, and administrative personnel who were to have occupied the Norwegian capital. These events led to the withdrawal of the rest of the German flotilla, preventing the invaders from occupying Oslo at dawn as had been intended in the order of battle. The German occupation forces' delay in occupying Oslo, along with swift action from the President of the Storting, C. J Hambro, created the opportunity for the Norwegian Royal Family, the Cabinet, and most of the 150 members of the Storting (parliament) to make a hasty departure from the capital by special train.

The Storting first convened at Hamar the same afternoon, but with the rapid advance of German troops, the group moved on to Elverum. The assembled Parliament unanimously enacted a resolution, the so-called Elverumsfullmakten (Elverum Authorization), granting the Cabinet full powers to protect the country until such time as the Storting could meet again.

The next day, German Minister Curt Bräuer demanded a meeting with Haakon. The German diplomat called on the Norwegians to cease their resistance and stated Hitler's demand that the King appoint Nazi sympathizer Vidkun Quisling as Prime Minister of what would be a German puppet government. Bräuer suggested that Haakon follow the example of the Danish Government and his brother, Christian X, which had surrendered almost immediately after the previous day's invasion, and threatened Norway with harsh conditions if it did not surrender. Haakon told Bräuer that he could not make such a decision himself, but only on the advice of the Government. Although the Constitution of Norway nominally gives the King the final responsibility for making such a decision, it is a well-established convention that the King does not make any major political decisions on his own initiative.[citation needed]

In an emotional meeting with the Cabinet in Nybergsund, the King reported the German ultimatum to his cabinet. Although he could not make the decision himself, he knew he could use his moral authority to influence it. Accordingly, Haakon told the Cabinet:

“ I am deeply affected by the responsibility laid on me if the German demand is rejected. The responsibility for the calamities that will befall people and country is indeed so grave that I dread to take it. It rests with the government to decide, but my position is clear.

For my part I cannot accept the German demands. It would conflict with all that I have considered to be my duty as King of Norway since I came to this country nearly thirty-five years ago.

Haakon went on to say that he could not appoint any Government headed by Quisling because he knew neither the people nor the Storting had confidence in him. However, if the Cabinet felt otherwise, the King said he would abdicate so as not to stand in the way of the Government's decision.

Nils Hjelmtveit, Minister of Church and Education, later wrote: "This made a great impression on us all. More clearly than ever before we could see the man behind the words; the king who had drawn a line for himself and his task, a line from which he could not deviate. We had through the five years [in government] learned to respect and appreciate our king and now, through his words, he came to us as a great man, just and forceful; a leader in these fatal times to our country". [5]

Inspired by Haakon's stand, the Government announced its refusal to accept the German terms to the German Emissary by telephone. In a radio broadcast that evening, the Government and King's refusal to the German ultimatum were announced to the Norwegian people. The Government indicated that they would resist the German attack as long as possible, and expressed their confidence that Norwegians would lend their support to the cause.

The following morning, 11 April 1940, bomber aircraft of the Luftwaffe attacked Nybergsund, destroying the small town where the Norwegian government was staying in an attempt to wipe out Norway's unyielding King and Government. The King and his ministers took refuge in the snow-covered woods and escaped harm, continuing farther north through the rugged Norwegian mountains toward Molde on Norway's northwestern coast. As the British forces in the area lost ground under Luftwaffe bombardment, the King and his party were taken aboard the British cruiser HMS Glasgow at Molde and conveyed by sea another 1000 km north to Tromsø where a provisional capital was established on 1 May. Haakon and Crown Prince Olav took up residence in a forest cabin in Målselvdalen valley in inner Troms county where they would stay until the evacuation to the United Kingdom. While residing in Troms the two were protected by local rifle association members armed with the ubiquitous Krag-Jørgensen rifle.[citation needed]

The Allies had a fairly secure hold over northern Norway until late May, but as the Allies' position in the Battle of France rapidly deteriorated, the Allied forces in northern Norway were badly needed elsewhere and were withdrawn. The Royal Family and the beleaguered and demoralized Norwegian Government was evacuated from Tromsø on 7 June aboard HMS Devonshire; and after a 34-knot (63 km/h) dash, under cover of HMS Glorious, HMS Acasta, and HMS Ardent, safely arrived in London. Haakon and his cabinet set up a Norwegian government in exile in the British capital. Taking up residence at Rotherhithe in London, Haakon was an important national symbol in the Norwegian resistance. Between March 1942 and the end of the war in June 1945 the King and his son, Crown Prince Olav, lived at Foliejon Park in Winkfield, near Windsor.

Meanwhile, Hitler had appointed Josef Terboven as Reichskommissar for Norway. On Hitler's orders, Terboven attempted to coerce the Storting to depose the King; Parliament declined, citing constitutional principles. A subsequent ultimatum was made by the Germans under threat of interning all Norwegians of military age in German concentration camps.[6] With this threat looming, the Norwegian Parliament's representatives in Oslo wrote to their monarch on 27 June, asking him to abdicate. The King, politely replying that the Storting had acted under duress, declined the request. After one further German attempt in September to force the Storting to depose Haakon failed, Terboven finally decreed that the Royal Family had "forfeited their right to return" and dissolved the democratic political parties.[citation needed]

During Norway's five years under German control, many Norwegians surreptitiously wore clothing or jewelry made from coins bearing Haakon's "H7" monogram as symbols of resistance to the German occupation and of solidarity with their exiled king and government, just as many people in Denmark wore his brother's monogram on a pin. The King's monogram was also painted and otherwise reproduced on various surfaces as a show of resistance to the occupation.[7]

After the end of the war, Haakon and the Norwegian Royal Family returned to Norway aboard the cruiser HMS Norfolk, arriving with the First Cruiser Squadron to cheering crowds in Oslo on 7 June 1945 [8] exactly five years after they had been evacuated from Tromsø.

In 1947 the Norwegian people, by public subscription, purchased the Royal Yacht, Norge, for the King. In 2009 it remains as one of only two such vessels belonging to a European monarch. The other yacht belonging to the Queen of Denmark.

King Haakon VII fell in his bathroom at the estate at Bygdøy in July 1955. This fall, which occurred just a month before his eighty-third birthday, broke the King's thighbone and, although there were few other complications resulting from the fall, the King was left confined to a wheelchair. The once-active king was said to have been depressed by his resulting helplessness and began to lose his customary involvement and interest in current events. With Haakon's loss of mobility and, as the King's health deteriorated further in the summer of 1957, Crown Prince Olav appeared on behalf of his father on ceremonial occasions and taking a more active role in state affairs. At Haakon's death in 1957, the Crown Prince succeeded as Olav V.

Today, King Haakon is regarded by many as one of the greatest Norwegian leaders of the pre-war period, managing to hold his young and fragile country together in unstable political conditions. In 1927 he said, "I am also the King of the Communists" (Norwegian: "Jeg er også kommunistenes konge").[9] His loyalty to democracy proved to be crucial for the political situation of Norway during and after World War II.


Håkon VII. (Norwegen)

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Haakon VII.

Haakon VII. mit Kaiser Wilhelm II. (Fotografie ca. 1910)

Haakon VII. / Håkon VII (* 3. August 1872 in Kopenhagen als Carl von Glücksburg, Prinz von Dänemark; † 21. September 1957 in Oslo) war König von Norwegen von 1905 bis 1957 aus dem Haus Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Er trat in den beiden Weltkriegen für eine neutrale Haltung Dänemarks, Schwedens und Norwegens ein.

Leben [Bearbeiten]

Haakon VII. wurde als zweiter Sohn von Prinz Friedrich, der 1906 als Friedrich VIII. König von Dänemark wurde, und Prinzessin Louise von Schweden-Norwegen in Schloss Charlottenlund (heute Kopenhagen) geboren. Der dänische Prinz mit Taufnamen Karl wurde vom Storting, dem norwegischen Parlament, am 18. November 1905 zum König von Norwegen gewählt, nachdem der norwegische Thron durch die Aufhebung der Personalunion zwischen Norwegen und Schweden frei geworden war. Die Wahl wurde durch einen Volksentscheid bestätigt. Die schwedische Krone behielt der König von Schweden, Oskar II.

Haakon war mit Maud von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, Prinzessin von Großbritannien, verheiratet, einer Tochter von König Edward VII. von England und dessen aus Dänemark stammenden Ehefrau Alexandra, einer Schwester des Kronprinzen Friedrich und der späteren russischen Zarin Marie Fjodorowna. Im Gegensatz zu ihrem Ehemann und Cousin Karl änderte Maud als Königin von Norwegen ihren Namen nicht.

Nach der deutschen Besetzung Norwegens im April 1940 stand Håkon zwei Monate lang an der Spitze des Widerstands, erkannte die nationale Regierung unter Vidkun Quisling nicht an, ging dann nach England und stand dort der norwegischen Exilregierung in dem Londoner Stadtteil Rotherhithe vor. Von einem reichen schottischen Geschäftsmann norwegischer Abstammung wurde ihm außerdem das Schloss Carbisdale Castle zur Verfügung gestellt. Dort wurde am 22. Juni 1941 auf der Carbisdale-Konferenz vereinbart, dass sowjetische Truppen, sollten sie norwegisches Gebiet besetzen, dieses nach dem Krieg wieder räumen sollten, was dann auch tatsächlich so geschah. Am 7. Juni 1945, genau fünf Jahre nach seiner Flucht, kehrte der König nach Norwegen zurück. Håkon VII. starb am 21. September 1957 in Oslo und wurde in der Festung Akershus begraben, die Nachfolge trat sein Sohn Olav V. an.

Ehrungen / Namensverleihungen [Bearbeiten]

   * Bezirk Haakon County im US-Bundesstaat South Dakota
   * Haakon VII Plateau (Haakon den Syvendes Vidde), der Hochebene am Südpolplateau, wo sich der geographische Polpunkt befindet (von Roald Amundsen 1911 erreicht)
   * Haakon VII, höchster Punkt des Stratovulkanes Beerenberges auf der Insel Jan Mayen, 2.277 m.

Weblinks [Bearbeiten]

Commons: Haakon VII of Norway – Sammlung von Bildern, Videos und Audiodateien
   * Haakon 7 (norwegisch)

Vorgänger Amt Nachfolger

Oskar II. König von Norwegen

1905–1957 Olav V.

Normdaten: LCCN: n80153071 | VIAF: 20994826 | SELIBR: 255668 | WP-Personeninfo

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Haakon VII, king of Norway's Timeline

August 3, 1872
Charlottenlund, Danmark
July 2, 1903
Age 30
Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
July 2, 1903
Age 30
Sandringham House, Norfolk, England
September 21, 1957
Age 85
Oslo, Norge
October 1, 1957
Age 85
Oslo, Norge