Princess Astrid celebrates 85th birthday

Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner fills Sunday 85 yearsPrincess Astrid, Mrs Ferner.Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen / Det kongelige hoff / NTB scanpix

Princess Astrid turns 85 this Sunday. King Harald’s second oldest sister is one of the story writers behind “Kongens nei”, and often referred to as the ‘family memory’.

The princess will celebrate her birthday in private on Sunday. This Friday king Harald and queen Sonja hosted a dinner at the Royal Palace in honour of her birthday, according to NTB. In addition to the king and queen and Princess Astrid and her family, other guests were princess Ragnhild and her family, prince Haakon and his family and close friends of the princess.

‘Kongens nei’

Princess Astrid Maud Ingeborg was born in 1932, as the second oldest child of King Olav and Crown Princess Märtha. She grew up in Skaugum in Asker, but fled with her family when the Germans invaded Norway on April 9, 1940.

The story about their escape was immortalised in 2016 in the Norwegian blockbuster ‘Kongens nei’. Head writer Harald Rosenløw Eeg and Jan Trygve Røyneland spent much time figuring out what the royals were like during that time. “We had a lot of contact with princess Astrid, who is the ‘family’s memory’ and told us about the people and situations of that time”, said screenwriter Rosenløw Eeg.

Princess Astrid attended, together with the king and queen and the Crown Prince and Princess, the premiere of the film last September. The film was shown to an audience of thousands at the Palace Park.

Early First Lady

When Princess Astrid was born, it was clear that neither she nor Princess Ragnhild could ever take the throne. Nonetheless, princess duties included taking place as First Lady after Crown Princess Märtha died in 1954.

The responsibilities of Norwegian princesses and representative of the royal family changed when her father, King Olav, took the throne in 1957. She followed him to the consecration in Trondheim and joined him on travels in Norway and abroad.

In 1960 she got engaged with Johan Ferner, which created a public debate since he was a divorced man. The two married in 1961, and Princess Astrid abdicated her appendage. She did however continue to represent the royal family. Princess Astrid and Johan Ferner had five children. Johan Ferner died on 24 January 2015 at the age of 87. “The fact that she got married to Johan Ferner was her great happiness. She has often emphasised that her mother, Crown Princess Märtha, was very fond of him”, said Kjell Arne Totland, TV2 expert of the royal family in 2015.

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today