Yesterday, the Royal Court of Norway released two new photos of Her Highness Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner ahead of her 85th birthday on Sunday, 12 February. Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen was the photographer.
One of the images features Princess Astrid’s beloved dog, Pepita. The seven-year-old dog is a Japanese Chin.
In the other picture, Her Highness stands in between two paintings of her parents in one of the halls of the Palace in formal wear with her Order of St Olav.
Princess Astrid was born on 12 February 1932 in Villa Solbakken in Oslo. She was the second child of King Olav and Crown Princess Märtha. She had an older sister, Princess Ragnhild (9 June 1930 – 16 September 2012). Her younger brother, King Harald V, was born on 21 February 1937. Joint celebrations for his and his wife, Queen Sonja’s 80th birthdays will be held later this year.
Astrid was christened on 31 March 1932 in the Palace Chapel with King Haakon VII, her paternal grandfather; Queen Maud of Norway, her paternal grandmother; Prince Carl of Sweden, her maternal grandfather; Princess Ingeborg of Sweden, her maternal grandmother; Princess Astrid of Belgium, her maternal aunt; Princess Thyra of Denmark; Prince Eugen of Sweden; Prince George, Duke of Kent; and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
The Princess spent five years of her childhood in the United States with her mother, sister, and brother during World War Two. The family fled Oslo in 1940 when German troops invaded Norway. Many members of the government and Norwegian Storting escaped, as well. Astrid, her mother, and her siblings spent a few months in Sweden before taking a boat to the United States where they remained until the end of the war.
Her Highness, who is ineligible for the crown, served as First Lady after the death of her mother in 1954 and until her brother married in 1968. She still undertakes official engagements on behalf His Majesty and the Norwegian Royal Family.
She married Johan Martin Ferner on 12 January 1961. Together they had five children: Cathrine, Benedikte, Alexander, Elisabeth, and Carl-Christian.
On the evening of her birthday, the King and Queen held a dinner in her honour at the Palace. The Royal Court then released an image featuring Astrid with her brother, sister-in-law, nephew and niece-in-law from the dinner. It was taken by Morten Brun.