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A State Visit and a health scare – the 2020 for the Norwegian Royal Family

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central

Norway’s royal family had a rough start to 2020 with the family dealing with the suicide death of Ari Behn – the ex-husband of Princess Märtha Louise. The King and Queen undertook one state visit before COVID-19 shut down the world. King Harald also had a health scare of his own. Royal Central takes a look back at 2020 for the Norwegian royals.


The Royal Family attended Ari Behn’s funeral in Oslo, and Princess Märtha Louise issued a statement paying tribute to her late ex-husband. King Harald was taken to the hospital in the middle of the month due to dizziness. In happier news, Princess Ingrid Alexandra celebrated her Sweet 16.

Photo: Ann Cathrin Buchardt, The Royal Court


The King appeared in public for the first time since his illness, and he also declassified some secret spy documents. Crown Prince Haakon also paid a visit to Mozambique.


King Harald and Queen Sonja undertook one of the only state visits of 2020 when they visited Jordan. Their visit included a stop in historic Petra. Not long after they returned to Norway, the Royal Family cancelled all their events due to the pandemic. The King and Queen also went into quarantine after their trip to Jordan as requested by the government. The King also addressed the Norwegian people from quarantine.


Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit thanked the Oslo City Mission, and the Crown Princess said: “Brighter days will come.Queen Sonja also undertook her first engagement since the outbreak began.


The Norwegian Royal Family appeared in public for the first time together in months for a celebration on the anniversary of the liberation.

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central
Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central

The Royal Family later celebrated National Day, but the Royal Palace was shut down to prevent a public celebration. Princess Märtha Louise criticised the paparazzi in a podcast and spoke out on the death of George Floyd in an Instagram post.


Crown Prince Haakon took part in the final push to get Norway on the UN’s Security Council, which was successful. Emma Behn spoke out on the death of her father. It was also revealed that the Royal Palace in Oslo would be closed for the summer.


We learned more information about Prince Sverre Magnus’s confirmation as the month began; it was also announced that his royal godparents wouldn’t be able to attend his confirmation due to the pandemic.

Photo: Elin Rønning, The Royal Court

The Royal Family also shared images from their trip to Lofoten. Princess Ingrid Alexandra also started her first day at her new high school. Queen Sonja also attended the Olso Philharmonic Orchestra concert.

Crown Prince Haakon also began his hike along the “Refugee Route.” Leah Behn was also confirmed at the end of the month.


The month began with Prince Sverre Magnus being confirmed.

Prince Sverre, Mette-Marit, Ingrid, Haakon
Photo by Oskar Aanmoen

Crown Prince Haakon celebrated Rygge Church’s 900th anniversary, and the King and Crown Prince inspected the Royal Yacht. The Crown Prince Couple also visited Kristiansund.

However, the biggest news of the month was King Harald going to hospital with breathing difficulties.


The King’s illness resulted in Crown Prince Haakon opening Parliament on his own for the first time. Ari Behn’s urn was also buried in a private ceremony.

News also broke that King Harald was to undergo heart surgery and would be out of work for a while; Crown Prince Haakon stepped in as Regent. The King later revealed what tradition the pandemic made him hold closer to his heart.

Crown Prince Haakon also visited a Norwegian World War Two detention camp in October. Princess Ingrid Alexandra had a reason to celebrate as she won gold in Norway’s Junior National Championship in surfing.


Norway’s Royal Guard was impacted by COVID, but King Harald was able to return to duties at the beginning of the month. Shaman Durek also revealed that the King had given his permission for him to propose to Märtha Louise.

The King and Queen had to go back into quarantine after an employee was diagnosed with COVID; the King and Queen did test negative for the virus. The Crown Prince also undertook a virtual tour of the Middle East.

Queen Sonja of Norway lights Adevnt Wreath
Det Norske Kongehus Instagram Still/ Fair Use

The month concluded with Queen Sonja lighting the first candle for the First Sunday of Advent.


Crown Prince Haakon talked about his future, and he and his wife made a surprise visit to disadvantaged Oslo citizens. Princess Astrid made a rare public statement in December, as well. We also learned that Princess Märtha Louise was offered a chance to be monarch.

Embed from Getty Images

The Norwegian Royal Family also shared new Christmas images. The King also issued a statement after a landslide took place in Norway at the end of the month.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.