Norway

Ari Behn’s parents reveal details of their son’s last days and death


Photo by Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

This week has seen more details shared about the death of Ari Behn, Princess Martha’s former husband who took his life on Christmas Day. On Monday, the Norwegian Royal Family issued the following statement: “The royal family thanks everyone, both at home and abroad, who have sent them happy Christmas and New Year greetings. A special thank you to the ones that have sent condolences and shown their support after Ari Behn’s death.”

There has been uncertainty around where Ari Behn will be buried but a spokesperson for his family has told the Norwegian newspaper “VG” that the author was cremated and his urn will be laid to rest at “Our Saviour’s Graveyard” in Oslo, at the request of his loved ones

“Our Saviour’s Graveyard” is also the final resting place of some of Norway’s best known artists and thinkers, includingHenrik Ibsen, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Edward Munch who are buried only a few meters apart.

Ari Behn’s parents have given an interview to the Norwegian magazine “Se og Hør”, where they share details of Ari Behn’s fight against mental illness and the death of their son. Ari Behn`s father visited Ari at his home, both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. He says: “I found him after he choose to end his life. Today I am very grateful that I got to be with him for his last days.”

The family revealed that Ari Behn was scheduled to celebrate Christmas Eve as a guest of at the King and Queen of Norway along with his three daughters at the residence at Kongsseteren, but this was cancelled only a short time before Christmas Eve. Ari Behn’s parents says: “Ari felt too ill to attend, so his plans were changed”. The new plan was that Ari Behn would travel to Larkollen to celebrate Christmas with his parents. Ari cancelled this plan as well so his father Olav decided to travel to his son early on Christmas Eve.

On Friday 3 January, the funeral took place for Ari Behn at Oslo Cathedral. Many royals and members of the Behn family attended the funeral which was broadcast live on Norway’s two largest television channels. Present from the Norwegian Royal Family were King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Prince Sverre Magnus, Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Princess Astrid. Prince Daniel attended from Sweden and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands. Ari and Martha’s eldest daughter, Maud, gave a moving eulogy for her father at the ceremony.



About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.