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Norway

Erling Lorentzen, brother-in-law to King Harald of Norway, dies at the age of 98


Victor Soares/ABr via Wikimedia Commons CC

Erling Lorentzen, widower of Princess Ragnhild, has died at the age of 98.

The news was announced on Tuesday by the Norwegian news agency NTB on behalf of Lorentzen’s family and was shortly afterwards confirmed in a statement from the royal court.

Lorentzen was the widower of Princess Ragnhild of Norway, eldest daughter of King Olav V, making him King Harald’s brother-in-law.

It is not yet known how the funeral will take place, although is expected that many members of The Royal Family will attend.

The Royal Court states that Mr. Lorentzen passed away on Tuesday 9 March 2021 at 01.30am following a short illness.

King Harald said on behalf of the entire Royal Family: “It is with great sadness that we have received the sad message that Erling Sven Lorentzen has passed away.

“Our thoughts go to his loved ones, who have lost a good father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather.”

In 2020, Erling Lorentzen heavily criticised the TV series Atlantic Crossing – a Norwegian drama series inspired by the story of Crown Princess Märtha and her efforts for Norway during World War II.

Through her friendship with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Crown Princess Märtha influenced him at a time when Norway and the Allies needed help from the then neutral United States in the fight against Adolf Hitler.

Erling Lorentzen then said that he thinks the series gives a “deeply false” impression of the story.

Lorentzen himself played a central role in the resistance work during World War II. He was 17 years old when he enlisted in the fight against the Germans and later he became an officer in the resistance movement and bodyguard for the Royal Family.

Lorentzen was married to Princess Ragnhild from 1953 until her death in 2012.

Lorentzen was regular guest with the royals on many occasions. King Harald has previously referred to Lorentzen as a brother.

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.