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Norway

King Harald informed Princess Märtha Louise of her former husband’s suicide


By Richter Frank-Jurgen - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

In an interview with TV2, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway talked about her former husband’s suicide on Christmas Day 2019. The news of Ari Behn’s death shook the whole of Norway. It was already known that The Royal Family received the news while celebrating at the royal lodge of Kongsseteren in Holmenkollen. But only now has Märtha Louise revealed how she received the message.

Princess Martha says: “We actually had a really nice Christmas. We sat and watched “Home Alone 2” on the TV. It was very cozy. Then dad came in and said it to me, and then I had to say it to the children. It is one of the toughest things I have ever done. But you just have to do it.”

The princess further tells how Olav Bjørshoel, Ari Behn’s father, had called the royal police guard, which then called the chief of staff, who in turn called His Majesty King Harald with the news of the suicide. When Princess Märtha Louise is asked how she will remember Ari, she answers: “I remember such good moments. Like when he painted on the floor with a child on his back or when we had dinners. He was so funny.”

Ari Behn was married to Princess Martha Louise, the oldest child of King Harald and Queen Sonja from 2002 to 2017. They had three children together, Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora and Emma Tallulah. Shortly after the death of Ari Behn, King Harald said that it will take time to move on after the death. The King said: “It will take some time. Not a bit either, I think. We have three grandchildren who have lost their father. So it will take time.”

On Christmas Day 2019, Ari Behn, took his own life. His funeral in Oslo Cathedral on January 3 was attend by royals from Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands and Crown Prince Haakon was one of the pallbearers. On his birthday, September 30 in 2020, Ari Behn was laid to rest at Our Savior’s Cemetery in Oslo. Behn was cremated. He was born on September 30, 1972 and would have turned 48.

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.