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Princess Astrid attended baptism of rescue ship named after her late sister, Princess Ragnhild

Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court

On Wednesday of this week, Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner was present when the newest rescue ship in Norway was baptised at the Norwegian Maritime Museum. The ship was named “Princess Ragnhild” who was the older sister of both Princess Astrid and His Majesty King Harald V of Norway. Princess Ragnhild died in 2012.

“Princess Ragnhild” becomes the Rescue Company’s 170th ship since the Norwegian Society of Rescue was founded in 1891. The ship has a top speed of 45 knots and is manned by a crew of three from the Marine Rescue Corps. The ship was purchased thanks to a large donation by Erling Lorentzen who was married to Princess Ragnhild. The Norwegian Royal Family has supported the Rescue Company’s work ever since His Majesty King Oscar II personally donated 1.000 crowns to the foundation in 1891.

The new rescue boat is scheduled to be stationed in the south-Norwegian harbour town of Horten, where it will help to increase the emergency response in the outer part of the Oslofjord. Princess Ragnhild’s youngest daughter, Ragnhild Lorentzen, was the godmother of the ship.

Secretary-General in the Norwegian Rexuse-Company, Rikke Lind introduced the ship’s godmother, who arrived by sea on a rescue watercraft. Ragnhild Lorentzen then undertook the baptism of the rescue ship. “I christen you ‘Princess Ragnhild’. May good luck follow you and your crew in your responsible deed along the Norwegian coast,” she said.

Godmother Ragnhild Lorentzen arrived on one of the Rescue Company’s watercraft. 
Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen. 
The Royal Court.

Majorstua Chamber Choir contributed to the ceremony with the song “We Welcome You with Honour”. Princess Astrid was the first to congratulate the godmother, and together, the two admired the new rescue boat as it lay by the pier at Bygdøy. Princess Astrid also took the opportunity to greet the crew serving on board.

Princess Ragnhild, Mrs Lorentzen was the eldest child of King Olav V of Norway and Princess Märtha of Sweden. She was the first royal to have been born in Norway since the Middle Ages. In 1953, she married the industrialist Erling Lorentzen, a member of the Lorentzen family of shipping magnates. In the same year, they moved to Brazil, where her husband was an industrialist and the main owner of Aracruz Celulose. She lived in Brazil until her death in 2012.

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.