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Norway

Princess Ragnhild’s widower criticises TV series “Atlantic Crossing” for ”false impression” of royal history

Erling Lorentzen
By Victor Soares/ABr - Agência Brasil [1], CC BY 3.0 br, Wiki Commons

Erling Lorentzen, widower of Princess Ragnhild of Norway, and brother-in-law of King Harald has heavily criticised the TV series”Atlantic Crossing”.  The show has also received criticism from well-known Norwegian historians who accuse it of falsifying history. The series has also been discussed and criticized by the Norwegian Broadcasting Council.

Atlantic Crossing is a Norwegian drama series in eight episodes, which premiered on NRK in October 2020. Atlantic Crossing is 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, she 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 believes the series gives a “deeply false” impression of the story. In a statement to the Norwegian newspaper “Aftenposten” he writes: “For someone who participated in the war, and in addition stood close to members of the royal family who are portrayed here in a close way, the result, with its many tendentious representations, has become directly grotesque. By getting close to real events with famous historical figures and at the same time taking the greatest freedoms, creates a deeply false impression of history.”

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. Erling Lorentzen, married Princess Ragnhild in 1953. Today, Lorentzen lives in Norway. He is 97 years old and a regular guest with the royals on many occasions. King Harald has previously referred to Lorentzen as a brother.

The international audience will soon be able to judge the series for themselves. Even before the premiere in Norway, Atlantic Crossing was sold to a large number of countries, including Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Russia and Australia. The series has also been sold to the American TV channel PBS Masterpiece. As the first Norwegian series, Atlantic Crossing is scheduled to be broadcast on this channel in the spring of 2021. As of 16 October 2020, around 30 countries had secured the rights to show the series.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.