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Taking a look at the use of King Harald’s monogram

Oskar Aanmoen

Most royalty have some kind of monogram. Most royals also have a personal and a family coat of arms. The monograms are for more personal use than the coat of arms, and therefore, we do not see them so often. In Norway, the case is that the King’s monogram is used by the King personally and in several instances which are closely related to His Majesty.

In this article, we will look at King Harald’s monogram and those who use one or more forms of his monogram.

Here we see different versions of the King’s monogram. From left: The King’s monogram with Roman numerals, the king’s monogram with standard numbers. The King and Queen’s joint monogram on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the King’s takeover of power, the King and Queen’s standard monogram on the occasion of their 80th birthday. Photo: The Royal Court.

King Harald’s monogram is composed of two symbols. This is the letter H and the number 5, either written as the number five or the Roman numeral V. The most common is the use of the number 5. King Harald’s monogram has not always looked the way it does today. When Harald was a prince and crown prince, the monogram was the letter H with the Norwegian Crown Prince Crown above the letter. It was only when Harald became king that the number was added.

The King uses his monogram most privately as a letter mark. It is also known that his monogram is sewn into some garments, handkerchiefs and similar possessions that the King has.

In the flag of the Royal Life Guard, we can see the King’s monogram in the four corners of the banner on a white background. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

The best-known use of the monogram outside of the King’s personal sphere is by the Royal Guard. They use the King’s monogram with the number five, in the colour gold and with the Norwegian King’s crown above it. The only difference is that in addition to these symbols, the actual monograms are flanked by two swords, also in gold. The monogram will usually be on a black background, but for example, in the lifeguard’s flag, the monogram is on a light background.

The Royal Guard uses the King’s monogram as a symbol in general, but also as a decoration on the companies’ flags and the musical instruments.

The King’s monogram is central in the layout of the St. Olav`s medal. Photo: Jan Haug / The Royal Court.

The King’s monogram also has a central role in the decoration of the medals that the Royal House distributes. Amongst many, the St. Olav’s Medal, the King’s Memorial Medal and plenty of anniversary medals have been decorated with different versions of the King’s monogram.

The King’s monogram with Roman numerals is not used often. Here is one of the few versions on a flag at the King’s visit to the royal yacht “KS Norge” earlier this year. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

King Harald also has a monogram that he uses with the Queen. This is an S for Sonja, laid over an H for Harald. Above the monogram is the closed King’s crown. The monogram has been used more often in recent years to mark the significant anniversaries of the King and Queen. The monogram for the King and Queen are often in gold, but also red and black have been used previously.

When King Harald had been a monarch for 25 years, he used the King and Queen’s joint monogram in gold. The monogram was then used with laurel wreath and the number 25 below the monogram itself.

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.