Sunday, February 12, 2012

Royal Profile: HRH Princess Astrid of Norway, Mrs. Astrid Maud Ingeborg Ferner

Her Highness Princess Astrid of Norway, Mrs. Astrid Maud Ingeborg Ferner  was born 12 Februrary 1932, the middle child of  King Olav V of Norway (1903–1991) and his wife, Princess Märtha of Sweden (1901–1954). She is the older sister of Norway's present king. She has one older sister, Princess  Ragnhild and younger brother King Harrold.

After her mother died in April 1954 until her brother married in August 1958, she acted as First Lady of Norway. During this time, she worked along side her father tending to royal duties, including state visits, just as her mother had. She is chair of the board of Crown Princess Märtha’s Memorial Fund which provides financial support to social and humanitarian initiatives carried out by non-governmental organisations.

She married divorced commoner Johan Martin Ferner who was an Olympic mediaist sailor, businessman in Asker on 12 January 1961. They would go on to have children-Cathrine (1962), Benedikte (1963),  Alexander (1965),   Elisabeth (1969),  Carl-Christian (1972). She has five grandchildren-Sebastian Ferner Johansen (1990, Cathrine), Madeleine Ferner Johansen (1993, Cathrine), Edward (1996, Alexander), Stella (1998, Alexander) and  Benjamin (Elisabeth, 1999). 

The Princess is a patron of several organizations and participates in their activities with great interest. She has been particularly involved in work for children and young people with dyslexia, herself having had a hard time during her childhood and youth due to that condition.

She holds several Norweigen and international honors. A 580,000 km² area in Antarctica is named Princess Astrid Coast in her honor.

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