Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Royal Profile: Princess Märtha Louise of Norway

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway was born 22 September 1971 at Rikshospitalet University Hospital and is the elder of two children of the present King and Queen of Norway{Source}. She has one younger brother, Crown Prince Haakon {Source}.

She was named for her grandmother, Crown Princess Märtha and her great-grandmother, Queen Louise {Source}. Prior to 1990, the young princess could not inherit the throne due to there being a rule for males only, however, in 1990 a constitutional amendment was adopted establishing female rights to the throne as well as rights to the first born child{Source}.. However, these new rules took place only for those born after the amendment was established (thus why her brother remains heir apparent, and her niece is his heir-apparent, and not she and her eldest daughter being the heir apparent and heir's heir){Source}.

She grew up along side her younger brother at their parent's Skaugum Estate, with fairly normal childhoods{Source}. The young princess took part in several after-school activities, such as singing in the choir, playing the flute, taking part in a folk dancing troupe, and horse-riding {Source}. As a youngster, she attended local schools in Norway until 1990{Source}. In the autumn of 1990, the 19 year old Princess moved to England to train at Waterstock House Training Centre and to study literature at the University of Oxford{Source}. She later moved to Area UK to perfect her skills as a show jumper {Source}. Two years later, she returned to Norway to study at Bjørknes Privatskole before attending Oslo University College, and earning a degree in physiotherapy education{Source}. After completing her degree, she moved to The Netherlands to complete her final years of practical training, which she completed in December 1997{Source}. She qualified as a Rosen practitioner in 2000{Source}. During this time, she also persued a career as a equestrian show jumper, often competeing with Norway's National Team{Source}. She retired from show jumping completely in 2000{Source}.

On 13 December 2001, her father announced her engagement to author Ari Behn {Source}. On 24 May 2002, they were married {Source}. Together, they have three daughters{Source}:
  1. Maud Angelica Behn (2003)
  2. Leah Isadora Behn (2005)
  3. Emma Taullah Behn (2008)
In September 2012, after several years of living in Norway, the family moved to London {Source}.
Princess Märtha Louise undertakes numerous royal duties on behalf of the Royal Family throughout the year {Source}. Many of her official engagements focus on people with disabilities {Source} and representing Norway in London. The Princess is an active patron of several organizations, including{Source}{Source}:
  1. Princess Märtha Louise's Fund (Chair)
  2. The Norwegian Sports Organisation for the Disabled
  3. The Norwegian Association of the Deaf
  4. Norway Muscular Dystrophy Association
  5. The Norwegian Epilepsy Association
  6. The Norwegian Rheumatism Association
  7. The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted
Princess Märtha Louise is also an avid business woman, often engaging in cultural work and spreading the traditions of Norweigan fairy tails to a wider audience{Source}. She has taken part of a storytelling series on Norweigan television, authored several books and audiobooks, and participated in other television programs for children {Source}. She also has acted as an independent Rosen therapist since 2002, and due to that, is subject to Norweigan tax laws {Source}. In 2007, she partnered with Elisabeth Nordeng to establish Astarte Education {Source}.

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