Olav V

Norwegian Crown Prince and King

Born: 1903, Appleton House, Norfolk, England
Died: 1991, Oslo, Norway

Olav V was born Alexander Edward Christian Frederik, Prince of Denmark. When the union between Norway and Sweden was dissolved in 1905 and his parents were crowned King Haakon and Queen Maud, he was given the title Olav, Crown Prince of Norway.

On June 2, 1910, a few days before Amundsen’s Fram expedition set sail, King Haakon and Queen Maud came on board the polar ship in Kristiania (Oslo). They brought with them gifts of a silver mug and signed photographs of themselves and Crown Prince Olav. The portraits of the royal couple were hung proudly in the salon on board Fram and would also accompany Amundsen on both the Maud expedition and the flight of the airship Norge over the Arctic Ocean, before finally being hung with the photograph of Crown Prince Olav on the wall of the blue living room at home with Amundsen in Svartskog.

The signed photograph of Crown Prince Olav that was given to Amundsen in 1910. Photo: Follo museum, MiA.

In April 1926, when the airship Norge arrived in Pulham, England, en route from Italy to Svalbard, Crown Prince Olav was a student in Oxford and turned up to witness the stopover. Amundsen himself was not on board, but the passengers included his nephew Gustav.

Crown Prince Olav (left) watches the airship Norge’s arrival at Pulham, England, on April 11, 1926. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute / National Library of Norway.

Crown Prince Olav became King Olav V of Norway on the death of his father in 1957. In 1972, he was in Svalbard to unveil the statue erected to mark the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen’s birth.


Store norske leksikon: Olav 5

The Royal House of Norway: King Olav V