Democracy and Welfare Society

The Norwegian monarchy

Kongeparet og Kronprinsparet, (Foto: Sølve Sundsbø / Det kongelige hoff)

Norway is a monarchy. The head of state in a monarchy is a king or queen. In Norway, the king has little political power, but he has a formal role in that he holds a cabinet meeting with the government every week and signs the government’s official decisions and laws adopted by the Storting.

The monarch (king/queen) is not elected by the people in a political election. The title is passed down from parent to child. The current King of Norway is Harald the 5th. He is married to Queen Sonja. They have two children: Princess Märtha Louise (born in 1971) and Crown Prince Haakon Magnus (born in 1973). Crown Prince Haakon Magnus will inherit the royal throne from his father. His daughter, Princess Ingrid Alexandra (born in 2004), will become the monarch after him.

Kong Harald, Kronprins Haakon og Prinsesse Ingrid Alexandra, (Foto: Morten Brun, Det kongelige hoff)



Norway has had three kings since the dissolution of the union with Sweden in 1905:

    • Haakon 7th (King from 1905–1957)
    • Olav 5th (King from 1957–1991)
    • Harald 5th (King from 1991–present)

Kong Haakon med kronprins Olav på armen, 1905, (Oslo Museum, ukjent fotograf)