Norway’s Princess Märtha Louise celebrated her 47th birthday on Saturday, 22 September 2018.
Princess Märtha Louise is currently fourth in the line of succession to the Norwegian throne, following her brother Crown Prince Haakon and his two children, Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus.
King Harald V and Queen Sonja’s eldest child, Princess Märtha Louise was born in 1971 at the Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo.
Her parents named the princess after her paternal grandmother Crown Princess Märtha and her great-great-grandmother, Queen Louise of Sweden who married Frederick VIII of Denmark in 1869. (Their second son, Prince Carl became the first King of Norway in 1905 and ruled as Haakon VII.)
She spent her childhood at Skaugum Estate, near Oslo, with King Harald and Queen Sonja wanting their children to have a normal upbringing, as much as possible, to other Norwegian children.
Princess Märtha Louise attended a municipal daycare centre and a local primary school (Smestad) where she participated in extra-curricular activities such as singing in a choir, played the flute, horse-riding, and participated in a folk dancing group at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.
In 1990, Princess Märtha Louise attended the Kristelig Gymnasium, a private Christian school, during her high school years, focusing on languages, and Bjørknes Privatskole in Oslo from 1992.
Princess Märtha Louise trained as a physiotherapist at Oslo University College and Maastricht in the Netherlands, before gaining qualifications in 1997.
However, Princess Märtha Louise trained at Arena UK to focus on perfecting her showjumping skills and competed as a member of the national equestrian team. She retired from show jumping in 2000.
Princess Märtha Louise married author Ari Behn on 24 May 2002 at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.
They have three daughters, Maud Angelica (born 2003), Leah Isadora (born 2005) and Emma Tallulah (born 2009).
The Princess divorced her husband in 2017, the first in the Norwegian Royal Family.
Princess Märtha Louise is chair of Princess Märtha Louise’s Fund, which provides money for projects to help children with disabilities on her birthday every year.
She is also patron of Norway’s Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Norwegian Association for the Hard of Hearing, The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted, the Norwegian Association of the Deaf, Ridderrennet (a skiing event for the blind and mobility impaired known as ‘The Knights’ Race’), the Norwegian Epilepsy Association, The Norwegian Rheumatism Association and the VIVIL Games.
In addition, Princess Märtha Louise has focused on bringing traditional Norwegian fairy tales to a wider audience, including appearing on television in a storytelling series and producing TV programmes for children.
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