Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner, was the first member of the exiled Norwegian Royal Family to hear about the liberation on 8 May 1945.

Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner Photo: The Royal Court

King Harald’s sister shared some of her memories through a video call from her home in Oslo as Norway commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation.

Princess Astrid, Mrs Fermer, said was busy doing her homework at the time when she heard the breaking news on the radio that Europe was now free as the Germans had surrendered.

Her mother had asked if they had said anything about Norway.

The Princess said she was excited that she rushed out of the room and didn’t hear the rest of the news.

The Embassy phoned to inform the Crown Princess that Norway was again a free country.

However, according to Princess Astrid, her younger brother ‘thought it was didn

Princess Astrid during her stay at Pook’s Hill, near Washington DC. 
Photo: Kristian Bull, The Royal Collections

So they packed up to return home and arrived in Norway with King Haakon on 7 June 1945.

Her father, Crown Prince Olav (later Olav V) had already arrived in Oslo on 13 May.

Royal Family in Exile

Crown Princess Märtha had fled to her homeland, Sweden, with her three children, Princess Ragnhild, Princess Astrid, and the heir Prince Harald, when the Germans invaded on 9 April 1940.

Her father-in-law King Haakon VII, husband Crown Prince Olav and the Storting had fled to the United Kingdom on the same day and set up the Norwegian government-in-exile in London.

The Crown Princess and her children accepted an invitation from US President Franklin Roosevelt, first staying in the White House, then living at Pook’s Hill, just outside Washington DC.

With the President’s help, Crown Princess Märtha had worked tirelessly to promote Norwegian interests during World War II, including official visits, giving lectures and speeches and sending relief aid and operations to help refugees.

Crown Princess Märtha was given a warm welcome upon arrival in Oslo as her all her hard work during the war had boosted her popularity with the Norwegians.

The Royal Family waves to welcoming crowds aboard HMS Norfolk in Oslo, 7 June 1945.

Her death on 5 April 1954 was a ‘tremendous loss to Crown Prince Olav, their children and the nation, after suffering from ill health after the war.

Crown Princess Märtha was buried on 21 April 1954 and buried in the Royal Mausoleum in Akershus Fortress.

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