It is 75 years ago when large crowds greeted King Haakon VII when he returned home on 7 June 1945 after World War II ended.

The Royal Family waving to the welcoming crowds from HMS Norfolk at Oslo, 7 June 1945.

Crown Prince Olav had returned on 13 May from the United Kingdom whilst Crown Princess Märtha and their three children, Princess Ragnhild, Princess Astrid and Prince Harald had lived in the United States.

Haakon VII HMS Norfok Journey Home to Norway
King Haakon VII boards HMS Norfolk in Edinburgh on 5 June 1945 for the journey home to Norway. Photo: Royal Navy Official Photograph (UK)

They had accompanied King Haakon as they boarded HMS Norfolk, with the Norwegian national anthem playing, as they left Edinburgh on 5 June.

Welcome Home Dad
Crown Prince Olav welcomes his father King Haakon VII home. Photo: NTB Scanpix

When the HMS Norfolk reached the Oslo Fjord, Crown Prince Olav came aboard to join the rest of his family.

King Haakon VII Torggata Oslo
The royal procession passes through Torggata in Oslo on the way to the Royal Palace. Photo: NTB / Scanpix

However, the children borrowed large coats from the crew due to the cold, dismal weather.

King Haakon VII addresses the crowd at the City Hall Square. Photo: NTB / Scanpix

The whole Norwegian Royal Family were finally home after living five years in exile during World War II.

Thousands line the streets to see King Haakon’s return. Photo: NTB / Scanpix

King Haakon also addressed huge crowds at the City Hall Square, saying it had been a difficult choice to leave Norway

Haakon VII had chosen the date as it was the anniversary since the Storting had dissolved the union with Sweden on 7 June 1905, and gained full independence, which led to his appointment as King of Norway.

1st Colour Photo King Haakon VII Norway
The first-ever colour photograph. King Haakon VII during exile in the UK, 16 September 1944. Photo: The Royal Collection

Princess Astrid Remembers

Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner says the weather was bad so they couldn’t see land. However, she does remember the many small boats which greeted the HMS Norfolk at the mouth of the Oslo Fjord.

It was our first meeting with “Norway”. All the boats were decorated with leaves and Norwegian flags. As we sailed inland towards Oslo, there were more and more boats. In the end, there were so many boats that we could almost go dry-shore.

Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner

However, the Princess said King Haakon was worried and wondered how the people would welcome him when he arrived home.

Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner Photo: The Royal Court

After all, King Haakon had said ‘no’ to the Germans which led to many Norwegians dying during the war.

Huge crowds greeted the Royal Family when they set foot upon the shore at Honnørbryggen in Oslo.

Princess Astrid described it as ‘overwhelming’ as they passed through the crowded city to the Royal Palace.

She was surprised to see all the court employees, who were at the Royal Palace when they left, standing at the open windows.

Friends, whom they hadn’t seen in ‘five long years’ were brought to the palace to greet the Royal Family when they arrived home.

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