Spam the Norwegian Family – Happy Birthday Astrid and Harald

Two of our favorite classic Norwegian royals have recently celebrated birthdays. On February 21st King Harald is 83, and his sister – the wonderful Auntie Astrid – was 88 on February 12. Let’s celebrate all the joy they have brought to royal watching by spamming our favorite photos.

My favorite Astrid is in full Norwegian mode, striding off to view the Nordic World Cup. Rock on with your winter self, Astrid.

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But from the way back machine, I like this one of the gals, just hanging out.

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Happy Harald, enjoying some sailing back in 2006. Sunshine and sea, a most excellent combination.

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It’s good to have siblings through nine decades, right?

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Hall of Fame – Sonja’s Yellow Mania

Thank you to our community member and Norwegian expert Ween for this fun post on Queen Sonja. Read on and enjoy!

Ween’s Thesis

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, I’m writing about Sonja and her favorite color, yellow. Ever since she made her formal debut on the royal scene in 1968, Sonja has been a prolific wearer of the sunshine color. From suit jackets to yellow gold tiaras to opera gloves (but seemingly no jewels – Harald, buddy, if you read this: get your wife some nice canary diamonds), Sonja has worn this with every combination possible. In a category that’s almost impossible to narrow down, I present three choices of yellow that are so very Sonja.

Second Runner Up: Big Bird

There is no dress that is more iconic Sonja than her yellow dress designed by the late Erik Mortensen, affectionately (or not) known around these parts as Big Bird. First worn during her and Harald’s joint 60th birthday party in 1997, this dress has been worn to death and then some. Fun fact: when it made its debut, it had a matching yellow hair ornament!

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Pulled out for state visits, royal weddings, and every other event in between, worn with every single tiara in her collection and quite a few state orders, I’m not sure why Sonja loves this dress so much. Maybe she had such a great 60th birthday that she wanted to keep the good memories going. Maybe she loves to show off the fact she can still fit into a dress that’s over 20 years old. Maybe it’s just comfy. Whatever the reason, it’s a dress that has forced its way into icon status.

First Runner Up: 1968 Molstad

Making history as the first Norwegian commoner to not only marry into the royal family, but obtain titles and one day become consort, was a tall order. Sonja couldn’t come into the family without some form of pizzaz, so she entered the pre-wedding reception held at Askerhus Fortress on August 28, 1968 wrapped head to toe in her favorite color.

This yellow dress from Molstad, the same fashion house which designed the wedding dress she would wear the following day, comes with a matching yellow floor-length coat, mustard opera gloves, and a removable beaded orange and pink overlay. The dress was worn during formal portraits released in 1969, the British State Visit that same year, and continued to be worn into the mid-1970s. A simple and versatile dress which, in my opinion, was the perfect debut for a commoner-turned-princess.

Winner: 1989 Birthday Party Dress

With the pleathora of yellow dresses, it’s nigh impossible to figure out which dress is the best dress. Which is why I was just as surprised as you are when I came to my final conclusion that this is my favorite of all of them. Created by an unknown designer, Sonja broke this dress out to celebrate Princess Martha Louise’s 18th birthday at the palace. And ho-ly crap, she brought the big guns (and I’m not just talking about her biceps).

Sonja doesn’t just look good. She looks hot, and she knows it. I’m normally not a fan of 80s fashion, or fashion that steals the show, but this is the exception. It has both the sleek lines of her youth and the ruffles she would come to adore in her later years. It fits her like a glove. It’s one of the few times that the Norwegian Traffic Light (red Order of St. Olav, yellow dress, Queen Josephine’s Emerald Parure) actually works. Notably, this dress was pulled out once and never seen again. Why? Who knows. Maybe it wasn’t considered “queenly” enough. Maybe she decided she just wanted to use it to commemorate the biggest event in her baby girl’s life at that point. Whatever the reason, it certainly did its job in making a big impression.

Which of Sonja's "Yellows is your winner?

Quiz – Guess the Tiaras

Thank you to our community member geogirl for this excellent quiz!

Below is the wedding of Maud of Wales, (born November 26, 1869 – died November 20, 1938).   She was the youngest daughter of the British King Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark. On July 22, 1896, she married Prince Carl of Denmark, her first cousin. In 1906, Prince Carl become King Haakon VII, and Maud become Queen of Norway.

Wedding portrait; Princess Victoria of Wales, Maud of Wales (the bride), Alexandra, Princess of Wales(later Queen Alexandra), Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife, Lady Alexandra Duff. 1896. Public domain

Can you identify the tiaras? 

Britain · Greece · Jordan · Netherlands · Norway

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

February is already upon us. In my neck of the woods it’s a consistent cold and gray season, but here’s hoping the royals bring a little sunshine into your life.

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All the royal news you missed the week of January 27.


King Harald is back, and looking healthy!


Two handsome men represent in the Light Dragoons.


There is some speculation that Sophie will be busier now that the British royals are shuffling duties around. She has been highly visible in the last few weeks, so let’s take a look. Here she stepped out the next generation event at the London Stock exchange.

At the University of Surrey, Sophie opened up a cancer center named in honor of Dr. Kate Granger, who died of the disease.

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👩🏽‍⚕️🏥👨‍⚕️ ‘We all know from our own personal experiences that the way medical professionals treat those in their care can make all the difference to their wellbeing and outlook; simple gestures of kindness and compassion along with an introduction make patients feel unique, valued and respected.’ Chris Pointon (widower of Dr Kate Granger) spoke of his wife’s legacy as The Countess of Wessex opened a new facility named after her at the University of Surrey. Dr Granger, an NHS doctor who spearheaded the #hellomynameis campaign encouraging healthcare staff to establish a personal connection with patients to support better health outcomes and interactions. The new facility is home to the prestigious School of Health Sciences, which is at the forefront of educating the next generation of nurses, midwives, physicians’ associates and paramedics in the United Kingdom. 📸: David Hartley

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While in Sierre Leone, Sophie repeated her ARoss Girl green dress (Kate also wore a similar dress, shown at the link).


Anne-Marie and Theodora were recently seen attending Celia Krithiatori’s fashion show. Word is the Greek designer has been chosen by Theodora to design her wedding gown. If you are like me, that wedding had completely fallen off your radar. I am glad to put it back on. Here is a link to the designer’s wedding gown collection for 2019. It appears we are in for a dramatic time!

The Netherlands

We haven’t focused on them much lately, but many members of the The House of Orange have been working. Let’s do a Deep Dive on the Dutch, shall we?

Margriet visited the Military Rehabilitation Center (Aardenburg) in Doorn, Netherlands, and sport that she is, tossed a few balls around.

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She slowed down to open the Beukenstein care and nursing home in Driebergen-Rijsenburg. Additional photos of the wonderful dress are at New My Royals.

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Beukenstein in Driebergen-Rijsenburg is een van de eerste verpleeghuizen in Nederland dat in de jaren zeventig de deuren opende. Vandaag opent Prinses Margriet het vernieuwde pand van het verpleeghuis. Ouderen met een zorgindicatie, bijvoorbeeld dementie, kunnen in een van de woningen van Beukenstein terecht. Kleinschaligheid en persoonlijke zorg staan daarbij voorop, zodat de bewoners zich veilig en vertrouwd voelen in hun omgeving. Na de symbolische opening krijgt de Prinses een rondleiding. Ook spreekt zij met bewoners en medewerkers over hun ervaringen in het nieuwe pand en over de zorg die het verpleeghuis biedt. #prinses #Princess #Koninklijk Huis #RoyalHouse #Margriet #verpleeghuis #Beukenstein #zorgindicatie #dementie 📸Victor Schutijser

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I feel we should drop by and check out some relatively recent “Looks of Laurentien”. We featured one last week, but she is always interesting, if not always conventional. I don’t think we focused on her during the Prince Claus Award ceremony in December, but her ruby (well, orange) slippers and earrings are deserving of a deep dive.

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LIteracy is one of Laurentien’s pet causes, and in that vein she opened an event supporting those with reading disabilities at the Amsterdam Public Library. I like the colorful scarf against the stark black pantsuit, which from these photos looks like it fits like a dream.

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Prinses Laurentien is bij de boekpresentatie van ‘Knokken voor je boeken’ ter gelegenheid van het 125-jarig bestaan van de Vereniging Onbeperkt Lezen (VOL). Na het in ontvangst nemen van het eerste boek opent de Prinses de gelijknamige fototentoonstelling in de Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (OBA). In ‘Knokken voor je boeken’ vertellen 22 mensen met een leesbeperking hoe zij lezen met gebruik van vingers, of door te luisteren naar een gesproken boek en wat lezen voor hen betekent. Tien van deze mensen worden uitgelicht met hun portret in de fototentoonstelling. Met het boek en de fototentoonstelling in de bibliotheek vraagt VOL aandacht voor mensen met een leesbeperking en de mogelijkheden om op andere manieren te kunnen (blijven) lezen. De tentoonstelling is te zien van 30 januari tot en met 24 februari op de 1e etage van de @obamsterdam. #lezen #leesbeperking #boek #fototentoonstelling #VOL #PrinsesLaurentien #prinses #Princess #Amsterdam #OBA 📸Patrick van Katwijk en RVD

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What did I miss?

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