Haakon VII

King of Norway from 1905 to 1957 (1872-1957)
(Redirected from Haakon VII of Norway)

Haakon VII (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈhôːkʊn], born Prince Carl of Denmark; 3 August 1872 — 21 September 1957) was the King of Norway from 1905 until his death in 1957.

Haakon VII
Portrait by Gustav Borgen, 1906
King of Norway
Reign18 November 1905 — 21 September 1957
Coronation22 June 1906
PredecessorOscar II
SuccessorOlav V
BornPrince Carl of Denmark
(1872-08-03)3 August 1872
Charlottenlund Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Died21 September 1957(1957-09-21) (aged 85)
Royal Palace, Oslo, Norway
Burial1 October 1957
Akershus Castle, Oslo, Norway
(m. 1896; died 1938)
IssueOlav V, King of Norway
Full name
Haakon, né Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel
FatherFrederick VIII of Denmark
MotherLouise of Sweden
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Originally born a Danish prince, he was the son of the future King Frederick VIII of Denmark and Louise of Sweden. Prince Carl was educated at the Royal Danish Naval Academy and served in the Royal Danish Navy. After the 1905 dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway, Prince Carl had an opportunity to take the Norwegian crown. Following the November plebiscite, Haakon accepted the opportunity and was proclaimed king on 18 November 1905. He took the Old Norse name Haakon, becoming the first independent Norwegian monarch to use that name since 1380.

As king, Haakon gained much sympathy from the Norwegian people. Although the Constitution of Norway vests the King with considerable executive powers, in practice Haakon confined himself to a representative and ceremonial role while rarely interfering in politics, a practice continued by his son and grandson.

Norway was invaded by Nazi Germany in April 1940. Haakon rejected German demands to legitimise the Quisling regime's puppet government, vowing to abdicate rather than do so. He refused to abdicate after going into exile in Great Britain. As such, he played a pivotal role in uniting the Norwegian nation in its resistance to the invasion and the subsequent five-year-long occupation during the Second World War. He returned to Norway in June 1945 after the defeat of Germany.

He became the King of Norway when his grandfather, Christian IX was still the King of Denmark, and that before his father and elder brother became kings of Denmark. During his reign he saw his father Frederick VIII, his elder brother Christian X, and his nephew Frederick IX ascend the throne of Denmark, in 1906, 1912 (also of Iceland from 1918 to 1944), and 1947 respectively. Haakon died on 21 September 1957 at the age of 85 after a long 52-year reign. He was succeeded by his only son, Olav, who ascended to the throne as Olav V.

Haakon has a reputation as one Norway's greatest kings. Despite living in exile for five years, he refused to abdicate the throne. He played a pivotal role in uniting the Norwegian nation in its resistance to the invasion and the subsequent five-year-long occupation. He also managed to hold his young and fragile country together in unstable political conditions.

The World Wars


Haakon VII reigned during two world wars. His refusal to submit when a German-pressured Storting body asked him to abdicate inspired the Norwegians to resist the German occupation during World War II. Haakon VII returned from exile in England to Norway in June 1945.

Haakon VII died on September 21, 1957 in the Royal Palace in Oslo.