Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra!

Today is the 5th birthday of our charming little royal rascal, HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra, the firstborn child of HRH Crown Prince Haakon and second in line of succession to the Norwegian throne. I remember in January 2004, the early morning of the 21st, when the news were out that the Crown Princess had gone into labor ... everyone was hoping for a girl, or at least everyone did who had any hopes regarding the event. :-) Our constitution was changed in 1990 to get rid of male primogeniture ... but since Prince Haakon, then 17, had been raised throughout his life to one day be king - and his sister, Princess Märtha, then 19, to not be queen - it was decided that the new Law of Succession should not apply to persons born before AD 1990. In other words, when King Olav V died early the following year and his son became King Harald V, it was Haakon and not his older sister who succeeded to the heir's title. So when the Crown Princess' pregnancy was announced, hopes were high that she'd produce a girl ... because a boy would just be more of the same thing we'd always had, but a girl - a girl would be historic. And a girl it was.

More than a girl - a future queen, and the first Norwegian woman in the 1200 years of our history to ever be born to reign.

Of course there's no telling how long our monarchy will survive. But it's strong - perhaps the strongest in all of Europe - and support for the republic grows so slowly that at the current rate, it will take literally centuries for the nation to discard this, our oldest tradition. I certainly hope I will never see the end of the monarchy while I live. And - although I suppose my chances are slim; Crown Prince Haakon is only three years older than I am, the men in his family are notoriously long-lived, and Norwegian kings do not abdicate - I hope, very much so, that in my lifetime I will get to see the beginning of the reign of Queen Ingrid ... the first queen of Norway ever born to the throne.

But fortunately, that won't be for a good long while yet ... !! ;-)

Happy birthday, little lady!! :-)


Paz said...

for someone who has strong views on religion, politics, basic human rights, I am sort of surprised that you would be royalist,from a young age I always thought it unfair that people should be crowned king by accident of birth, but then look at GWB he only got elected cause daddy had the influence and the $$$.
I do realise that people groomed for the position from an early age make fantastic statesmen, in the same way kids trained in sport from a young age can be top of their sport eg Tiger Woods, the Williams sisters etc
anyway happy Bday to the Princess

Leisha Camden said...

Finally getting around to answering this. :-)

Well, think of it like this: I have strong views on a lot of things, and this is one of them. ;-) I am in fact a royalist, and a very staunch royalist at that ... for several reasons, partly emotional, which I'll readily admit. But I don't consider that a bad thing. As a historian I know better than most of my countrymen what our kings have meant to our nation through the centuries ... in the 20th century too ... and it's something I don't want to see thrown out without damn good reasons. I also have more down-to-earth reasons for preferring the monarchy, though - to put it very simply: If it ain't broken, don't fix it. The monarchy works for Norway, it has worked well for 1200 years and as long as that continues I see no reason to waste enormous amounts of money and time on changing it. Monarchy is the best solution for Norway, I believe that absolutely. I could go on and on about this ... and it's an interesting discussion ... I think I'll have to write a separate post on it, in fact. 'Monarchy Vs Republic'. :-D Stay tuned ... ! ;-)

Paz said...

I agree it works when a person is brought up to do a job, they are usually good at it.
The socialist side of me (Not a socialist but there is a part of me that wants equality) is against one family having that honour when another from when another born in a poor area has no choice eg I was told by a Norwegian that if John Arne Riise was not a good footballer he would be a thief or drug dealer like his neighbours.

Paz said...

I do not mean to offend just giving you the potato headed Irish view. ;)

Leisha Camden said...

Hey, no offense taken, of course not. It's great to hear your views on things, I appreciate that, so much. And I do understand where you're coming from. But I don't think it's a valid point for royals. Yeah, sure, they grow up rich and so forth and have all these wonderful chances to see the world and experience things and what not. They're privileged. But IMO that is the reward they deserve for living their lives - literally their entire lives from birth to death, and in both those events (but not limited to them) we, the people, demand to take part. They must do everything in public - they live in a goldfish bowl. Always. So I'm happy for them to wear designer clothes and ... live in palaces, literally. Although to be honest I think living in our royal palace was a very dubious pleasure before it was renovated some years ago ... ;-)

Anyway, our royals are very down to earth, we have many creepier rich families bursting with entitlement ... so I stand by my position. ;-) We totally need to talk more about this. I have to write that post ...

Paz said...

and I will read it Madam

Leisha Camden said...