Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise
Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise was born at Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo on 22 September 1971. She is the oldest child of His Majesty King Harald and Her Majesty Queen Sonja. She has one brother, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon.
The Princess was named after her father’s mother, Crown Princess Märtha, and her great-great grandmother, Queen Louise, the mother of King Haakon VII. A constitutional amendment adopted in 1990 established the right of eldest born child to succeed to the Throne regardless of gender; however, as the amendment entered into force long after the Princess and Crown Prince were born, it was decided that males would continue to take precedence over females for children born prior to 1990.
Princess Märtha Louise and her brother spent their childhood at Skaugum Estate, near Oslo. Her parents attached great importance to giving their children an upbringing that was as similar as possible to that of other Norwegian children, and both the Princess and the Crown Prince attended a municipal day-care centre and a local primary school, and took part in various after school activities. The Princess sung in a choir and played the flute, and for many years she was a member of a folk dancing group at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. She was also an avid equestrian.
The Princess attended Smestad school in Oslo. She completed her upper secondary education at Kristelig Gymnasium in Oslo in 1990, with an emphasis on languages. That same autumn the Princess moved to England to train at Waterstock House Training Centre and to study literature at the University of Oxford. She later trained at Arena UK to perfect her skills as a show jumper.
In autumn 1992 Princess Märtha Louise began attending Bjørknes Privatskole in Oslo. She subsequently pursued a physiotherapy education programme at Oslo University College. After finishing the programme, the Princess completed her practical training in Maastricht, the Netherlands. In December 1997 she was awarded her formal qualification as a physiotherapist, and in 2000 she qualified as a Rosen practitioner. She also concentrated on her career as a show jumper, and was a member of the national equestrian team for several years. She retired from show jumping in 2000.
Princess Märtha Louise became engaged to the author Mr Ari Behn on 13 December 2001. The couple were married in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 24 May 2002. Bishop Finn Wagle presided over the ceremony. In 2016 the couple decided to part ways, and they were divorced in 2017.
The Princess and Mr Behn have three daughters, Miss Maud Angelica Behn, born at Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo on 29 April 2003, Miss Leah Isadora Behn, born at the couple’s summer home, Bloksbjerg at Hankø, on 8 April 2005 and Miss Emma Tallulah Behn born at Lommedalen on 29. September 2008.
All three were christened in the Palace Chapel: Miss Maud Angelica 2 July 2003, Miss Leah Isadora 16 June 2005 and Miss Emma Tallulah 20 January 2009.
The Princess lives with her daughters in Lommedalen, in Bærum outside of Oslo.
Princess Märtha Louise undertakes official engagements as a representative of the Royal Family in areas concerning persons with disabilities.
She is also active as patron of eight organisations, and as Chair of Princess Märtha Louise's Fund. Allocations from the fund are awarded to projects that aim to benefit disabled children.
Princess Märtha Louise has long been engaged in cultural work, and especially in disseminating traditional Norwegian fairy tales to a wider audience. Among other activities, she has starred in a storytelling series on Norwegian television. The Princess is the author of several books and audiobooks, and has participated in the production of television programmes for children.
The Princess established a sole proprietorship on 1 January 2002 under which she conducts her independent professional activities in the cultural sphere and as a Rosen therapist. As of that date she has been subject to Norwegian tax laws.
In 2007 The Princess established Astarte Education with Elisabeth Nordeng.