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King Haakon arrives in Norway 25 November 1905  (NTB/Scanpix)
King Haakon arrives in Norway 25 November 1905 (NTB/Scanpix)


The Norwegian monarchy dates back more than one thousand years. Harald Fairhair, regarded as the first Norwegian king, united the petty kingships of Norway into a single realm in about 885. From the time of Harald Fairhair until the present day, Norway has had more than 60 named sovereigns. The current King belongs to the House of Glücksburg, which has ruled Norway since 1905.

Although Norwegian history goes back many centuries, modern Norway as an independent nation is relatively young. In 1380 Norway and Denmark were merged under a single monarch, but Norway was given a subordinate role in the union and came increasingly under Danish control. The union with Denmark was dissolved in 1814 in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. For a brief time, Norway once again became an independent nation, drawing up its own constitution. Just a few months later, however, Norway was compelled to enter into a union with Sweden – this time as an independent nation, but with a common king and joint foreign policy.

In 1905 the union of Norway and Sweden was dissolved, and Norway chose its own monarch: King Haakon VII.