Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Maud, Queen of Norway

Maud, Queen of Norway (26 November 1869-20 November 1938) was the third daughter and youngest surviving child of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Queen Alexandra, who became the consort of King Haakon VII of Norway. She was the first queen consort of Norway since 1319 who was not also queen consort of Denmark or Sweden

Her Royal Highness Princess Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria, VA, CI, GCStJ was born at Marlborough House, the London residence of her parents, the then Prince and Princess of Wales. She was christened at Marlborough House on Christmas Eve, and her sponsors included her aunts, Empress Marie of Russia and the then-Crown Princess Louise of Denmark (the mother of her future husband) She was a high-spirited child, a quality that earned her the nickname Harry. Princess Maud of Wales took part in almost all the annual visits to the Princess of Wales' family in Denmark and later accompanied her mother and her sisters on cruises to Norway and the Mediterranean. She, along with her sisters Princess Victoria and Princess Louise, received the Imperial Order of the Crown of India from Queen Victoria on 6 August 1887. Like her sisters, Princess Victoria also held the First Class of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert and a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

On 22 July 1896, Princess Maud married her first cousin, His Royal Highness Prince Carl of Denmark, in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace. Prince Carl was the second son of King Frederick of Denmark, Queen Alexandra's elder brother, and Princess Louise of Sweden. The bride's father, the Prince of Wales, gave her Appleton House on the Sandringham Estate, as a country residence for her frequent visits to England. It was there that the couple's only child, Prince Alexander (later King Olav V of Norway), was born on 2 July 1903.

Prince Carl was an officer in the Danish navy and he his family lived mainly in Denmark until 1905. In June of that year, the Norwegian Storting (parliament) dissolved Norway's one hundred year-old union with Sweden and voted to offer the throne to Prince Carl. Following a plebiscite in November, Prince Carl accepted the Norwegian throne, taking the name of Haakon VII, while his young son took the name of Olav. King Haakon and Queen Maud were crowned at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 22 June 1906; the last coronation of a Scandinavian monarch.

Queen Maud never lost her love of Britain, but she quickly adapted to her new country and duties as a queen consort. She supported charitable causes, particularly those associated with children and animals, and gave encouragement to musicians and artists. She learned to ski and arranged for an English garden at Kongsseteren, the Royal lodge overlooking the nation's capital Oslo. Queen Maud's last public appearance in Britain was the coronation of her nephew, King George VI, in May 1937. She sat in the royal box at Westminster Abbey next to her sister-in-law Queen Mary and her niece the Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood.

Queen Maud died of heart failure in London, only weeks before her sixty-ninth birthday, three days after an operation. Her body was returned to Norway on board the HMS Royal Oak, the flagship of Second Battle Squadron of the Royal Navy's Home Fleet. Queen Maud was buried in the royal mausoleum at the Castle of Akershus.