Norwegian Royalty: Prince Harald -- German Occupation (1940-45)

Figure 1.--Prince Harald here plays with Fala on the White House Grounds while his mother was visiting the President. I'm not sure when this photograph was takem, but it was probably 1944.

The first 3 years of Prince Harald's life at Skaugum were peaceful ones. But this peace wasdestroyed in the early hours of April 9, 1940, when Hitler's troops invaded Norway. The RoyalFamily was one of their primary targets. Forced to flee in great haste, King Haakon, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and the Government left the capital by train only hours before the German occupation forces arrived. The King and the Government held out against the Germans moving into the backwoods until Norway capitulated in June. Hitler demanded they then surrender, but the King andCrown Prince fled to London, where they set up a government-in-exile. The Crown Prince and the Crown Princess parted company at Hamar. Crown Princess Märthaand the children crossed the border into Sweden under cover of darkness on April 10. President Roosevelt offered assylum and several months later they went to the United States. They went to Hyde Park first to meet the President ans stayed in the White House until they found permanent quarters. The Crown Princess, Prince Harald and his two elder sisters, Ragnhild and Astrid, stayed just outside Washington D.C. until the liberation in 1945. The Princess was a frequent visitor to the White House and the President loved her company. She was perty and lively, wonderful company at a time when litteraly the weight of the world was on the president's shoulders [Goodwin, pp. 149-154.] Prince Harald accompanied his mother on some of these visits and woyld divert himself by playing with Fala. Fala of course is probably the most famous Presidential dog of all time. A wonderful sculpture of Fala has been included in the FDR Memorial in Washington D.C. Crown Prince Olav returned to Norway on May 13, 1945. He was joined by the rest of his family and King Haakon on 7 June. They were greeted by jubilant crowds.


Goodwin, Doris Kearns. No Ordinary Time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II (New York: Simon&Schuster, 1994), 759p.


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Created: December 22, 2003
Last updated: December 23, 2003