July 20 – Birthday of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway

Posted on July 20, 2015

Haakon Magnus is the heir apparent to the Throne of Norway – which means that he is next in line when his father, King Harald V, steps down or dies.

At age 42, Haakon actually has an older sister, Princess Martha Louise. It seems surprising in this day and age that the royal line goes through male heirs only, but that's how it is in Norway. Actually, I was surprised to read that Norway's royalty isn't as much just a figurehead as so many other kings and queens are these days.

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with state power divided between the Parliament (called the Storting), the King and his Council, and the Supreme Court. 

Still, the political leader of Norway – and the head of the government of Norway – is the Prime Minister.

And although Norway's Constitution grants executive powers to the King, they are almost always actually done by the King's Council, and even those on the Council, while in theory appointed by the King according to his own judgement, have since the late 1800s been mostly chosen by the elected governmental officials.

Crown Prince Haakon has official duties, and he chooses cultural events and artists to patronize and promote. He established an organization called Global Dignity, promoting the right of every human on earth to lead a dignified life. One of the things the organization has worked on recently is the effort to end cyber-bullying.

A quote from the Global Dignity website  is, "In a world where it seems no-one agrees on anything, a world where politics divides, religion divides, and race and even cultural borders seem to divide, dignity is something that everyone can agree on." 

Norway is Way North!

I was interested to read that Norway's length and geography meant that it had more different kinds of habitats than almost any other European country, because I figured that any country that far north (it's one of the northernmost nations in the world) and that mountainous (it's one of the most mountainous countries in Europe) would have mostly just snow and ice, seals and reindeer. However, more than 60,000 different species in Norway and its waters reflects more biodiversity than I had thought!

One thing that mountainous countries with lots
of melting snow and ice tend to have is gorgeous
waterfalls... And, oh yeah, this is gorgeous!

I always think of Norway as a nice long dollop of land similar to Sweden in shape, but a close up of any portion of a map of Norway reveals an incredibly complex, rugged coastline with deep indentations and fjords plus more than 50,000 islands!

Norway's fjords are famous and beautiful!

The popular movie Frozen is supposed to be set in Arendelle, but Kristoff's clothing and reindeer are reminiscent of the Sami people of northern Norway.

When I think of North and Norway, I think of the Northern Lights. Gorgeous!


Also on this date:

Moon Day (here and here)

Plan ahead:

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