The Telemark bunad

In theory, to wear a  Norwegian national costume, (a bunad), you should have some relationship with the place the bunad comes from. Either with an ancestor from the area or living in the area yourself.  Or sometimes, gifting to a royal, it is good  PR when the royal is photographed in it.

The red jacket bunad from East Telemark is kind of mostly mine bunad. I got it from my mother on the occasion of our wedding. My family came from Telemark, and I thought it was a natural choice for me.” – Queen Sonja in Bunadmagasinet.

Queen Sonja’s parents were both born in Skien, in Telemark. Both she, and her daughter Princess Märtha Louise, own Telemark bunads. Märtha Louise inherited hers from her paternal grandmother.


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Map of Telemark.

Crown Princess Märtha, while Swedish-born, received three Telemark bunads . The first one was made and given to her by Anne Bamle in the late 1920s. Then Skaugum burned down. Crown Princess Märtha received a new bunad, also made by Anne Bamle. The Second World War  broke out, and the royal family had to flee the country. Terboven occupied Skaugum during the war. The bunad disappeared.

After the war, a third bunad was made. It is this bunad that Märtha Louise wore for her confirmation, and continues to wear to this day.

Both she and Queen Sonja often wear them on official occasions.

“The red jacket bunad, that I like to call my bunad, I use on a lot of occasions. A day of official business can be filled with many different things. It can be everything from church visits, and care home visits, to exhibitions and lunches. Many different activities. The bunad is very practical. And the shoes are good. That’s also important when I have to be on my feet most of the day.” – Queen Sonja.

The East Telemark bunad has a red jacket on top of the shirt and dress. The red jacket hail back to the 1700s, while the rest of the costume has history to the first half of the 1800s.

You can also wear it without the red jacket, as the Queen did at the annual Christmas photo shoot last year.

Author: Anne

Anne is a librarian by day. By night, she reads. She knits. She watches movies and television shows. She enjoys board games. And posting on royal related forums.

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