As news came from Norway today that the children of Haakon and Mette-Marit are switching schools, so come the news from Denmark.
Prince Nikolai – the oldest son of Prince Joachim and Countess Alexandra – is finishing 9th grade this year at Krebs school. Krebs is the school his father and uncle attended, and his little brother also attends it. (Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary chose a public school for their children).
He could have gone straight from 9th grade on to high school, but apparently there have been a consideration that he wants to take that extra 10th grade which is meant as a preparatory year for upper secondary education. Herlufsholm states that the intent of the year is to prepare students who feel that they might not be mature or ready academically for high school.
Prince Nikolai started school in Møgeltønder at five, and had to relocate to Copenhagen after a couple of weeks, when his parents separation became public. He then started at Krebs school.
He was one of the youngest in his class then, and that might be the reason for why he is choosing to take an extra year before continuing on. To let the others of his age group catch up, and be the same age as the ones he will be starting high school with.
The court released information today that Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus will change schools – starting after the summer.
Ingrid Alexandra will start in 5th grade at Oslo International School, whereas her brother will start in 3rd grade at the Montessori school in Oslo.
The court states that the reasoning is that Ingrid Alexandra is going to the International school to be more fluent in conversational English, as would befit her future role. They don’t mention anything about why Sverre Magnus is going to a different school.
They say that they have been very happy with the schooling they have had at their current school at Jansløkka. But that they have tried to make the choices that are right for their children.
The news is causing debate in Norwegian media. Part of the reasoning is that if the future head of state is withdrawing his children from the public school system, it must mean that he thinks that the system is not good enough.
Since the children of Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Märtha returned from the United States after WWII, the children of the Crown Princely family have gone to public schools.
Märtha Louise and Ari Behn’s children were attending their local Steiner school before they moved to London, and presumably they will also return to that when they move back to Norway.
The decided lack of information about why they have chosen to move now, and why Sverre Magnus is going to a different school than his sister makes me consider that the decision might be more about how Sverre Magnus is fitting in at his school than the extreme need for Ingrid Alexandra to learn conversational English at a young age.
After all, Crown Prince Haakon and his sister had an English nanny growing up so they could learn the language better at a young age.
Back in February, the news came that Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary had chosen that Princess Isabella would follow in her older brother’s footsteps and attend Tranegårdskolen in Gentofte. As I wrote over at Blog Royale back in May 2011, the decision that Christian should attend that school was not universally applauded.
I expect there has also been some rumbling around Isabella’s attendance – but it seems much more universally acceptable when the second one follows rather than when the first one breaks a barrier of sorts.
At any rate, I thought it would be interesting to compare the education of these two with the Danish royals who have gone before them.
I think that it was generally assumed that when Prince Christian would start school that he would join his cousins, Princes Nikolai and Felix at Krebs school, a private school in Copenhagen.
After all, Krebs was also the school of Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. And nobody had batted an eyelid when Nikolai and Felix had followed them there.
Ingrid Alexandra had her first day of school today. Like with big brother Marius’ first day seven years ago, the grandparents were included. Grandmother Marit Tjessem and King Harald accompanied the first grader and her parents on the big day.
King Harald said: “I think it is good that Ingrid Alexandra will be attending the local school. Then she can walk to the school like the other children.” As a boy, Harald attended Smestad school in Oslo city, and was driven to school every day.
The principal pointed out to the press that Ingrid Alexandra will be treated in the same way as the other pupils, but that they will have to work at avoiding too much public attention for her.
Inviting the press to the first day of school, and other special photo occasions have worked, more or less, until now. There haven’t been that many, if any, pictures of Ingrid Alexandra at her kindergarten, her afternoon activities such as: her gymnastics class or singing in the local choir.
It’s a reflection of the times that the pupils were instructed that candy and cell phones were forbidden in class. I don’t remember anyone telling me that when I started school 20 years ago.
HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway will start school on August 19. She’ll attend the nearest public school to Skaugum – Jansløkka school. It is the same school as her older half-brother, Marius, went to, but breaking with royal history. Her father and grandfather attended Smedstad school in Oslo.
Jansløkka school is a primary school for children between ages 6 and 12 – which translates to grades 1-7 in the current Norwegian educational system. The junior high school, Solvang, is the subsequent school, where Ingrid’s brother will be starting this August. That goes from age 13 to 15, or grades 8-10.
There will be press attendance at Ingrid’s first day of school – and pictures can likely be found at VG, Dagbladet, NRK or Aftenposten on the 19th, around 1 PM, Central European Time.
Last autumn, the Norwegian court announced that Crown Princess Mette-Marit would be attending part-time master’s level courses, to further her education.
The Crown Princess, who studied development studies at London School of Oriental and African studies when she was living in London, has also studied Philosophy of Life and Ethics at the University of Oslo, and Chemistry and ICT at the University of Agder. Last year, she started at the Master of Management degree at BI Norwegian school of Management, where she took the course “Management; power and opinion”.
Starting this Monday, she will be continuing on the same degree this year; now with the course “Consulting”. She won’t be attending daily classes, instead the course is based around five gatherings during the year, starting this week, and ending with a study trip to Venice, Italy, in April next year.
This week the firstborn grandchild of the King and Queen of Norway, Maud Angelica Behn started first grade. Maud Angelica, who turned six in April, is the first female that was born with rights to the Norwegian throne.
For those of our readers who aren’t Norwegian, and who may have different ages for starting school – in Norway all children start school when they turn, or the year they turn six.
While in Finnmark, Haakon and Mette-Marit received the question of whether or not Princess Ingrid Alexandra would be receiving training in the Sámi language. The Crown Princely couple replied that it was doubtful as not all schools offer lessons in the language, but that if they really wanted to, they would have to look at the offering in the area.
The Sámi version of NRK has examined the matter further, and for Ingrid Alexandra to receive Sámi classes, there would have to be nine other children on her age level in the municipality demanding it, as she is not of Sámi descent and not living in Oslo. The other option would be private lessons.
If she follows the public school plans, Ingrid Alexandra will start learning English as a second language in elementary school. She will pick up a third language in middle school, with possibilities for picking up more in high school, depending on what the school offers. But presumably, in Asker municipality, there will be no Sámi classes.
Princess Ingrid Alexandra will start elementary school in August 2010.