Norwegian Line of Succession

What is the line of succession in terms of the monarchy?

It is much like the line of succession to the American presidency; should something, God forbid, make the president unfit or unable to reign, there is a relatively short line in place to determine just who is to take charge. Apart from being in the line of succession, the person would also have to be constitutionally eligible. The latter discounts two people in the current cabinet.

Lines of succession serve similar purposes for the monarchies of the world. It is, to put it bluntly, naming the successors to the monarch – for when something happens.

Prior to 1990, the succession to the Norwegian throne was reserved for males. In 1990 the constitution was changed, to adapt to modern times, and females were included in the line of succession.

However, as the current Crown Prince had grown up in his role, and his older sister had not expected anything, the law was only retroactive as much as to include Princess Märtha Louise in the succession, but not put her ahead of her younger brother. For subsequent births, females and males have been considered equal – as evidenced by the fact that Princess Ingrid Alexandra is before her brother Prince Sverre Magnus.

The precise wording of the succession legalese is:

The order of succession is lineal, so that only a child born in lawful wedlock of the Queen or King, or of one who is herself or himself entitled to the succession, may succeed, and so that the nearest line shall take precedence over the more remote and the elder in the line over the younger.

An unborn child shall also be included among those entitled to the succession and shall immediately take her or his proper place in the line of succession as soon as she or he is born into the world.

The right of succession shall not, however, belong to any person who is not born in the direct line of descent from the last reigning Queen or King or a sister or brother thereof, or is not herself or himself a sister or brother thereof.

When a Princess or Prince entitled to succeed to the Crown of Norway is born, her or his name and time of birth shall be notified to the first Storting in session and be entered in the record of its proceedings.

For those born before the year 1971, Article 6 of the Constitution as it was passed on 18 November 1905 shall, however, apply. For those born before the year 1990 it shall nevertheless be the case that a male shall take precedence over a female.

Traditionally, it has been just the heir to the throne who has taken the oath in Stortinget (the Norwegian parliament) when coming of age. It is therefore currently only Crown Prince Haakon who can act as a regent for the King when he is unable to serve.

Here is the current line of succession to the Norwegian throne:

1. HRH Crown Prince Haakon Magnus – son to the King (b. 1973)
2. HRH Hereditary Princess Ingrid Alexandra – granddaughter to the King (b. 2004)
3. Prince Sverre Magnus – grandson to the King (b. 2005)
4. Princess Märtha Louise – daughter to the King (b. 1971)
5. Maud Angelica Behn – granddaughter to the King (b. 2003)
6. Leah Isadora Behn – granddaughter to the King (b. 2005)
7. Emma Tallullah Behn – granddaughter to the King (b. 2008)

If the Norwegian succession laws hadn’t changed in 1991, the only ones on the above list who would still be eligible, would be Haakon Magnus and Sverre Magnus. It is very strange, but the Norwegian royal family doesn’t seem to produce all that many boys.

It’s been a long time since the line of succession in Norway was this length.

The King’s older sisters and their offspring are not eligible to the throne, as the princesses were born prior to 1971, and therefore follow the constitution of 1905.

The contents of this post has been posted once before at Blog Royale.


  1. The changes to the succession article in the Constitution of Norway were passed in the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) on 29 May 1990 (i.e. 1991 is wrong).


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