By Michael Baadke
Tuesday marks the 80th birthday of King Harald V of Norway, who was born Feb. 21, 1937, in Skaugum, near Oslo.
At birth he was the son of Crown Prince Olav, who would become King Olav V in 1957, and Princess Martha of Sweden. He had two older sisters, Princess Ragnhild (1930-2012) and Princess Astrid (born 1932).
Harald lived some five years of his childhood with his mother and sisters near Washington, D.C., during the German occupation of Norway in World War II. The royal family reunited in Norway in 1945.
Prince Harald completed his military training and service, and married Sonja Haraldsen in 1968. When King Olav died in 1991, Harald became Norway’s king at age 54.
The king and queen have two children: Princess Martha Louise (born 1971) and Crown Prince Haakon (born 1973).
King Harald has appeared on several Norwegian stamps, including a 13-krone stamp with engraved portrait issued Feb. 21, 2012, to celebrate the king’s 75th birthday (Scott 1666).