To mark her tenth birthday the Norwegian court issued some charming new portraits of Princess?Ingrid Alexandra. Princess Ingrid is the eldest child of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, her brother Prince Sverre Magnus is just over a year younger. Which means that under the Norwegian constitution Ingrid, currently second-in-line to the throne after her father, will one day become queen. Her fate was changed by the relatively recent constitutional change to absolute primogeniture in 1990. If the reform had come two decades earlier Crown?Prince Haakon’s elder sister, Princess Martha Louise, would have been first in the line of succession. Princess?Ingrid’s future is therefore a very special one as she will become only the second female monarch in Norwegian history. The sole bearer of that distinction to date has been Queen Margaret I (b1353-d1412), who was also ruler of Denmark and Sweden. Margaret’s reign was certainly a significant one, during which Scandinavia, including Finland, was united under the monarchy. Princess Ingrid is following in historic footsteps but contemporary Scandinavian politics are a lot less dramatic than those of the High Middle Ages.
As a future constitutional monarch Ingrid’s upbringing and education reflects the famed “normality” of the modern Scandinavians, but she is still a national figure and her progress is followed with great interest. One example of this came when Ingrid attended her first day at school in August 2010. Enrolled as a pupil at the Jansløkka Elementary School in Asker she became the first member of the Royal Family to study at a local school near to the family home at Skaugum Estate. Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Martha Louise both grew up at Skaugum but were sent to school in the capital, Oslo. Haakon and Mette-Marit chose Jansløkka Elementary School, which Mette-Marit’s first child Marius Borg Høiby attended, to help give Ingrid a regular childhood. Security permitting she can enjoy a walk from the family residence to join her classmates. At the same time Ingrid is being prepared for her future royal role. In July of 2010 she was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her godmother, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Occasions of family celebration are an excellent starting point for life in the public eye but dealing with the media is of vital importance to any prospective 21st century monarch. With that prospect in mind, in December 2012 Ingrid was joined by her father on a Norwegian television programme in aid of ‘Environmental Agents,’ the children’s environmental organization. It was another step in a gentle introduction to royal life for the girl who will one day be queen.