PROVO, Utah — Norway’s Princess Märtha Louise will be the Harold B. Lee Library’s guest at the Annual Featured Author of the Year Lecture Thursday, April 6, at 11 a.m. in the Harris Fine Arts Center’s de Jong Concert Hall at Brigham Young University.
Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend. Before the lecture, the Princess will give a reading of her new book to 800 local schoolchildren also in the de Jong Concert Hall. Later in the day, at 1:30 p.m., she will be featured at a book signing at the BYU Bookstore.
During the lecture she will discuss her personal writing experiences and her latest book, Why Kings and Queens Don’t Wear Crowns. The charming children’s tale, illustrated by award-winning artist Svein Nyhus, tells about how the princess’ royal Danish great-grandparents became King Haakon VII and Queen Maud of Norway.
The story relates how the king wished to be “more Norwegian than the Norwegians,” says Marsha Broadway, Juvenile Literature Librarian in the Lee Library. But his son, little prince Olav, found a crown bothersome when playing outdoors, especially while skiing.
When he lost a jewel from his crown, Prince Olav had to sit on his throne for three weeks. After a skiing accident that left the king’s crown mangled, the royal crowns were put on display and the family became excellent skiers and beloved by the people of Norway.
“Everyone has family stories to tell,” said Broadway, “and Why Kings and Queen Don’t Wear Crowns could inspire readers to record their own stories.”
Princess Märtha Louise is the oldest child of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. She gave up her royal title when she opted to marry a commoner, Ari Behn, in May 2002. Princess Märtha Louise and her husband have two daughters, Maud Angelica Behn and Leah Isadora Behn.
She received her education in physiotherapy and enjoys riding horses. Atypical of most royalty, she and her brother, Crown Prince Haakon, have always lived like their fellow countrymen, going to public schools and having typical friends. Her interest in writing children’s stories comes from her fascination with traditional Norwegian folk tales, first told to her by her nannies while growing up in a town outside Oslo.
She will also give two other readings while she is visiting the Wasatch Front. For more information about the Princess’ visit, contact Erlend Peterson, BYU Associate International Vice President, at (801) 422-1803.