Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway is the first female eligible to rule the country, and that’s something to celebrate! Norwegians will be cheering for the little princess when she turns 17 on January 21, also known as Princess Ingrid Alexandra Day. Flags will be flying across the land, although businesses will still be open, since it’s not considered a “public holiday” or helligdager as the Norwegians say.
Ingrid, whose name is pronounced ING-ree in Norway, is the granddaughter of H.M. King Harold V and H.M. Queen Sonja and second in line to the throne behind her father Crown Prince Haakon. She’s the first Norwegian girl ever to have this right and privilege due to a constitutional change in 1990. Absolute primogeniture, which is all the rage in Europe these days, means women are no longer passed over by their men when it comes to royal succession. This holds true for wee Princess Charlotte in the UK as well, although she’s already in line behind her big brother, Prince George.
Maybe it’s a stretch to discuss feminism and royalty in the same conversation. After all, aren’t European royals simply living, breathing anachronisms, holdovers from olden times, no longer relevant? Perhaps. But they’re also potent symbols of their respective kingdom’s culture, heritage and longevity. There’s something especially comforting about tradition in these otherwise turbulent times. And nothing quite captivates us like royalty. According to figures released by Netflix, 73 million households worldwide have tuned in to “The Crown,” the lavish drama about Great Britain’s royal family, since it began in 2016. A gentle reminder to the reader that the protagonist of this series is the longest reigning queen of England in history.
All this to say that Norway’s Princess Ingrid Alexandra Day is significant for many reasons.
Norway is a progressive nation, considered to be one of the most gender-equal countries in the world. Norwegian women got the right to vote back in 1913, seven years before their sisters in America. More recently in 2002, Norway passed the Norwegian Gender Equality Act to promote equality and reduce discrimination on the basis of gender, pregnancy, care responsibilities and a host of other identity determinants. In 2016, Norway was the first country to have a Gender Equality Ombud. In 2018, the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act was introduced with updated legislation. According to the 2020 Global Gender Gap Index Rating Report, Norway is ranked second only to Iceland on the international gender parity chart.
Ingrid doesn’t have a regular schedule of official royal duties yet, but she took part in the dedication of the Princess Ingrid Alexandra Sculpture Park and lit the cauldron at the opening ceremonies for the Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer in 2016. She also participates in Norway’s annual Constitution Day festivities. The princess is digitally accessible through her Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Diana may have been the “People’s Princess,” but Ingrid is the future queen of Norway, where Stressless furniture was born and is still made. She’s part of a new generation of modern royal women who will lead their countries and serve as powerful symbols while also having the opportunity to effect real change. Let’s hope their reigns lift up women across socio-economic and racial barriers to achieve, believe and become whatever they want to be.
Till then, gratulerer med dagen to Princess Ingrid Alexandra!