The Norwegian Royal Family has been rife with controversy lately. From rumblings of a possible separation of the Crown Princely couple, to the recent decision of the couple to send their children to private school, they’ve provided much to be debated over the past couple of months.
With every debate comes the ultimate query: Is royalty even needed anymore? The State explains the question at hand further:
In egalitarian Norway, the choice for the further education of 10-year-old Princess Ingrid Alexandra and 8-year-old Prince Sverre Magnus seemed a denunciation of the education of the rest of the children in this wealthy nation of only 5 million. But while a fuss over moving royals from classes with common children might seem a non-issue in the non-royal United States, it actually gets at a single question about much of the remaining royalty of Europe: Why?
Norwegian historian Finn Erhard Johannessen, from the University of Oslo, said supporting a royal family remained a source of pride in his nation but that there were limits.
“Norwegians like having a royal family,” he said. “But they don’t want them to act too royally.”
Polls indicate that about 4 of 5 Norwegians back the monarchy, though most of those essentially with a “why not?” instead of undying passion for the institution.
Johannessen said Norwegians thought their royals were nice people. Part of that is living like anyone else.
“People want the royal children to be in school with the children of immigrants,” he noted.
Anders Folkestad, the head of Norway’s teachers union, told local media that the move sends a bad message: “Does it say private schools are better than public? Must one go to an international school to learn English?” (The State)
The article goes on to discuss the monarchy’s past issues and its possible future.
It’s an interesting move on behalf of Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit, and it leaves a lot to be answered. In a move they had to have known would have such repercussions, you have to wonder what could be so dire that they make this decision.