Haakon VII, 1872-1957

Haakon was a former Prince of Denmark who became the ruler of Norway after the country’s independence in 1905. When the Germans invaded Norway, Haakon only just escaped capture in Oslo in April 1940 and along with his cabinet ministers fled for the north. He remained in Norway until the British withdrew and left in June 1940. With the Norwegian Government at his side he led the Norwegian Resistance from London and was recognized by the Allies as the legitimate government. Haakon made radio broadcasts to Norway to encourage his people to resist and up to 50,000 left to join his forces abroad. Morale in Norway was maintained by the production of illegal pamphlets and journals which tried to give the people an alternative version of events. In late 1944 Norwegians helped the Russians by invading German positions in northern Norway from Finland. In June 1945 Haakon returned to a liberated country which had remained staunchly anti-Nazi throughout the war.

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