Welcome readers to todays offering from The Philatelist. So slip on your smoking jacket, fill your pipe, take your first sip of your adult beverage, and sit back in your most comfortable chair. We have an interesting story to tell of an elected King of a new country who then has to figure out how to come back after 5 years in exile while his adopted country suffered under the Nazis.
The stamp today is Scandinavian from the 1940s. has such the picture on the stamp is formal and the green color is muted. A closer look will reveal filigree and a coat of arms. Overall not an impressive effort, but perhaps the intent was to establish presence but be inoffensive.
Today’s stamp is issue A54, a 1 Krone stamp issued on June 7th, 1946 by Norway. The stamp honors King Haakon VII. It was part of a four stamp issue in various colors and denominations. The Scott catalog lists the value of the stamp as 25 cents in it’s cancelled state. In this issue the stamp to look for is a mint copy of the henna brown 2 Krone. It is worth $60.
In 1905 Norway ended it’s union with Sweden and set out among European royals to start a new royal family of the new country. Prince Carl, the second son of the King of Denmark was approached, as his family had some ties to Norway. He also already had a male heir and his wife Maud was the youngest daughter of British King Edward VII. Before Carl agreed to take the throne, he requested an election to make sure that Norway truly wanted to be a kingdom. He easily won the election making him an unusual elected King. He took the old Norwegian name Haakon. In the 30s, he proved himself above politics by rejecting advise not to allow a communist prime minister to form a government after winning an election. He stated he was also the King of the communists.
World War II came to Norway and the Germans demanded that the King recognize Quisling, the Norwegian national socialist as prime minister. King Haakon’s brother, the King of Denmark had made a similar agreement with the Germans. The existing government and gold supply had escaped and met to discuss what to do. The King advised that Quisling not be recognized and the government agreed. He stated that if they chose Quisling he would have abdicated. After a few months resistance and neutral Sweden refusing to take him. The British government evacuated the Norwegian government to Britain at a steep price. The aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and 2 destroyers were sunk at the loss of over 1500 British officers and men. King Haakon made speeches broadcast to Norway from exile. The Quisling government demanded the King abdicate but he refused citing the request had come from a government in distress.
King Haakon VII returned to Norway in victory soon after VE Day and reigned until his death in 1957. In celebration a voluntary subscription was taken up to purchase a new yacht for the King, an avid sailor. A British yacht was purchased, upgraded, and given the name Norge. The yacht still serves Haakon’s grandson, Harald the current King of Norway. In 2007 the Norge sailed the southern coast of Norway in company with the Danish royal yacht Dannebrog to celebrate the seventieth birthdays of the Queen of Denmark, the King of Norway and the seventieth birthday of the ship itself.
Well my drink is empty and so it is time to open the conversation in the below comment section. Come again tomorrow for another story that can be learned from stamp collecting