Ari Behn
NORWAY

ARI BEHN, FORMER HUSBAND OF PRINCESS MARTHA LOUISE

Who was Ari Behn?

Ari Mikael Bjørshol was born on 30 September 1972 in Aarhus, Denmark. His parents are Norwegian Marianne Rafaela Solberg (born 1953) and Olav Bjørshol (born 1952).

He had two younger siblings, Anja Sabrina Bjørshol and Espen Bjørshol. In 1978 the family settled in Moss, a coastal town and a municipality in Østfold county, Norway, where he attended the Waldorf School.

In 1983 his parents divorced. Ari’s parents married each other for second time in 2007.

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Norwegian author Ari Behn posed for a photo on September 2, 2000 in Oslo.

In the 1990s, Ari studied History of Ideas and History of Religions at the University of Oslo, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree.

While studying he worked as a truck driver, warehouse worker and bartender.

Ari Bjørshol changed his name to Ari Behn in 1996, when he took his maternal grandmother’s maiden name. As a young adult, Behn spent several years traveling to Africa, the United States and Asia.

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He worked as author and painter. In 1999 he published a 90 pages book of short stories entitled “Sad as Hell” (Norwegian: “Trist som faen”). The book sold more than 100,000 copies.

The book consists of 15 stories and describes young people in Africa, Las Vegas and Norway who are trying to find their place in society.



Engagement of Ari Behn and Princess Martha Louise

On December 13, 2001, the engagement of Ari Behn and Princess Martha Louise of Norway was announced.

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Princess Märtha Louise is the only daughter and elder child of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. She was born on 22 September 1971 and is fourth in the line of succession to the Norwegian throne, after her brother Crown Prince Haakon, and his children.

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Wedding of Ari Behn and Princess Martha Louise

The wedding of Princess Martha Louise and Norwegian author Ari Behn took place at the Nidaros Cathedral (Norwegian: Nidarosdomen / Nidaros Domkirke) in the city of Trondheim in Trøndelag county on May 24, 2002.

The reception took place at the Royal Residence of Stiftsgården.

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Ari Behn arrived at the Nidaros Cathedral for his wedding with Princess Martha Louise.

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General view of the Nidaros Cathedral.

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Princess Martha Louise and writer Ari Behn kiss on the balcony of the Stiftsgarden Royal Palace after their wedding.

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Friends and relatives say goodbye to Princess Martha Louise and Ari Behn at the Royal Residence of Stiftsgården in the early morning hours after the wedding reception on May 25, 2002 in Trondheim. Queen Sonja (L) and King Harald (behind Martha Louise) were also in attendance for the farewell at 2 a.m.



After their wedding the couple lived in Fredrikstad, a city and municipality in Østfold county, and in Lommedalen, a rural community in a small valley in Bærum municipality in the county of Akershus, Norway.

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Queen Sonja, King Harald, Ari Behn and Princess Martha Louise posed during a press meeting at The Northern Jorstad Farmhouse at Maihaugen in Lillehammer. The Princess was pregnant with her first child.

The couple first daughter Maud Angelica Behn was born on 29 April 2003 at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, in Oslo, Norway.

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Ari Behn and Princess Martha Louise leave the Rikshospitalet, in Oslo, with their new baby daughter Maud Angelica.

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Ari Behn with baby daughter Maud Angelica.

In 2003, Ari Behn and daughter Maud Angelica attended a reception on a boat at Hanko, near Oslo, to mark the 100th Birthday of the late King Olav.

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Months later, Princess Martha Louise with husband Ari Behn held a press conference in Central Park Sheep’s Meadow to announce their move to New York City on October 11, in 2004.

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The young family returned to Norway for Christmas and posed with King Harald, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Crown Prince Haakon, Queen Sonja, and Marius Borg Hoiby for the Norwegian Royal Family Christmas photo session on December 23, 2004 in Skaugum, Norway.



On 8 April 2005, the couple welcomed their second daughter Leah Isadora Behn in the family home in Fredrikstad.

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Ari Behn and daughter Leah Isadora attended King Harald’s 70th Birthday Celebrations.

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Behn and daughter Maud Angelica.

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Princess Martha Louise, Ari Behn and daughters Maud Angelica and Leah Isadora.

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Princess Martha Louise and Ari Behn attended Queen Sonja’s 70th Birthday Celebrations.

In 2007, Martha Louise and Ari attended the wedding of Ari’s parents, Marianne Rafaela Solberg and Olav Bjørshol at East Fredrikstad Church In Fredrikstad, Norway. They married again after having been divorced since 1982.

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Olav Bjørshol and Marianne Rafaela Solberg.

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Norwegian Princess Martha Louise, who was expecting the couple’s third child, and her husband Ari Behn attended the wedding between Prince Joachim of Denmark and Marie Cavallier at the Mogeltonder Church on May 24, 2008 in Denmark.

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Their third daughter, Emma Tallulah Behn was born on 29 September 2008 in the family home in Lommedalen.

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The three daughters of The Princess and Ari Behn: Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora and Emma Tallulah.

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Ari Behn with his mother in law, Queen Sonja of Norway, and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

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During the period 2012–2014, the family lived in Islington, London, England.

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Princess Martha Louise, Ari Behn, Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora and Emma Tallulah took part in a parade in Southwark Park as they celebrate Norway National Day on May 17, 2013 in London, England.

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Ari Behn and Leah Isadora.

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In 2014, they moved back to Lommedalen in Bærum, where they also lived before their London stay.

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The Princess and husband Ari Behn attend a Lunch at City Hall Stockholm, on the occasion of King Carl Gustaf of Sweden’s 70th Birthday, on April 30, 2016, in Stockholm.

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The Couple at the royal wedding of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist at The Royal Palace on June 13, 2015 in Stockholm.

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On January 17, 2016 Princess Martha Louise and husband Ari Behn, Prince Sverre Magnus, Emma Tallulah Behn, Queen Sonja, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Maud Angelica Behn, King Harald V, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Leah Isadora Behn, and Crown Prince Haakon gathered outside the Royal Palace while to celebreate the 25th anniversary of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway as monarchs.

Few months later, the Royal Court of Norway announced that Märtha Louise and Behn have separated and would have joint custody of their three daughters. The couple divorced in 2017.



Ari Behn’s Work as Visual Artist

For the last six years of his life, Behn was most active as a visual artist, working in a New Expressionist tradition; Behn stated that he was particularly inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat and his use of graphite motifs.

In 2018, he published a new book ‘Inferno’. The book detailed his struggles with mental health issues and described the author having headaches.

Ari made a series of revelations about his life and the time he spent with the Norwegian Royal Family.



Ari Behn Took His Own Life on Christmas Day 2019

Ari Behn committed suicide on December 25, 2019. He was 47 years old and leaves behind 3 daughters.

The new was confirmed by Ari’s manager, Geir Hakonsund:

“It is with great sadness in our hearts that I on behalf of the very closest relatives of Ari Behn must announce that he took his own life today.”

King Harald and Queen Sonja on death of his former son-in-law:

“It is with great sadness the Queen and I have received the message of Ari Behn’s passing. Ari has been an important part of our family for many years, and we carry warm, fond memories of him. We are grateful that we got to know him.

We grieve that our grandchildren have now lost their beloved father – and have deep compassion for his parents and siblings, who have now lost their beloved son and brother. We ask that Ari’s immediate family get some rest in this painful time.”

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King Harald, Ari Behn and Crown Prince Haakon.

Crown Prince Haakon & Crown Princess Mette-Marit on the passing of Ari Behn:

“Ari was a good friend, a dear family member and a wonderful uncle, with whom we shared many of life’s small and big moments. It is with great sadness that we have received the message of his passing.

We were all very fond of Ari. Our thoughts go especially to Maud, Leah, Emma, ​​Princess Märtha Louise and Ari’s immediate family.”

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Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Ari Behn

Ari Behn’s funeral will take place at the Oslo Cathedral on Friday, January 3 at 1 pm. The service will be officiated by the Oslo Bishop. The service will be open to the public.

MAY YOU REST IN PEACE!!



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