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|Wednesday, August 08, 2001, updated at 10:56(GMT+8)|
Norwegian Princess Burned Thousands of Letters From KingNorway's Princess Ragnhild has burned more than 1,500 private letters from her father, the late king, reportedly because she considered them private, AP reports Tuesday.
King Olav wrote his daughter a letter every week from the time she married Erling Lorentzen and moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1953, until he died in 1991. The correspondence was estimated to have included between 1,500 and 2,000 letters.
Lorentzen was quoted as telling the Norwegian newspaper VG that his wife, now 71, burned the letters from her father instead of giving them to the National Archives because she considered them private.
Historians were disappointed at losing the valuable documents. The Royal Palace issued no comment.
"It is regrettable that she destroyed the letters, but such correspondence is considered a private archive and she has full authority to decide herself," acting director general of the National Archives, Leif Andressen, said Tuesday.
He said he did not know what was in the letters, but stressed they could have helped historians understand the king's personality and his views of society.
Olav became Norway's king when his father, King Haakon, died in 1957, and was a popular monarch until his death. The current king, Harald, is Ragnhild's younger brother.
The king is largely a figurehead in this Scandinavian nation of 4.5 million people and is in general barred from expressing his views on political issues. But he plays a role in government and is in close touch with political and cultural leaders.
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