Princess Ingrid Alexandra dressed up in military uniform and threw herself into a free fall from a jumping tower.
The princess smiled and laughed in the air, and did not seem to be afraid of jumping from a height of twelve meters.
– There was no hesitation, she went straight out and had a great jump, says an impressed colonel and commander of the Armed Forces Special Command (FSK) Lars Lilleby to NTB.
On Saturday, he received the princess at FSK’s headquarters in Rena and introduced her to special forces in the hunting squad. The visit was given as a confirmation gift to the princess in 2019, but has not been possible before due to the corona.
– It is very nice to be invited here, the princess said when she arrived at the military camp on Saturday morning.
Possible first service?
This is the first time she is alone on a mission, and neither the Crown Prince nor the Crown Princess were present. At the camp, the princess got an introduction to what the special command and the hunting troop work with, she got to meet a soldier in full dress and was trained in the actual jump from a plane in a parachute from the jump tower.
The princess seemed to be enjoying herself and asked several questions during the tour. Next year she will turn 18, and the time is approaching when it may become relevant with first-time service.
– We have not talked about it. Now there is more information about the Armed Forces, the special forces and the hunting troop. It may come later, says Lilleby.
– Do you think she had fit into the hunting squad?
– Absolutely. Both in the hunting squad and the rest of the defense – if that is what she and the Castle want. She is motivated and interested, and based on what we have seen now, she has the qualities that allow her to fit in, says the colonel.
1 of 3Photo: Annika Byrde / NTB
– The plans not laid
The princess did not give any interviews during the visit.
Assistant Head of Communications at the Palace, Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, answers the following questions about possible further military service:
– The princess’ plans and further education after high school have not been laid yet. There are no constitutional guidelines for what education the head of state must have. The princess looks forward to learning more about the Armed Forces.
The special command says that they greatly appreciate the visit.
– It means a lot to the Armed Forces, and we really appreciate the commitment and interest that the Royal Family has for the Armed Forces. It is an incredibly important relationship we have, says Lilleby.
1 of 2Photo: Annika Byrde / NTB
There have long been close ties between the royal family and the Armed Forces. The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, is general and admiral – the highest military ranks in Norway. The same applies to the grandfather, King Harald, who formally is also the Norwegian Armed Forces’ commander-in-chief.
King Harald started his military career at the officers’ school in the cavalry.
– When I started in the Armed Forces, I had just had jaundice, and was in very bad shape. It was not exactly an optimal condition for a recruit, King Harald told the Guardian in 2012.
Crown Prince Haakon, for his part, had his first service in the navy. He has made it clear that the children themselves will be allowed to decide whether they want to follow the family tradition and join the Armed Forces.
– When it comes to my children, they get to decide for themselves. I am a parent and can give advice like all other parents, he said in an interview with Soldatnytt in 2019.
The hunting troop consists of conscripted female soldiers and, according to the Armed Forces, offers a unique offer to those who want a really big challenge during their first service. The trainee hunters are trained to conduct parachute service, handgun shooting, operational driving, survival and patrol service.