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Princess shares Norwegian fairy tale

POULSBO — Straight from what could best be described as a fairy tale come to life, a Scandinavian princess will arrive on the shores of Liberty Bay Sunday with a unique story to tell.

Princess Martha Louise has written a children’s book based on her grandfather, King Olav V, and his experiences growing up in the royal family. She will share it with Little Norway’s young and young at heart from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Sons of Norway.

King Olav V visited Little Norway in October 1975 as part of Norway’s sesquicentennial celebration. The parking lot behind city hall was named in honor of him.

“I don’t think we could be more honored than to have the princess come,” said Sons of Norway Administrator Mariann Samuelsen. “It’s going to be a great day for the city and the Sons of Norway.”

Princess Martha Louise is the third member of Norway’s royal family to visit Poulsbo as her father King Harald V visited the city in 1994 or 1995, Samuelsen said.

“I wish we would have had more time to prepare,” Samuelsen said. “Hopefully she will like it so much, she’ll come back.”

Instead of dwelling on the protocol associated with such a visit, Sons of Norway Cultural Director Grace Overby said the event is all about the kids.

“Kids don’t know about pomp and circumstance,” Overby explained. “They do know about princesses and crowns and things.”

The princess’ visit is another example of the successful collaboration between independent book sellers and the Kitsap Regional Library system, explained KRL public relations manager Audrey Newell.

“She was going to be in Seattle on a book tour and we asked if she would come to Poulsbo,” Newell said.

Martha Louise will be reading from her recent book, “Why Kings and Queens Don’t Wear Crowns,” which tells the story of a little prince who becomes bored sitting on the throne and is allowed to go outside and play with other children. But in those adventures, his crown keeps getting damaged. His parents experience the same problem as the family learns how to ski and become involved in the Norwegian culture. In the course of their lessons, their crowns all become mangled and the king decides to do something about it.

“The event should be exciting and fun not only for children and their parents, but the public as well,” she said.

While the event is sponsored by the Kitsap Reads program, it is being held at the Sons of Norway to allow more people to hear the princess, Newell said.

Though the program has hosted authors in several different places throughout the county, including Bainbridge Island and Little Boston, Poulsbo was a natural fit for this presentation, she said.

“We try to bring authors into places where they are the most heavily read and that’s how we chose Poulsbo,” Newell said.

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