Ari Behn

Ari Behn

Ari Behn in 2013
Born (1972-09-30) 30 September 1972
Århus, Denmark
Other names Ari Mikael Bjørshol
Occupation Author
Spouse(s) Princess Märtha Louise of Norway (m. 2002; separated 2016)
Children Maud Angelica Behn
Leah Isadora Behn
Emma Tallulah Behn
  • Olav Bjørshol
  • Marianne Solberg

Ari Mikael Behn (né Bjørshol, born 30 September 1972) is a Norwegian author. He has written three novels, two collections of short stories and a book about his wedding. His 1999 short stories collection Trist som faen ("Sad as hell") sold in about 100 000 copies and received several favourable reviews.[1] His books have been translated into Swedish, Danish, German, Hungarian, and Icelandic as well as French. In the spring of 2011, Ari Behn made his debut as a playwright with Treningstimen, directed by Kim Sørensen and staged at Rogaland Teater.

He married Princess Märtha Louise in 2002; they announced they are divorcing in 2016.[2]


Behn was born in Århus, Denmark, and mostly grew up in Moss, where his parents moved when he was six years old. He is the eldest child of Olav Bjørshol (b. 1952) and Marianne Rafaela Solberg (b. 1953). Both his parents are Waldorf teachers who have worked at the Waldorf School in Moss; his father has a degree in special education while his mother was trained as a Waldorf teacher. His parents married in 1973 but divorced after nine years; both since remarried, Olav Bjørshol to a daughter of André Bjerke. However, in 2007 Behn's parents remarried.[3]

Behn's original surname was Bjørshol. In 1996,[4] he changed his name to Ari Behn when he took his maternal grandmother's maiden name. The name Behn has German origin. He has two younger siblings, Anja Sabrina and Espen, neither of whom use the name Behn. In 2009, it was made public that Behn's de jure paternal grandfather Bjarne Nikolai Bjørshol was not his biological grandfather. Behn's father met his biological father, Terje Erling Ingebrigtsen (1933-2009), a retired car mechanic from Tromsø, for the first time, but Ingebrigtsen died before Behn had a chance to meet him.[5][6]

Ari Bjørshol attended the Waldorf School in Moss and is baptized in The Christian Community. He has a bachelor's degree in history and religion from University of Oslo.

Behn achieved some literary success in Norway with his first collection of short stories, titled Trist som faen ("Sad as hell"), which received several good reviews and has sold more than 100,000 copies. He subsequently published two novels; however, the reviews of these works were less positive.

Together with his wife, Princess Märtha, he has written a book about their wedding in 2002. He has also participated in various creative projects, for example, the design of china for Magnor Glassverk, and has been a model for a clothing chain.[7]

Marriage and family

Behn married Princess Märtha Louise on 24 May 2002. They have three daughters: Maud Angelica (born in 2003), Leah Isadora (born in 2005), and Emma Tallulah (born in 2008).

On 5 August 2016, the Royal Court announced that Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn are separating and starting divorce proceedings but will have joint custody of their three daughters.[8]

Press coverage

Behn made the headlines of Norwegian newspapers in the autumn of 2006, when he revealed that he voted for the Norwegian Labour Party.[9] His friendship with the former Minister of Culture and Labour leader Trond Giske has attracted criticism from newspapers and politicians.[10] In January 2009, Behn received massive media coverage in the Norwegian press after going on a "personal vendetta" against former palace official Carl-Erik Grimstad, accusing him of spreading tabloid nonsense regarding Behn and his family.[11]

Honours and awards

See also List of honours of the Norwegian Royal Family by country

National honours

Foreign honours



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