An announcement in Aftenposten today tells us of the death of the courtier and officer Ingvald M. Smith-Kielland, who served both King Olav and, briefly, King Harald as Lord Chamberlain, i.e. head of the royal court.
Born on 20 September 1919, Ingvald Mareno Smith-Kielland was a veteran of World War II and eventually reached the rank of major in the army. At one stage he served as an equerry to the King and he became Court Marshal in 1966.
He was appointed Lord Chamberlain in 1985, and as such followed in the footsteps of his father, Ingvald Marillus Emil Smith-Kielland, who had served as Lord Chamberlain to King Haakon VII from 1955 to his death in 1957 and to King Olav V from 1955 to 1966.
As an officer of the army he was typical of the court of King Olav, which was recruited almost exclusively from the armed forces. As Lord Chamberlain, Smith-Kielland worked very closely with the King on a daily basis. Their last meeting took place on 17 January 1991, the very day of King Olav’s death.
Four days later Smith-Kielland carried the crown on a velvet cushion as King Olav’s coffin was brought to the Palace Chapel for the lying-in-state. He also walked at the head of the funeral procession on 30 January 1991.
When King Harald V appointed his new court, Smith-Kielland was retired and replaced by Kaare Langlete. He was awarded the very rare honour of the Grand Cross of the Order of St Olav. Among his other decorations were the War Medal and the Legion of Honour (Grand Officer).
He died on 9 May and the funeral has, according to the death announcement, already taken place privately. He was 92.