Haakon VII (born Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel), known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was a Danish prince who became the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the union with Sweden. He reigned from November 1905 until his death in September 1957.
As one of the few elected monarchs, Haakon quickly won the respect and affection of his people. He played a pivotal role in uniting the Norwegian nation in its resistance to the Nazi invasion and subsequent five-year-long occupation of his country during World War II. Regarded as one of the greatest Norwegians of the twentieth century, he is particularly revered for his courage during the German invasion - he threatened abdication if the government cooperated with the invading Germans - and for his leadership and preservation of Norwegian unity during the occupation.
He became King of Norway before his father and older brother became kings of Denmark. During his reign, he saw his father, his brother and his nephew, Frederick IX, ascend the throne of Denmark, respectively in 1906, 1912 and 1947. He died at the age of 85 on 21 September 1957, after having reigned for nearly 52 years. He was succeeded by his only son, Olav V.