Else Werring

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Else Werring, née Wilhelmsen (29 April 1905 – 23 November 1989) was a Norwegian royal hostess.

Munkebakken on Fornebu in Bærum

Personal life[edit]

She was born in Tønsberg[1] as a daughter of shipowner Halfdan Wilhelmsen (1864–1923) and Ragnhild Oppen (1869–1952).[2] She was a granddaughter of the founder of Wilh. Wilhelmsen Wilhelm Wilhelmsen (1839–1910), an aunt of Tom Wilhelmsen and a niece of businessmen Finn, Axel and Wilhelm Wilhelmsen.[3]

She had middle school, and also attended school for two years in England and one year in France. In March 1926 she married shipowner Niels Werring.[2] The couple had four children; the daughters Ragnhild (who married Henning Astrup) and Gina "Else Catharine" and the sons Niels, Jr. and Morten.[4] The Werring couple lived at the Munkebakken estate in Lysaker is a residence designed by Arnstein Arneberg . The family led a social life which included royals.[5][6][7][8]


In January 1958 she was appointed by Olav V of Norway as Chief Court Mistress (Overhoffmesterinne) for the Norwegian royal family. When assuming the position, royal-friendly newspaper described her as "representative, highly cultivated, as beautiful as her predecessor in the office, mrs. Borghild Anker, and as eminent a hostess as her".[4] Her main assignment was to assist the Crown Princess in her tasks as a hostess at the court.[9] As such she played an important role in the social life at the Royal Palace. In 1958 the entire court of the Norwegian royal family comprised as little as seven people; Richard Andvord, Ingvald Smith-Kielland, Odd Grønvold and Ellinor Grønvold, Ingeborg von Hanno and Vincent Bommen.[10] In 1985 she retired and was replaced by Ingegjerd Løvenskiold.[11]

She was also a council member in the Nansen Academy from 1948 to 1962 and in the Filharmonisk Selskap from 1952 to 1960. She was a board member of several philanthropic institutions in Tønsberg.[1] As a godmother in the baptising of ships belonging to her family's shipping company Wilh. Wilhelmsen, she donated "godmother gifts" to nonprofit organizations.[12][13] She was an active churchgoer, and was fond of art collecting, literature, skiing, tennis and horseriding.[9]

She was decorated as a Commander of the Order of St. Olav in 1967,[1] and upgraded to Commander with Star in 1980.[14] She also held the Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog and the Order of the Polar Star.[15] She died in November 1989.[2][16]


  1. ^ a b c Steenstrup, Bjørn, ed. (1973). "Werring, Else". Hvem er hvem? (in Norwegian). Oslo: Aschehoug. p. 586. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Kolltveit, Bård. "Niels Werring". In Helle, Knut (ed.). Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  3. ^ Henriksen, Petter, ed. (2007). "Wilhelmsen". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Fru Else Werring utnevnt til overhoffmesterinne". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 29 April 1985. p. 10.
  5. ^ Jon Gunnar Arntzen. "Wilhelmsen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "Munkebakken, Bærum". Narud Stokke Wiig Architects. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "Munkebakken". wikimapia.org. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  8. ^ Jens Christian Eldal. "Arnstein Rynning Arneberg". Norsk kunstnerleksikon. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Bistrup, Rie (12 April 1975). "Notre Dame med blink i øyet". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 22.
  10. ^ "VG presenterer Det norske hoff – ett av verdens mest beskjedne". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 27 September 1958. p. 4.
  11. ^ Bistrup, Rie (20 April 1985). "Til topps i Kong Olavs hoff". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 25.
  12. ^ Gilbo, Ole S. (11 February 1974). "Wilhelmsens hittil største". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 13.
  13. ^ "Stor gave til Sjømannsmisjonen". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 13 February 1974. p. 11.
  14. ^ Torgersen, Rolf Normann (1987). Ordener (in Norwegian). Oslo: Nye Atheneum. p. 189. ISBN 82-7334-148-8.
  15. ^ "Overhoffmesterinne Else Werring 70 år". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 29 April 1985. p. 10.
  16. ^ Smith-Kielland, I. (29 November 1989). "Else Werring (obituary)". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 15.