Born twenty years earlier, a baby girl was born in Budapest (1888), on a sunny morning during the coldest winter within living memory. The Danube was frozen over and the land lay white beneath the snow.
“There is only one name for that child - Ragnhild,” said her Norwegian grandfather, Gulbrand Gregersen, after a look at the sturdy infant.
Ragnhild was the name of the most famous queen of ancient Norway - famous for her prophetic dream that her country would be unified. Norway was still divided at that time, 800 A.D., into many small kingdoms, perpetually at war with one another. Queen Ragnhild dreamt one night that she was standing in her orchard and took a thorn out of her shift. As she was holding the thorn in her hand, it grew into a big tree, one end of which struck down into the earth and became firmly rooted, while the other end grew very high into the air and became so dense with foliage that she could not see through the branches. The lower part as red like blood, the trunk was fresh and green, and the branches were as white as snow. There were so many branches that it seemed to her that they covered the whole of Norway.
She asked a wise man to explain this dream. He told her that a son of hers would united Norway and rule over it. In due course the Queen bore a son who was given the name of Harald after he was sprinkled with water. He soon grew strong and remarkably handsome. He swore he would never cut his hair or shave his beard until he had fulfilled the dream. Hence the name Harfragre, meaning ‘with the beautiful hair’. He fought and defeated all the other kings in a series of battles in the year 872 A.D. and Norway has remained one kingdom ever since. Whether he cut his hair afterward is not recorded.