Is Atlantic Crossing a True Story?

‘Atlantic Crossing’ is a period drama television series that follows Norway’s Crown Princess during World War II. She faces many challenges to protect her country while living in the United States. It is created by Alexander Eik and stars Sofia Helin, Kyle MacLachlan, and Tobias Santelmann in the lead roles. It has developed a dedicated fan following thanks to its exploration of the World War II-era politics, diplomacy, and social climate. The show’s setting and allusions to real-world people with a significant impact on history will most certainly make audiences wonder if the series is based on certain true events. We did some research, and here’s what we learned about the matter.

Is Atlantic Crossing Based on a True Story?

Yes, ‘Atlantic Crossing’ is based on a true story. The show’s two main characters, Crown Princess Märtha and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, are based on real people. Having said that, it is important to note that the series fictionalizes real-world events and bends them to suit its narrative needs. Therefore, it shouldn’t be considered as a faithful adaption of true events.

Märtha Sofia Lovisa Dagmar Thyra, born on March 28, 1901, better known as Princess Märtha of Sweden, became the Crown Princess of Norway after her marriage to Prince (later King) Olav V of Norway in 1929. She was the second child of Prince Carl of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland, and his wife, Princess Ingeborg of Denmark. Märtha went on to play an important role in Norway’s self-protection during the Second World War, and much of her contributions remain understated.

The show tries to shine a light upon some of her work during the 1940s and her personal life. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (commonly referred to by his initials FDR) was born on January 30, 1882, in the Hudson Valley town of Hyde Park, New York. Son of businessman James Roosevelt I and his second wife, Sara Ann Delano, FDR went on to become the 32nd President of the United States of America. He led his country during the Second World War and was an important figure in the Allied Powers’ effort to defeat the Axis countries.

Roosevelt first met the Norwegian royal couple shortly before the outbreak of the devastating events of World War II. They became friends with the US President and First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, during their trip to America in the summer of 1939. By this time, Princess Märtha had become the First Lady of Norway after the passing of Queen Maud in 1938. The German forces invaded Norway on April 9, 1940, and the Royal family was forced to flee.

Image Credit: Smithsonian Channel, YouTube

The Princess traveled to her native Sweden with her children. Prince Olav and his father remained in Norway to lead the Norwegian resistance but eventually made their way to the United Kingdom. Roosevelt sent a personal invitation to the princess to come to the United States, which Märtha accepted. She and her children were transported from Petsamo in Finland (now Pechengsky in Russia) to America in a troop transport ship sent by the President to evacuate Americans residing in Nordic countries affected by the war.

In her years living in the United States, Princess Märtha directed her efforts and worked tirelessly to protect the interests of Norway. On a personal front, her friendship with Roosevelt grew deeper, and it has been alleged there was a romantic angle between them. (This claim has not been substantiated). Princess Märtha returned to Norway in 1945 and became a revered figure in the country due to her efforts during the war.

Most of these historical events are heavily dramatized for the purpose of adapting them for the small screen. In the show, the romantic nature of Princess Märtha and Roosevelt’s relationship has been highly exaggerated, as is her influence on Roosevelt’s decision to enter the war. Creator Alexander Eik has addressed the show’s historical accuracy. He said, “What “inspired by true events” really means is some of this actually happened, some of it could likely have happened, and the rest of it is made up.”

The writers also spent about 6-7 years doing extensive research on the historical events. For those events which aren’t public knowledge, the writers based the scenes on their perception of the historical figures and used their imagination. “We tried to stick as close as possible to those scenarios, but of course, in the end, this is a fictional work inspired by true events,” added Eik.

Read More: Where Is Atlantic Crossing Filmed?