QUEEN MAUD GULF
(For Norway’s ice queen)
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen named the body of water between the mainland of what is now Nunavut and the southeast of Victoria Island the Queen Maud Gulf for his country’s new queen.
Maud was the youngest and favourite daughter of Britain’s King Edward VII and always made clear that Britain was her true home. She never fully mastered Norwegian and maintained a home on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, which she visited annually.
Yet there was one aspect of life in Norway that suited Maud: winter sports. When she became queen, she was already an enthusiastic amateur athlete who enjoyed riding and cycling. She also took up skiing, which encouraged other women to take up the sport. Maud passed her love of outdoor pursuits to her son, Crown Prince Olav, who — as part of the Norwegian sailing team at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam — became the first royal recipient of an Olympic gold medal.
Maud was also known for her stylish wardrobe, wearing designer sportswear on horseback and at the top of ski hills. Her love of winter sports was fitting, as her name is attached to some of the coldest regions in the world: Nunavut’s Queen Maud Gulf and Antarctica’s Queen Maud Land and Queen Maud mountains.
Queen Maud, circa 1905.