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Crown Princess of Norway

Born 19 August 1973 (age 47)
Kristiansand, Norway
Spouse Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway [m. 2001)
Marius Borg Høiby
Princess Ingrid Alexandra
Prince Sverre Magnus
House Glücksburg (by marriage)
Father Sven O. Høiby
Mother Marit Tjessem
Religion Church of Norway
Norwegian Royal Family
Royal Arms of Norway.svg.png

HM The King*
HM The Queen*

HH Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner

*Member of the Norwegian Royal House

v · d · e

Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway (born Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby 19 August 1973), is married to Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, heir apparent to the throne of Norway.

A Norwegian commoner and a single mother with a rebellious past, she was a controversial figure at the time of her engagement to Haakon in 2000. She became Crown Princess of Norway upon her marriage in 2001. As Crown Princess, she has championed humanitarian projects and the arts, as well as taking part in official visits at home and abroad.

She has three children: Marius Borg Høiby, Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus.

Background and family[edit | edit source]

Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby was born in Kristiansand, Norway, daughter of Sven O. Høiby, who worked as a journalist in a local paper, and Marit Tjessem. Her parents divorced, and her father would later marry Renate Barsgård.[1] She has a sister and two older brothers; her stepbrother Trond Bernsten—by her mother's 1994 marriage to Rolf Berntsen—died in the 2011 Norway attacks.[2]

Mette-Marit grew up in Kristiansand in the southern part of Norway spending many weekends and holidays in the nearby valley of Setesdal and at the seaside, where she learned to sail. During her youth she was active in the local youth club Slettheia, where she was also an activity leader. As a teenager she played volleyball, qualifying as referee and coach.

In an analysis of Mette-Marit's ancestry, it was revealed that several of her ancestors (as well as some living relations) were farmers and she is distantly related (prior to the 15th century) to some Norwegian and Swedish nobility.[3]

Education[edit | edit source]

After starting at Oddernes upper secondary school in Kristiansand, Mette-Marit spent six months at Wangaratta High School located in North East Victoria in Australia, as an exchange student with the exchange organisation Youth For Understanding.

Later, she attended Kristiansand katedralskole, where she passed her final examinations in 1994. By her own admission, Mette-Marit experienced a rebellious phase before she met Crown Prince Haakon.[4] As a part-time student, she took longer than usual to complete her high school education before going on to take preparatory university courses at Agder. She then worked for a year at Cafe Engebret in Oslo.[5]

During 2002 and 2003, the Princess undertook development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, apparently without graduating. She was also accepted as an intern at NORAD, the Norwegian government's development organization.

Since becoming crown princess, Mette-Marit has taken several university-level courses at the faculties of arts and social sciences at the University of Oslo. In 2012, she obtained a master's degree in Executive Management.[6]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Engagement[edit | edit source]

See also: Engagement of Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby

In the late 1990s, Mette-Marit attended the Quart Festival, Norway's largest rock festival, in her hometown of Kristiansand. She met Crown Prince Haakon at a garden party during the Quart Festival season. Years later, after becoming a single mother she met the prince again at another party related to the festival.[7]

On 1 December 2000, the Royal Court announced the engagement between Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon. When the engagement was announced, some Norwegians felt that the Crown Prince’s choice of partner was questionable because of her previous socialization in a milieu "where drugs were readily available".[8]

Her first official appearance as the intended bride of the Crown Prince was at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at Oslo City Hall on 10 December 2000, following the announcement of the couple's engagement on 1 December. At the press conference, Haakon said that he and Mette-Marit had been together for about one year. Haakon gave Mette-Marit the same engagement ring as his grandfather King Olav V and his father King Harald V gave to their fiancées.

Wedding[edit | edit source]

See also: Wedding of Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby

The couple married on 25 August 2001 at the Oslo Cathedral. Upon her marriage she acquired the title Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway.

The Skaugum Estate, situated in the area of Semsvannet, is the official residence of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.

Children[edit | edit source]

Mette Marit's first child is Marius Borg Høiby, born on 13 January 1997; Morten Borg is the father. There has been some controversy surrounding the conduct of the press around Marius, and the Crown Princess asked the media to respect her elder son's privacy as he is not a royal.

On 4 July 2003, the Royal Court announced that the Crown Prince and Crown Princess were expecting their first child.[9] On 21 January 2004, Mette-Marit gave birth to a daughter, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, who became second in line to the Norwegian throne after her father, Crown Prince Haakon.[10]

On 25 April 2005, the Royal Court announced that the Crown Prince and Crown Princess were expecting their second child.[11] Mette-Marit gave birth to her third child, Prince Sverre Magnus, on 3 December 2005. He is third in the line to the Norwegian throne after his sister, Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

Godchildren[edit | edit source]

She is godmother to:

Public life and further education[edit | edit source]

In October 2005, Crown Princess Mette-Marit accompanied Crown Prince Haakon, King Harald and Queen Sonja to the United Kingdom on a royal tour to mark the centenary of Norway's independence.[12]

The Crown Princess is a UNAIDS Special Representative and visited Geneva to learn more about the organization and Malawi because of this post. In 2007 the Crown Princess extended her commitment as a UNAIDS Special Representative for another two years.[13] The Crown Princess and her husband attended the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August 2006 as part of this role, serving as Jury member to the UNAIDS family-led Red Ribbon Award.[14]

Along with UNAIDS, the Crown Princess is president of various other organisations. They are The Norwegian Scouting Association, the Amandus Film Festival, Kristiansand's International Children's Film Festival, Risor Festival of Chamber Music, FOKUS Forum for Women and Development Questions, Norwegian Design Council, Red Cross Norway, The Norwegian Council for Mental Health, the Full Rigged Ship Sorlandet, and the Oslo International Church Music Festival.

On December 2008, she received the Annual Petter Dass award, which recognises a person that helps to unite people and God. Mette-Marit released the CD Sorgen og gleden with religious psalms: the Crown Princess wrote in the booklet "psalms are a link between me and God, between me and life".

If her husband ascends the throne, Mette-Marit will become the third Norwegian queen consort to have been born as a commoner. The first was Désirée Clary, the consort of Charles III John. The second is her mother-in-law, the current Queen Sonja, the daughter of clothing merchant Karl August Haraldsen and Dagny Haraldsen (née Ulrichsen).

Humanitarian Fund[edit | edit source]

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess' Humanitarian Fund was established in 2001 in connection with the wedding of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.[15] The couple announced that they wished for donations to the fund as wedding gifts. The fund allocates funds to humanitarian projects in Norway and abroad. In Norway the fund mainly focuses on projects aimed at improving conditions for children and young people. Abroad the fund mainly focuses on projects related to health and education.

Patronage[edit | edit source]

Crown Princess Mette-Marit is patron of:[16]

  • Agder Academy of Sciences and Letters
  • Amandus Film Festival
  • FOKUS – Forum for Women and Development
  • Full-rigged Ship Sørlandet
  • Kristiansand International Children’s Film Festival
  • Oslo International Church Music Festival
  • Risør Festival of Chamber Music
  • The Hamsun Days
  • The Førde International Folk Music Festival
  • The Norwegian Council for Mental Health
  • The Norwegian Girl's Choir
  • The Norwegian Guide and Scout Association
  • The Norwegian Library Association
  • The Norwegian Red Cross
  • The Shameless Award

Health[edit | edit source]

In October 2018 she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, which will limit her official programmes. Mette-Marit, who has dealt with "health challenges on a regular basis" (such as pneumonia, several instances of Norovirus, low blood pressure, along with some falls, concussions, a neck injury and a herniated disc[17]) will undergo treatment at Oslo University Hospital.[18]

Titles, styles and honours[edit | edit source]

Titles[edit | edit source]

Since her marriage, Mette-Marit has been known as "Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Norway".

Honours[edit | edit source]

National honours[edit | edit source]

  • Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Saint Olav[19][20][21][22]
  • Dame of the Royal Family Decoration of King Harald V[19][20][21][23]
  • Recipient of the Medal of the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of King Olav V[19][21]
  • Recipient of the Royal House Centenary Medal[19][21]
  • Recipient of the King Harald V Silver Jubilee Medal[19][24]

Foreign orders[edit | edit source]

  • Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria[19]
  • Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross[19]
  • Bulgaria: Grand Cross of the Order of Stara Planina[19]
  • Estonia: Member 1st Class of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana[19]
  • Italy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic[19]
  • Japan: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown[19]
  • Lithuania: Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great[19]
  • Luxembourg: Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau[19]
  • Netherlands: Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau[19]
  • Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland[19]
  • Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Infante D. Henrique[19]
  • Spain: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic[19]
  • Sweden: Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Polar Star[19]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sven O. married today.
  2. Norway's royal family touched by tragedy: Crown Princess's step-brother was killed in island gun massacre. Daily Mail
  3. Mette-Marit har adelige aner. NRK
  4. Again in Norway, Events Provide Test for a King's Mettle. New York Times
  5. Bare en samboer. Aftenposten
  6. Mette-Marit gets her master's. News in English
  7. Ingen skandaler i Mette-Marit-dokumentar. Fvn
  8. Princess Mette-Marit - Biography. Hello!
  9. Royal News 2003. Angelfire
  10. DD.KK.HH. Kronprinsen og Kronprinsessen har fått en datter. Royal Court of Norway
  11. Mette-Marit venter barn. NRK
  12. Mette-Marit makes her mark at London's Guildhall. HELLO Magazine
  13. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Norway. UNAIDS
  14. Crown Princess Mette–Marit meets UNAIDS staff and UN positive group. UNAIDS
  15. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess’ Foundation. Royal Court of Norway
  16. Organisations under the patronage of The Crown Princess. Royal Court of Norway
  17. Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s history of ailments. Norwegianne
  18. Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit reveals rare lung disease. BBC
  19. 19.00 19.01 19.02 19.03 19.04 19.05 19.06 19.07 19.08 19.09 19.10 19.11 19.12 19.13 19.14 19.15 19.16 19.17 The Decorations of HRH The Crown Princess. Royal Court of Norway
  20. 20.0 20.1 Photographic image. Royal Court of Norway
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Photographic image. Royal Court of Norway
  22. Photographic image. Royal Court of Norway
  23. Photographic image. Alamy
  24. Tildeling av Kong Harald Vs jubileumsmedalje 1991-2016. Royal Court of Norway

External links[edit | edit source]

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