| Crown Princess of Norway
|Spouse||Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway|
| Marius Borg Høiby|
Princess Ingrid Alexandra
Prince Sverre Magnus
|House||House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg|
|Father||Sven O. Høiby|
*Member of the Norwegian Royal House
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.
Background and educationEdit
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. 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. She grew up in Kristiansand in the southern part of Norway. She spent 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.
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. After another break from her studies, Mette-Marit attended Bjørknes Private School and then took the examen philosophicum (the preliminary university examination) at Agder University College. Since becoming Crown Princess Mette-Marit has undertaken several university level courses.
By her own admission, Mette-Marit experienced a rebellious phase before she met Crown Prince Haakon Magnus. 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.
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.
Engagement and marriageEdit
When the engagement between Crown Prince Haakon and Mette Marit 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".
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.
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. They now live at Skaugum estate, outside Oslo.
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 21 January 2004, Mette-Marit gave birth to a daughter, HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra, who became second-in-line to the Norwegian throne after her father, Crown Prince Haakon.
Royal duties and further educationEdit
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.
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. Mette-Marit is attending lectures at the faculties of arts and social sciences at the University of Oslo.
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. 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.
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".
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess' Humanitarian Fund was established in 2001 in connection with the wedding of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. 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.
- Fundación Xochiquetzal Fundasion Šusital, Nicaragua
- The good childhood: A collaboration between the Norwegian municipality Karasjok and Lovozero municipality in Russia
- The Church City Mission: A youth project directed by the PMV Centre for health, dialogue and development (Oslo, Norway)
- The AIDS Centre, “Project Bus”, Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, Russia
- Right to Play: A sports and health project (Uganda)
- Yirga Alem Hospital Fistula Unit (Ethiopia)
- Rehabilitation of child soldiers (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Norwegian People’s Aid project ”Følgesvennen”, providing companions and provisional guardians to asylum seekers (Asker, Norway)
- Norwegian Red Cross project “Leksehjelpen”, offering help with homework to pupils from minority backgrounds (Oslo, Norway)
- National Community of Women Living with Aids (Uganda)
- Education through Sport (Zambia)
- The Vard Model (Haugesund, Norway)
- Basic education in Alefa Takusa (Ethiopia)
- Prevention of HIV/AIDS (Mozambique)
She is a patron of:
- The Norwegian Guide and Scout Association
- Amandus Film Festival
- Kristiansand International Children’s Film Festival
- Risør Festival of Chamber Music
- FOKUS – Forum for Women and Development
- The Norwegian Design Council
- The Norwegian Red Cross
- The Norwegian Council for Mental Health
- Full-rigged Ship Sørlandet
- Oslo International Church Music Festival
National orders and decorationsEdit
Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav Royal Family Order of King Harald V of Norway The Royal House Centenary Medal Olav Vs Centenary Medal
- Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria
- Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross
- Bulgaria: Grand Cross of the Order of Stara Planina
- Estonia: Member 1st Class of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana
- Italy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Japan: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown
- Lithuania: Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great
- Luxembourg: Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
- Netherlands: Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau
- Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
- Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Infante D. Henrique
- Spain: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic
- Sweden: Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Polar Star