Perhaps emboldened by his American university education, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway was determined to marry the woman he loved. It didn't matter that Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby's first impression was not a successful one. She was a former party girl, a member of a circle that used drugs and alcohol on a regular basis. Mette-Marit did not have a university degree ... and she gave birth to a son out of wedlock.
Hardly the right qualifications for a future consort. But Haakon made his case to his parents, and then to his country. Many Norwegians were understandably disappointed in Haakon's decision to date and then move in with Mette-Marit and her son. He persevered, in spite of criticism and condemnation.
After the engagement was announced, Mette-Marit spoke about her life at a press conference. More Norwegians warmed to her charm.
The wedding took place on August 25, 2001. Mette-Marit has been Crown Princess for ten years now. She has given birth to a daughter, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, who is second in line to the throne, and a son, Prince Sverre Magnus. She has also taken classes and traveled the world to improve her perspective and learn more about what life will be like as the queen consort of Norway.
Mette-Marit has not only earned the love and respect of her husband's family, she also has learned the respect of the Norwegian people. Here in the United States, we do not read a lot about the Norwegian royals, so we do not know what they do on a day to day basis. Media coverage of the Norwegian royal family is largely confined to Scandinavian newspapers and magazines.
The Crown Princess is -- to say the obvious -- is a success. To celebrate Mette-Marit's first decade as a member of the Norwegian royal family, Kagge Forlag has published Mette-Marit Prinsesse av Folket, 130 page book of photographs by noted photographer Aasta Borte. The text was written by Monica Aafloy Hansen, a journalist with the weekly magazine, Hjemmet.
The photos provide coverage of Mette-Marit's life as a wife and mother, and a Crown Princess carrying out engagements in Norway and abroad, highlighting poverty and AIDs, among other causes. She is able to use her position as Crown Princess for good.
The book also includes a selection of photos of the Crown Princess attending formal events, wearing gowns and jewels, to royal weddings and other gala affairs. The text is in Norwegian. There are no plans for an English-language edition. The photos are what will sell the book to non-Norwegian readers.
The price of the book is 399.00 Norwegian kroners.
This book can be ordered from Tanum, an Oslo-based bookstore with several branches throughout the city.
An earlier book, in German, about Mette-Marit: