Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Haakon og Mette-Marit i ti år

On August 25, 2001, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway married the woman he loved, Norwegian commoner, Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby.   The path to the altar was paved with obstacles, starting with Mette-Marit's background.

It did not matter that she was a commoner.  Haakon's mother was Miss Sonja Haraldsen when she married Crown Prince Harald in 1968.  Harald and Sonja had to wait ten years before King Olav would give his permission for the marriage to take place.

Sonja, the daughter of a draper, did not have Mette-Marit's problems.  Before meeting Crown Prince Haakon,  Mette-Marit moved in a circle that favored hard partying, drugs and alcohol.  She bore a child out of wedlock.

In spite of Mette-Marit's background,  Haakon fell in love with her and wanted to marry her.  His parents took their time in making their decision regarding Mette-Marit, but they realized that their only son loved Mette-Marit and wanted to marry her.  King Harald V and Queen Sonja came around, and gave their son and his girlfriend the support they needed.

It also took time for the Norwegian people to accept Haakon's choice.

Fast forward ten years to 2011.  Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary.  They have two children,  Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus.  As Ingrid is the eldest, she will succeed her father and grandfather as Norway's sovereign.

Norwegian journalist Liv Berit Tessem is the author of Haakon og Mette-Marit i t år (Schibsted).  The title translates to Ten years with Haakon & Mette-Marit.  The book is divided into eleven chapters, one for each year from the marriage through June 2011, two months before the book was published.

Tessem, a former court correspondent for the Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten,  offers insight and perspective into the lives of Norway's future King and Queen.

It is also apparent that Mette-Marit, the former party girl, has evolved into a professional Crown Princess, respected, and perhaps, even loved by the Norwegian people.  

Do not be put off by the Norwegian text.   The 184-page book includes nearly 100 color photos of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess from their wedding to recent photos with their children. 

Haaakon and Mette-Marit are hands-on parents, and are devoted to their children.  Lots of affection, hugs and kisses, but one wonders, with a smile, how Ingrid Alexandra will react when she is older when she sees how she behaved at her younger brother, Sverre's baptism.  A priceless photo.

Each chapter also includes a month- by-month list of engagements, official trips and other events for that particular year.

The price of  Haakon og Mette-Marit  I ti  år is 199 Norwegian kroners.

Norli is a Norwegian bookstore.   The book also can be ordered from the publisher, Schibsted.

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