Norwegian Language Blog

Norway’s Princess Mette-Marit Posted by on May 14, 2010 in Culture, Norway and the world, Traditions


Syttende Mai 2006-the Royal Family


It’s hard to believe the beautiful woman som er gift med (who is married to) Kronprins Haakon is in her late thirties.  That’s the first thing I thought of when I just saw her birthdate.  Regardless, tomorrow will mark 10 år (years) since Kronprins Haakon confirmed his forhold (relationship) with Kronprinsesse Mette-Marit, born Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby.  For those of you who don’t know, there was actually quite a bit of controversy surrounding this ektepar (couple) when their forhold went public.

Mette-Marit was born in Kristiansand to a ”normal” family, not royal or rich.  Her parents skilte seg (got divorced) and her father giftet seg igjen (married again).  She attended several different skoler in Norway, as well as Wangaratta High School in Australia as an utvekslingsstudent (exchange student).  Although it took her longer than usual to complete her high school education and she took several breaks during her educational career, she is clearly an intelligent and motivated woman.

She has taken courses at Agder University College, The School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and the University of Oslo.  She has also and still is involved with several organizations.  Mette-Marit was a praktikant (intern) at NORAD-Norwegian government’s development organization.  She was a UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Program on HIV\AIDS) special representative for years and in this capacity visited both Geneva and Malawi.

Mette-Marit is president of the following organizations:  The Norwegian Scouting Association, The Amandus Film Festival, Norwegian Design Council, The Norwegian Council for Mental Health, Risør Festival Chamber of Music, Red Cross Norway, Kristiansand’s Children’s International Film Festival, and the Full Rigged Ship Sørlandet.  She’s a busy gal!

When Kronprins Haakon and Mette-Marit giftet seg, they requested gifts be donated to ”the Crownprince and Crownprincess Humanitarian Fund that they created.  The fund provides support for humanitarian projects in Norway, which focuses on children and projects abroad, which focus on helse og utdanning (health and education).  Recipients have inlcuded a hospital unit in Ethiopia, ”Følgesvennen” project in Asker, Norway (providing funds for asylum seekers), an AIDS project in Russia, sports education in Zambia.

Clearly this woman is accomplished, which is why her formerly controversial image has become respected and endeared by the Norwegian people.  An article in Aftenposten online today is titled ”Fra Alenemor til hele Norges kronprinsesse” (From Single mother to all of Norway’s Crown Princess).  Mette-Marit gave birth to a son, Marius Borg Høiby, prior to her forhold with kronsprinsen.  Marius, needless to say, does not have a royal status in the royal family since he has no royal blood.  Mette-Marit and Haakon have two children together, Prinsesse Ingrid Alexandra and Prins Sverre Magnus.

A little piece of trivia about Mette-Marit is that she is godmother to Prince Christian of Denmark and Prince Odysseas-Kimon of Greece and Denmark, in addition to the datter (daughter) of her svigersøster (sister-in-law) and svigerbror (brother-in-law), Emma Tallulah Behn.

If you’re at the royal palace on syttende mai, keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful blond woman who didn’t have an easy time entering the spotlight, but is now adored by her country and the rest of the world.

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


  1. BM:

    As a keen royalist, I can say that it was of no consequence that she came from a “normal” family. Much more worrying was that her first-born son’s father is a convicted criminal, guilty of not only violent abuse, but drug offences, both taking and dealing.

    I think it would be a stretch of the imagination to assume that Mette-Marit was drug-free during her time with this fellow, living as she was in what amounted to a crack-den. Really that’s a terrible environment in which to raise a baby, and speak volumes about her personal judgement.

    Of course, the proof of the pudding, as always, is in the eating. To extend the metaphor, it seems that so far, the pudding has tasted delightfully sweet.

    I do worry a bit about Kronprins Haakon, however. He has the unfortunate pass-time of being a bedroom DJ.

  2. MAO:

    I’ve just discovered your blog and enjoyed the Syttende Mai entry. I enjoyed this entry, also.

    I’ve only met two of my cousins living in Norway, but I am in touch with more on-line. By some strange fluke, I turned out to be 100% Norwegian. I am the first of the third generation born in the USA. Only my brother and I hold this distinction. My children are half Norwegian and half a lot of “things.”

    So, what does this have to do with Crown Princess Mette-Marit? Well, as another fluke, it turns out that I am a distant cousin of hers. I’ve never met her, and I’m quite sure she doesn’t know that I exist. I find her inspirational. I’m biased. Still, I do find her inspirational; so here’s to going forward with all the gusto she displays and with the same grace.

  3. Kimberly alcantara tan:

    kan jeg og maria ri på hesten din plissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss