1905-2005, November biography: Haakon
Prince Haakon Magnus was born at Rikshospitalet in Oslo July 20, 1973 to Crown Princess Sonja and Crown Prince Harald. He joined his older sister Princess Märtha Louise at Crown Princely residence, Skaugum. He was baptized in the Palace chapel on September 20, 1973. He was named after his grandfather King Haakon VII. His godparents included Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Princess Anne Princess Royal, King Olav of Norway, Princess Astrid and Prince Carl Bernadotte. He was second in line to the throne after his father, Harald.
He spent a normal childhood at Skaugum with his family in relative peace and quiet, sheltered from the paparazzi, except for the yearly photo shoots and 17 May appearances on the Palace balcony.
Like his sister, he attended public nursery school and kindergarten and Smedstad school in Asker. On a rainy August 19, 1980, surrounded by photographers, a stoic little Haakon Magnus carried his school bag to Smedstad school accompanied by his parents for his first day of school.
Besides his school lessons, Haakon Magnus learned his princely duties through a series of engagements with his parents and his sister. As a seven-year old boy on July 6, 1980, he sat quietly with the Royal Family at the Stortinget listening to speeches commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Union between Norway and Sweden. In April 1982, eight-year-old Haakon Magnus and his sister Märtha Louise, as members of the Folkmuseum Dance Group, danced folk dances for the Spanish Royals who were on a State Visit to Norway.
He enjoyed several sports during his youth including bicycling, windsurfing, kayaking and skiing.
After completing Smedstad School, Haakon Magnus attended Kristelig Gymnasium in Oslo. At his 1992 graduation, he took part in the traditional “Russtid” festivities. He wore a bright red suit with his cap brim turned to the front and on the brim you could read his nickname "Måka" meaning seagull. He walked past the Royal Palace with his classmates during the 17 May parade.
In 1990, the Norwegian constitution was amended to allow the firstborn to accede to the throne regardless of gender, but it would only affect children born after 1990. The lawmakers felt that it would be unfair to Haakon to be passed over for Märtha Louise because he had prepared for and expected to be crown prince all his life.
When King Olav died January 17, 1991, Haakon Magnus’ father acceded to the Norwegian throne as Harald V and seventeen-year old Haakon Magnus became Crown Prince Haakon. At King Olav’s funeral, four grim figures walked behind King Olav’s casket, King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Märtha Louise.
Five short months later, King Harald celebrated his enthronement in Nidaros Cathedral surrounded by his family. When Haakon turned eighteen in July, he attended his first Council of State. The King hosted two grand balls at the Palace in his honour and he was given the Oder of St Olav, his first order.
In July 1992, he joined the Royal Norwegian Navy and took the basic training course at Madla near Stavanger. Then in 1993, he attended the Naval War College in Bergen with 175 cadets. He spent part of a compulsory year at sea in 1995 while still with the College in Bergen.
Haakon carried the Olympic Torch to light the Olympic Flame during the opening ceremonies at the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
He continued his academic studies in the United States at the University of California at Berkley where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1999. After his graduation, he remained in the United States to conduct an official tour of “Norwegian America” on behalf of the Royal Family. In October 1999, as a member of the Norwegian Delegation, he spoke on racial diversity in society during the UN General Assembly in New York. Upon his return to Norway, Haakon enrolled at Oslo University to study Law and Social Science and lived in is own apartment close to the campus.
Haakon enjoyed the company of several young ladies throughout the years, but the relationships always seemed to end before an engagement was announced, that is, until Haakon met Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby. Yet, no one caused as much controversy as did Mette-Marit with her wild-past admissions and single-mother status. With great effort, Haakon and Mette-Marit overcame media and public opinion and were married in the Oslo Cathedral on August 25, 2001. After completing a tour of Norway, Haakon and Mette-Marit spent a year in London while Haakon attended university. They returned to Norway in July 2003 after announcing Mette-Marit’s pregnancy.
In December 2003, Haakon assumed regency during King Harald’s bladder surgery and subsequent convalescence. He assumed regency again when King Harald underwent heart surgery in April 2005 and throughout King Harald’s recuperation leave.
Haakon and Mette-Marit live at Skaugum with their daughter, Ingrid Alexandra, and Mette-Marit’s son, Marius. Mette-Marit is expecting another child near end of November 2005.