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Julia 01-28-2003 12:29 PM

Various News and Discussions about Haakon and Mette-Marit
(Ok, rough currency exchange from British pounds to U.S. dollars!)

28 JANUARY 2003
Before she became crown princess of Norway upon her marriage to Prince Haakon two years ago, Mette-Marit Tjessen Hoiby was just a normal jeans and trainers-wearing twenty-something. But the post-engagement Mette-Marit was an entirely different creature, having to shop for clothes fit for a princess. "I need to have a good wardrobe for my new role in life," she said at the time. "I certainly didn't have many ball gowns before I met Haakon."

All that has apparently changed, however, with the Norwegian magazine Se og Hoer reporting that the increasingly stylish princess has racked up more than £85,000 in clothing charges on royal accounts in the last year.

In London, where she's lived and studied since last September, the cool blonde, armed only with her bodyguards and her royal credit card, has apparently converted herself into a VIP client at Harrods. The department store has a special arrangement with the 29-year-old princess, in which she is allowed to shop after hours undisturbed by press or other patrons.

However, the princess doesn't just splurge at Harrods – like any self-respecting bargain-hunter, she also frequents her local boutiques, from Armani to Prada.

"Before, I used to love shopping," said Mette-Marit in the run-up to her Oslo wedding, "but now it's just stressful." No word on if the princess has changed her mind, now that she's had time to get accustomed to queen-sized spending sprees.

Jacqueline 01-29-2003 09:35 AM

Hi Julia!

Thanks for the article. I wonder if this article was simply written because there is really nothing else to write about concerning Mette-Marit and Haakon, so the writer decided to give this a try. I think that it is kind of interesting that the photos that accompany the article are over a year old. Although, the amount that Mette-Marit is said to have spent is fairly large for the average person, I would have to say that it sounds fairly reasonable for a princess. I know that M-M hasn't had to attend a large amount of functions since she has been in London, but she does have to put in an ocassional appearance here and there. She has also seems to have put on a little weight since she quite smoking, so she may have needed a few more things.

Is it actually clothing and accessories that she has purchased, or also furnishings for the home in London? I am wondering as I have certainly seen her dress very casually and recycle a few basic pieces before.

I guess that my elitism is showing. I never quite understood all of those people who made such a big deal out of Diana's spending one million pounds on clothing a year-that sounds just about right for a princess! :D ;) Of course, I can't be that objective about this situation, I have never shopped enough in my life. :lol: :lol:

Alexandria 12-02-2003 12:56 PM

Haakon and the issue of paternity leave when he was regent
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Haakon's New Duties Put Paternity Leave on Hold

With his first-born child on the way in January, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway surely anticipated a number of significant changes in life as a new dad. But now, stepping into the post of regent due to his father King Harald's sudden illness, the 30-year-old royal has had to adapt quickly to a very different public role.

A planned paternity leave coinciding with the birth of the baby – wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit is due on January 22 – has been put on hold, reports Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. The prince has taken on a full calendar ranging from holding cabinet meetings to hosting official events, including an upcoming reception for war veterans at the royal palace alongside his mother Queen Sonja. In addition, Prince Haakon will deliver the royal address at New Year's for the first time.

"The crown prince will carry out the king's duties in a distinguished fashion," former Prime Minister Kaare Willoch told the newspaper, adding: "He is very well prepared."
Meanwhile, King Haakon's daughter Princess Martha Louise and Ari Behn had been slated to move, along with their baby daughter Maud, to New York in February. At this time, there has been no word as to whether their plans have changed due to the monarch's upcoming cancer treatment, set to begin on December 8.

xicamaluca 12-12-2003 09:25 AM

Haakon getting an electric car
1 Attachment(s)

Crown Prince gets an electronic vehicle
Tilrettelagt av Carin Pettersson 12.12.03 14:48

The Norwegian Royal family has mainly been seen driving dark BMW’s, but the Crown Prince Couple has now made a drastic change and obtained an electronic vehicle.

Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, information officer at the Norwegian Royal Court, confirms to the Norwegian news bureau that an electronic vehicle is apart the Crown Prince’s fleet of cars.

The new car is not only much more environmental than ordinary cars, but you are also allowed to drive in the carpooling lane. The car may become very useful when the Crown Prince couple moves to Skaugum in Asker because the morning and afternoon traffic between Asker and Oslo is well known problem.

Gjeruldsen can not to confirm that the car will be used for this purpose, but owners of electronic vehicles can the cars in the carpooling lane, and thereby avoid the worst traffic.

Neither King Olav nor King Harald used the carpooling lane when they lived at Skaugum, and they were stuck in traffic both in the morning and in the afternoon just as everybody else.


xicamaluca 12-12-2003 09:27 AM

Royals go electric

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit appear to have found a neat way to save time as part of their move to Skaugum in nearby Asker township. Commuting time from the countryside to official duties can be pared to a minimum when using an electric car, which is allowed to drive in a speedy lane reserved for public transport.

Royal information consultant Sven Gjeruldsen confirmed that the an electric car has been added to the crown prince and princess' staff pool, but would not comment on whether this was purchased to avoid the daily traffic jams between Asker and Oslo.

Previous monarchs, King Olav and King Harald sat caught in traffic when duty called them in to Oslo during their Skaugum years, and the electric car and its favorable promotional legal status has never been used in a royal context before.

The crown prince and princess, who are expecting their first child together in January, expect to move in to the royal residence in Skaugum before Christmas.

(Aftenposten English Web Desk/NTB)

Alexandria 12-12-2003 09:50 AM

Good for the couple for getting an electric car! How environmentally conscious of them. When I bought my car I really wanted one, too, but it was just so cost-ineffective where I live. And also, I don't have the salary that the couple makes to maintain such a vehicle.

Are such cars more common in Europe than they are here in North America?

norwegianne 12-12-2003 03:05 PM


Originally posted by Alexandria@Dec 12th, 2003 - 9:50 am
Good for the couple for getting an electric car! How environmentally conscious of them. When I bought my car I really wanted one, too, but it was just so cost-ineffective where I live. And also, I don't have the salary that the couple makes to maintain such a vehicle.

Are such cars more common in Europe than they are here in North America?

Having an electric car in Norway seems to be cheaper than having a car that runs on petrol.

You get free public parking, don't have to pay toll, or taxes on it. (I'm not very updated, so some things might be added and some might have been removed since I checked.)

Plus you can drive in the lane usually reserved for buses, taxis, ambulances, police vehicles, etc...

Alexandria 12-12-2003 03:27 PM


Originally posted by norwegianne@Dec 12th, 2003 - 3:05 pm
Having an electric car in Norway seems to be cheaper than having a car that runs on petrol.

You get free public parking, don't have to pay toll, or taxes on it. (I'm not very updated, so some things might be added and some might have been removed since I checked.)

Plus you can drive in the lane usually reserved for buses, taxis, ambulances, police vehicles, etc...

Thank you for this information norwegianne. Interesting that special benefits are granted to those who have an electric car, and that it is cheaper than a car that runs on petrol. Here in Canada it is the complete opposite, and not altogether practical because of our long and cold winters, but I guess they know about that in Norway, too!

When I was researching to buy my own car I really wanted a Toyota Hybrid, which runs partially on solar power, but it was so expensive to maintain and insure that it was "cheaper" (financially, though at the cost of the environment) to get a petrol-run car.

I knew I really liked this couple for good reason! Not only do they appear to be so much in love all the time and amiable while performing their royal duties, they are also envrionmentally conscious, espescially important with what sounds like a fair and congested commute now that they've moved.

norwegianne 12-17-2003 05:44 AM

Crown Prince Haakon used his new car to visit the King in the Hospital. Extremely cute car.

hrhcp 12-18-2003 01:40 AM

what's the electric car look like?

norwegianne 12-18-2003 05:34 AM

Press the link above, leading to VG, and you'll see Crown Prince Haakon driving it.

On another note: Crown Princess Mette-Marit had to leave her sister-in-law's concert last night, because she was feeling bad.

Dennism 01-06-2004 07:22 PM

Haakon and the issue of paternity leave when he was regent
"A row has erupted in Norway over whether Crown Prince Haakon should take paternity leave when his child is born later this month.

The baby will be King Harald's first grandson.

Norway prides itself for being at the forefront of sexual equality and Crown Prince Haakon is in many ways what you could call "a new man".

The couple have courted controversy in the past
He married a commoner, Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby, who was also a single mother at the time.

When the two become parents to their first child together, he wants to take as much time off work as possible.

Norwegian fathers are entitled and encouraged to take four weeks of paid paternity leave.

Equal rights campaigners have said it would be an enormous boost to their cause if a royal made use of that rule and the crown prince himself at first signalled he would.

But then his father, King Harald, became ill with bladder cancer and will be off sick for months. As reigning monarch, the crown prince is obliged to attend a government conference scheduled for the very day his child is due.

Constitutional experts say there is no way around it. The crown prince is keeping silent on the matter. People here are overwhelmingly in favour of his being present at the birth and that he should take time off to be with the baby.

All eyes here will be on the birth and on how Crown Prince Haakon deals with the parental and constitutional dilemma."

Apparently, they think it will be a boy.

norwegianne 01-06-2004 08:30 PM

Constitutionally he's only required to meet with the cabinet every friday, I think it is. And of course receive ambassadors, etc... Still, since his sister and mother will be taking on quite a load of representing, there's nothing amiss with him spending time with his family.

Of course they neglected to mention, in the article that even if he's entitled to four weeks paternity leave he can take them during the summer, should he choose to. They don't have to be taken just around the birth of the baby.

Yet another example of the press blowing things out of proportion. Of course the constitution wasn't written when paternity leaves existed, and therefore doesn't mention it, but creating the media sircus that it became was totally unnecessary. Especially when the things he has to do are very limited. His programme for January is virtually empty, aside from the odd cabinet meeting.

Nobody knows if it's a boy or a girl, or if they do they're not telling the press, not anything I've read, and I think VG would be on top of that piece of news. So I can safely say that this is a translation that went a bit wonky. Or something wonky with the journalist.

We have two generations of Royals in Norway where the first born is a girl... Princess Ragnhild is older than her brother, and Princess Märtha Louise is older than hers. On the other hand it's about time with a boy. We'll just have to wait and see I guess.

Dennism 01-08-2004 03:31 PM

There was a story on the NPR(National Public Radio) in the US today about the king and paternity leave and the conference and everything. Rather short but it's nice to hear about these things on the radio here in the US. Go to the page and it's the last story on the bottom of the page. Real Player or WMP will come up. Listen and Enjoy:

norwegianne 01-08-2004 03:57 PM

And I haven't got either of those players... Is there a written report somewhere of what was said?

Dennism 01-08-2004 05:07 PM

Here is a transcript of it of the NPR interview:

The host Madeleine Brand:

In Norway, a debate over paternity leave has received national attention. In a country of generous social benefits, it's not taking leave per se that is contentious, but the person who wants to take it. Crown Prince Haakon wants to take the 4 weeks of paid paternity leave he's due because his wife is about to have a baby. But Norway's King, Harald, is sick and the Constitution says that the prince has to step in and perform all the royal tasks. With us now to talk about the country's leadership crisis, is Lars Bevanger, a reporter in Oslo. Hi, Lars.

Lars: Hello there.

Madeleine: So about 80% of Norwegian men actually take paid paternity leave(Writer's note: Wow!) Why shouldn't the prince?

Lars: Well, that's a very good question and a lot of people here indeed think that he should take his paid paternity leave. However, it is a constitutional problem because the Constitution states quite clearly that when the king is ill, the crown prince is crown prince regent and has to perform all of the duties of the king. And the only way he can get out of it, is if he himself is ill or if he's abroad. And he is neither. So the Constitution quite clearly says that he has to do the king's duties. Now the big problem might be that his baby is due around the same day that he has to attend a government conference. So we'll have to wait and see whether if the baby is on time and how much of a crisis that would present.

Madeleine: So he doesn't just take on ceremonial duties. He actually functions as a head of state?

Lars: He does. Norway's a constitutional monarchy and very much like Britain, the head of state i.e. the King in Norway, has to be present at a government conference in Norway, once every two weeks. Basically to sign any government propositions or new laws. If the King is not present, this conference can't get underway basically so some royal, in this case now the crown prince, has to be present.

Madeleine: So the prince wants to take his paternity leave instead. What is the sentiment there among Norwegians? Do they support him?

Lars: Well, it looks like most people do support him. Norwegians are pretty laid-back when it comes to royalty. They say it's fine to have a royal family as long as they don't think they're anything special. It's a very egalitarian society so a lot of people say that "Well, if he's going to be dad, why shouldn't he have his paternity leave like everyone else?" However, there is another group who say that "if he wants to be a royal, he has to take his royal duties seriously. So there's no question about it. He will have to go through his duties as a reigning monarch, a new father or not."
It might be a solution though that this government conference, if if should happen to end up on the same day as the actual birth, would be postponed. That would be up to the Norwegian government to decide.

Madeleine: And so what's the royal family saying and any predictions on what will happen?

Lars: They're lying low at the moment.They're not saying much quite wisely so, I think. But the indications we're getting from the royal palace here is that the crown prince will indeed perform as many royal duties as he must but he has also indicated that he wants to take as much time as possible off to be with his new family. And I think, to be honest, he will meet quite a lot of understanding from the Norwegian government and indeed also from the Norwegian people.

Madeleine: Lars Bevanger is a journalist based in Oslo Norway. Thanks so much for speaking with us.

Lars: No problem.

Alexandria 01-08-2004 06:52 PM

Well, that sounds nice that the Norwegian people support Crown Prince Haakon's upcoming role as a father and would not put up too much of a fuss if he wanted to spend some time with his new baby and Mette-Marit. And I think it's also very generous that the government is willing to compromise a bit and meet Haakon half way on this issue.

norwegianne 01-09-2004 06:06 AM

Good interview. Thanks dennis. ;)

Dennism 01-09-2004 10:37 AM

No problem. You're welcome.

Dennism 05-21-2004 11:02 AM

Mette-Marit wearing Jeans upon arrival in Madrid: May 2004
Two more photos of them arriving from Corbis.



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