||09-25-2006 03:41 PM
Here is the translation of the ELLE interview scanned and summarised by Emma, or most of it, since it was a lot to translate please do not post it on other boardsJ the translation is not 100% correct as I think it is very difficult to transfer the way it is spoken to a language that is not my own, please ignore the spelling mistakes, it was sort of a rush job.
It is still many times I say to Haakon - Can you believe we are together. Had we known in advance what we had to go trough – then maybe we had not….But luckily we did not know. Because we really did not have a choice, I feel very strongly that we belong together.
This month she celebrates her 5th wedding anniversary
Elle had finally gotten an audience with the Crown Princess. Finally she had time to meet us, to talk about life, love, the role as Crown Princess and about the couples humanitarian foundation.
But first: We (ELLE) had planned a photo session in the studio of one of the world’s best fashion photographers, ELLEs Giles Bensimon in New York. We had gone trough the collections of the world’s best fashion designers and had clear thoughts about the fantastic creations we would photograph the Crown Princess in. It was going to be so glamorous. It was going to be the photo shoot Norway had never seen before; it was going to be super exclusive!
But No, She did not want it that way.
-The Crown Princess would like you to photograph her in Southern Norway, by the sea, like for instance Ny-Hellesund. And she would prefer to wear her own clothes, and not too much make-up. She would like it t be simple and informal. And one more thing, she would prefer a Norwegian photographer.
That was the message we got from the palace.
Our first meeting with the Crown Princess about this interview took place in by the sea outside her hometown Kristiansand. The driver of the Taxi boat we had booked did not know what guests we were bringing until she steps in the boat, beautiful, charming and very smiley.
-It was good you did not say who I was going to bring, had I known the Crown Princess was going to be in the boat I would have not slept all night, and I did not even shave, and I should have worn some other clothes. But I suppose it will go fine, she is a bloody likable girl. Says the taxi boat driver
The weather was at its best over southern Norway. The sun is shining and the sea is sparkling
-Is it not incredible beautiful enthuses the Crown Princess
-This is where I grew up, I know every rock, stone and small Island here. No place is more beautiful than the south in the summer.
She smiles and greets to the locals when we walk past the one idyllic location after the other.
With her on the photo shoot she has her family. We photograph her all day, and while she is busy the Crown Prince handles the children. Marius plays around on rocks and threes, and then he wants to take a bath. Even if the sun shines it is not particularly warm, but he jumps in. He waits until his mother has time to watch him though. Princess Ingrid Alexandra wants to bath as well but she is not allowed, a decision she is not pleased with. Prince Sverre Magnus sleeps or laughs happily. Crown Prince Haakon handles his children lovingly but strictly and appears as a very charming man. But it is Crown Princess Mette-Marit this is about. It is 5 years since 25 august 2001 the day the single mother Mette-Marit Tjessem HÝiby became HRH the Crown Princess and touched the whole Kingdom and then some.
- Getting married was fantastic, I will never forget that day. Everyone around me was so stressed, they pottered around me all exited and stressed, but I was calm, I think it was because of all I had gone trough before the wedding. The door to becoming Crown Princess and all the consequences it had. The pressure was enormous. I was going to learn a lot, and at the same time it was a lot of focus on me, and not just positive focus to put it like that. It was not always easy. It was days I thought; I cannot do this. We both did. We went trough many rounds. Many had expectations of what the Crown Princes wife should be like, and I did not fit that picture. I’m happy that time is over. I feel much more that I’m in my place now. In the process leading up to the wedding I got to go trough those parts of my life that has been difficult. Now I have a (avklart) clear relation to it. And as time goes I think the picture of me in other situations has taken over – It is good to stop living in the past. Good to move on, and I’m sure peoples picture of me will change further as I develop in my role.
It is a week since the photo shoot in the south of Norway. We are sitting in one of the many rooms of their home Skaugum. The Crown Princess is some minutes late for our meeting; she excuses herself because Sverre Magnus needed food. She has an hour; soon she is going to The Palace to get ready for the lunch for the Spanish King and Queen. She looks elegant in a white top and brown leg-long pants, discreet makeup, happy and energetic.
- We talked a lot before the wedding about what we could do so the wedding was not just about us. We are both concerned with humanitarian work and in the car on the way to Kristiansand we talked and come to the conclusion we wanted to start a humanitarian foundation. As a Crown Prince Couple we can play a role and help highlight important issues, we are in a position where we can help and create attention. Among other things we get so many gifts from people, when we got married, on wedding days, birthdays etc and we thought it would be nice to let some of it go to somebody else that us. Friends and family knows that what we want as gifts for special days are donations for the foundation and we get that.
- We wanted the work with the foundation to have two parts. We wanted to work with international solidarity and with people in Norway who does not live like us (hmm that would mean approx 4, 5 million). My focus in my role is much about tolerance, both mental health questions and HIV/AIDS tolerance plays a huge part. It is not random that we have chosen these issues. The council for mental health was the first organisation that asked me if I would be their patroness, and this is a place where I feel can have a role. It is so many stigmas tied to mental health, and if it is one thing we can do it is to work to remove prejudices. It is one of the areas where I felt I could really go deep. And connected to my work for the telethon (money went to mental health problems) I got the opportunity to work with this closely for a year. When we lived in London is studied refugee and HIV/AIDS questions. That is when I got a deeper insight in to the different problems
- I think it is important that people are as open as they fell they can about their mental struggles, because none of us avoids it, me neither. I don’t think it is correct to go into details about me, it is my private life. But I do think it is important to have an understanding for what other people go trough. I think today it is easier for a child to say that her mother has broken her foot than her mother has anxiety problems. We must not view mental issues as something abnormal because it is not. I do believe it is more accepted to talk about it now than it used to be, but at the same time mental problems represent weakness, and weaknesses is till not fully accepted in our society. The demand to be perfect is increasing. If you are not perfect than you are not good enough, it is very tiresome. It is impossible to be “perfect” Especially tough it is to see the demands among young people, they are supposed to excel in everything, team sports, individual sports, they should be creative, excel in school, have many friends. To me it is important that children can develop without to many expectations.
- If the Crown Princess should choose only one of these themes to focus on what would you have chosen?
- It is a hypothetical question and I have learnt from my husband that we don’t have to answer those, I think he got it from an episode of the West Wing, she laughs.
- How does the Crown Prince Couple want to work to increase peoples tolerance levels
- It is something we have to work with every day, I like to think of myself as a tolerant human being but it often happens I meet myself in the door (is that an English expression) I think we all experience that we are less tolerant than we like to think. Tolerance is about how you meet and approach other people. Most people have another background than you do, that is why we react differently to things. Let us bee kinder and more generous towards each other.
Every time the Crown Princess appears in public her outfit is commented on in the media, whilst 6 years ago she was criticised for wearing jeans and trainers now she is criticised for using to little Norwegian design and dressing to expensive in Norwegian media. In international media she is though praised for her sophisticated style. The same days we took the picture the local paper had an editorial that the Crown Prince Couples humanitarian engagement was not credible because of their lifestyle and that the crown Princess dressed expensive enough to feed a whole African village.