Haakon and Mette-Marit's relationship before the marriage

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Nov 8, 2002
I was looking through aftenposten and found some old news article,
have fun reading.
source aftenposten; date 04.05.00


Palace fends off princely scandal

Crown Prince Haakon won't comment on reports that Oslo police have sounded alarms over his latest girlfriend's background. A secret police probe reportedly links her to "a criminal environment."

Palace officials categorically denied Thursday that they had ordered or seen the file police reportedly have compiled on Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, who has been romantically linked with the crown prince since last summer.

The file, according to Norwegian celebrity magazine Se og Hør, maintains that Tjessem Høiby hasn't kept the best company over the years. Some of her friends reportedly have been involved with drugs and "a criminal environment," and the police think this may put a strain on the monarchy.

They stress that Tjessem Høiby herself has no criminal record, but raise concerns about her relationship with the heir to Norway's throne.

A police spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the contents of the report on Thursday, saying merely that the Oslo police have a responsibility to ensure the security of Norway's royal family.

Published reports have held that Tjessem Høiby and her young son from a previous relationship have moved into Crown Prince Haakon's flat in downtown Oslo, that the couple have traveled on several vacations together and that the couple is planning to move together to Barcelona in the autumn to test the seriousness of their relationship.

Se og Hør reported in this week's edition that palace officials are concerned about the relationship. King Harald, Haakon's father, earlier has been quoted as saying he does not think live-in relationships are appropriate for the royal children.

Both the king and Haakon's mother, Queen Sonja, are staying mum for the time being, as is the crown prince. He has spent the past few days on an official visit to Svalbard, the Arctic archipelago. He refused to answer questions from the team of reporters traveling with him about either his girlfriend or the police report.

source aftenposten; date 11.05.00


Prince's affair has Palace blessing

The Royal Palace will not prevent Crown Prince Haakon from having a long-term relationship with single mother Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby even though her ex-boyfriend has a drugs record.

The relationship between the prince and Mette-Marit has received massive media attention in Norway. Opinion in general is supportive, but certain political and security concerns have been raised.

Mette-Marit has visited the palace in Oslo to discuss her relationship with Norway's future monarch reports the daily Dagbladet. The police are worried that important information about security at the castle and surrounding the prince could get into the wrong hands if the relationship were to end.

But the word from the Palace is that the love the Prince and his girlfriend evidently have for each other is more important than the Mette-Marit's former relationship.

Her ex-boyfriend was convicted three months ago for possession of 50 grams of cocaine.

source aftenposten; date 14.05.00


Prince goes public on private life

Norway's Crown Prince Haakon set his principles aside Sunday and for the first time spoke out about his relationship with Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby.

In an exclusive interview with state broadcaster NRK, he confirmed - albeit reluctantly - that he and single mother Mette-Marit were dating.

His comments were made following extensive media coverage recently of their relationship. He said he was concerned innocent third parties could be hurt by so much media attention.

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source aftenposten; date 15.05.00


Mixed feelings after royal interview

There's been mixed reaction to an interview given on television by Norway's Crown Prince Haakon. Some say he was brave to speak out about his private life, while others call him naive.

The 26-year-old Prince agreed to be questioned by a journalist from state broadcaster NRK about his relationship with single mother Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby.

The affair has received considerable media attention recently, especially relating to 26-year-old Mette-Marit's past. It was revealed last week that her ex-boyfriend and father of her child had been convicted of possession of cocaine and concerns were raised about security at the Royal household.

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In the interview, the Prince confirmed that he and Mette-Marit were boyfriend and girlfriend. He said he was aware that in the early 90s she had been part of Oslo's so-called "house" or party scene. But that that was then, and things had changed considerably now. He said he felt that the time lapse was not given sufficient attention in recent media reports.

He also expressed his concern that coverage of the issue involved innocent third parties and could be very hurtful. He asked that the media respect people's private lives and follow ethical guidelines.

Outspoken royal commentator and former palace chef Carl-Erik Grimstad says it was very brave of the Crown Prince to speak out publicly. "Prince Haakon broke through a royal barrier and managed the art of being both serious and relaxed at the same time," he told Aftenposten.

Former Conservative Prime Minister Kåre Willoch says the move was clever and admirable.

But advertising boss Helge Steen believes the Prince's candidness did little to strengthen the position of the monarchy with the people. He thinks the Prince appeared naive and says his "cool and trendy" style seemed rather forced.

source aftenposten; date 16.05.00


Majority supports royal openness

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Nearly 75% of Norwegians are glad Crown Prince Haakon finally spoke openly about his love life. Haakon confirmed Sunday that he is involved with an unwed mother formerly active on the House Party scene.

An opinion poll conducted for Aftenposten showed three of four Norwegians questioned think it was right for the heir to Norway's throne to speak openly about his romantic involvement with Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby from Kristiansand. The couple had been the subject of press speculation for the past few months and reportedly live together in the crown prince's flat in downtown Oslo.

In a surprise interview with Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Sunday evening, Crown Prince Haakon confirmed that his new girlfriend took active part in Oslo's wild House Party scene in the early 1990s. House Parties at the time were often held illegally and attracted hundreds of people who manically danced for hours on end, often fueled by drugs such as Ecstasy.

The father of Tjessem Høiby's three-year-old son has faced charges of cocaine possession, but Tjessem Høiby reportedly is free of any criminal record herself
source aftenposten; date 03.08.00


Royal sweetheart tackles media spotlight

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Norway's Royal Palace has decided to help teach Crown Prince Haakon's new girlfriend how to tackle the media. Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby has had to fend off much media attention since her relationship with the heir to the throne became known.

The crown prince confirmed his romantic involvement with the 26-year-old Høiby in May and also confirmed that Høiby earlier was active on the so-called House Party scene in Norway. The father of Høiby's three-year-old son has been charged with drug possession, although Høiby herself has no criminal record.

Debate has nonetheless raged over the relationship, since Høiby could emerge as Norway's next queen. The crown prince has insisted he will marry for love and even has indicated he would abdicate if his choice of a spouse was not approved by his father, King Harald.

Newspaper VG reported this week that Høiby, who has taken part in royal family parties, now will get professional advice arranged through the palace on how to deal with reporters and photographers.

It earlier was rumored that both Haakon and Høiby would move together to Barcelona this autumn to flee the media barrage and let their relationship mature. Haakon later decided to stay in Norway and undergo an intense diplomatic training course offered by the Foreign Ministry.

Høiby has spent this summer working in a clothing store in her hometown of Kristiansand on Norway's southern coast.

source aftenposten; date 04.09.00


Crown Prince to live with girlfriend

Norway's Crown Prince Haakon announced Saturday that he would move in together with his girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby.

The Prince paid more than NOK 5.5 million for a 266-sq.m. apartment in Oslo's Ullevalsveien, where he will live with Mette-Marit and her three-year-old son from a previous relationship.

The child's father has convictions for offences including possession cocaine.

The romance between Haakon and Mette-Marit took off during the summer of 1999 at the Kristiansand rock music festival. The Crown Prince himself appeared on television earlier this year to confirm his relationship with the young woman from Kristiansand.

Reaction to the news in Norway has been mixed, with most people openly supporting the Prince's right to live his life as he chooses.

source aftenposten; date 04.09.00


Crown Prince to live with girlfriend

Norway's Crown Prince Haakon announced Saturday that he would move in together with his girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby.

The Prince paid more than NOK 5.5 million for a 266-sq.m. apartment in Oslo's Ullevalsveien, where he will live with Mette-Marit and her three-year-old son from a previous relationship.

The child's father has convictions for offences including possession cocaine.

The romance between Haakon and Mette-Marit took off during the summer of 1999 at the Kristiansand rock music festival. The Crown Prince himself appeared on television earlier this year to confirm his relationship with the young woman from Kristiansand.

Reaction to the news in Norway has been mixed, with most people openly supporting the Prince's right to live his life as he chooses.

source aftenposten; date 04.09.00


Politicians confident prince will marry

Norwegian politicians are generally shrugging off the weekend news that Crown Prince Haakon is moving in with his girlfriend. They're confident he will later marry to ensure an heir to the throne.

Norway's Constitution requires that only children born to a legally married king or queen can inherit the throne. If Haakon continues to merely live with his girlfriend, he will not be able to pass on his royal legacy to any children they might have.

The royal palace announced in a terse press release Saturday that Haakon had bought a fashionable new flat near downtown Oslo and will move there with his girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby and her three-year-old son from an earlier relationship. The move sent royal shock waves around Europe because it marks the first time an heir to a throne has broken marital convention.

Reaction to the royal announcement that Haakon is setting up housekeeping with his girlfriend has been mixed and generally muted.

Bishops of Norway's state church, who officially oppose extra-marital domestic relationships, have found themselves in an awkward position and openly have admitted they don't want to criticize or offend the royal family. Some theologians accuse the bishops of cowardice for not blasting the Crown Prince's radical move, but they claim it remains his private affair. Several have said they hope the Crown Prince will marry eventually.

Politicians said essentially the same thing on Monday. None would publicly criticize the royal announcement, not even the most conservative members of parliament.

"The Crown Prince isn't doing anything that most all Norwegian youth do," said the Conservative Party leader Jan Petersen, referring to the high percentage of Norwegian couples who opt to live together without getting married. Such couples have legal status nearly equal to that of married couples, and such domestic situations have been socially accepted for years.

Petersen said he sees no reason for Parliament to propose a constitutional change because of the Crown Prince's new domestic arrangement. Nor does Kjell Magne Bondevik, head of the Christian Democrats and a pastor of the state church.

"I don't see any reason for such a public debate," Bondevik said. "I reckon they will get married."

source aftenposten; date 05.09.00


Mette-Marit not keen on being queen

Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, who's moving into an Oslo flat with her boyfriend Crown Prince Haakon, doesn't want to be queen, according to her father. He claims she'd nonetheless make a good one.

Sven O Høiby turned up on a live television talk show on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Monday evening and raised eyebrows when he claimed he didn't think his daughter really wanted to become Norway's queen.

He noted, however, that he seldom has seen such good chemistry and genuine affection between two young people, and he was confident their romance would sustain any eventual royal role.

He also said his daughter and the Crown Prince had known each other for a few years before their romance blossomed last summer.

Høiby, divorced from Tjessem Høiby's mother, is the only member of her family who has commented publicly on the weekend bulletin that she and Crown Prince Haakon planned to set up housekeeping along with her young son from a previous relationship.

The relationship has attracted broad public interest both in Norway and overseas for months, not least because of Tjessem Høiby's unconventional past. She is an unwed mother, student and former waitress who was an active member of Norway's so-called "house party" scene in the early 1990s, which was characterized by wide-spread drug use. The father of her young son Marius has faced criminal charges of drug possession, but she has no criminal record of her own.

Crown Prince Haakon's parents, meanwhile, remain tight-lipped about the heir-to-the-throne's extra-marital living arrangement, which defies European royal tradition. Neither King Harald, Queen Sonja nor palace officials will comment despite intense public interest in the subject.

Palace officals also refuse to comment on what public status, if any, Tjessem Høiby will have as the Crown Prince's domestic partner.

Norwegian politicians and church officials have said they expect Haakon to marry.

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source aftenposten; date 05.09.00


Crown Prince asks for public patience

Crown Prince Haakon admitted Tuesday that his decision to move in with his girlfriend was difficult for his father King Harald. Haakon will meet Oslo's bishop to discuss his novel living arrangement.

The heir to Norway's throne set off royal shock waves during the weekend by announcing, via an official palace press release, that he had bought a new flat near downtown and would share it with Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby and her young son from a previous relationship.

The state church of Norway officially opposes extra-marital living arrangements, and Haakon said during a brief meeting with reporters in Berlin Tuesday that he will meet Oslo Bishop Gunnar Stålsett to discuss his situation.

The heir to Norway's throne stressed that he and Stålsett will meet to listen to each other.

He admitted that his decision to live with Tjessem Høiby had been difficult for his father, King Harald, to accept. The king, officially the head of the state church, is on record as saying just a few years ago that he would oppose live-in arrangements for his own children.

But Haakon said he also felt "warmth and consideration from him in connection with myself and Mette-Marit," and he wasn't worried.

He added that he wants to get married "when that time comes," but felt right now that merely moving in together was the right thing to do.

The Crown Prince's comments broke several days of silence from the Royal Palace. He met reporters in Berlin where he is on official business promoting Norwegian exports and visiting the World's Fair at Hannover.

source aftenposten; date 07.09.00


King breaks royal domestic tradition

Norway's King Harald has reluctantly gone along with his son's decision to set up housekeeping with his girlfriend in Oslo. He says "it's right" for them to live together right now, without getting married.

The king's acceptance of his son's distinctly un-royal domestic situation breaks new ground, not only in Norway but among European royal families in general. While royals often have had extra-marital affairs throughout the centuries, Crown Prince Haakon's looming co-habitation marks a clear break with royal convention.

King Harald's also broke several days of royal silence on the issue that has dominated Norwegian headlines since Saturday, when the palace announced that Haakon had bought a flat near downtown Oslo and would share it with his girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby and her son from a previous relationship.

The announcement raised eyebrows even in Norway, where extra-marital domestic situations are commonplace. It also sparked concern from bishops of Norway's state church, which officially promotes marriage as the preferred domestic relationship.

King Harald said Wednesday that he hopes his son will marry eventually, but that right now he and Tjessem Høiby need time to test their relationship.

"Let me first say that I'm very glad the Crown Prince has found himself a girlfriend," he said during a brief meeting with reporters in New York, where he is attending the United Nations' Millennium Summit. He added that both he and Queen Sonja have grown fond of Mette-Marit.

He conceded that the co-habitation issue was difficult, but after much thought and family discussions, "we have concluded that this is perhaps the best thing" for the couple to do right now. "We hope and believe," he quickly noted, "that it will lead to marriage."

He called their co-habitation "a transition period."

King Harald is on record as being opposed to couples living together without being married, but said his son's situation has changed his mind and that his living arranged is not a problem for the family.

King Harald denied the Crown Prince had been stubborn and simply opted to do what he wanted. "We have discussed this, openly and pleasantly," the king said. "We are in agreement."

Nor does the king think his son's domestic situation sets a poor example, as long as his co-habitation doesn't last too long.

The king also noted that his own romance with Sonja Haraldsen made waves in the 1960s because it marked the first time an heir to the thrown married a commoner. And he said Queen Sonja "had problems" with being "thrown into" a new royal role. Their own experience, he indicated, allows them to sympathize with Haakon's and Tjessem Høiby's situation.

source aftenposten; date 20.09.00


Märtha supports brother's romance

Norway's Princess Märtha says she's happy her brother has found a girl he's in love with. Crown Prince Haakon's older sister made her opinion known during a press conference in Sydney on Wednesday.

The Princess has been in Sydney for more than a week now and will stay in Australia until the end of the Olympic Games.

During this morning's press conference she told reporters she wished to comment on the recent press coverage of the Prince's relationship with Mette Marit Tjessem Høiby. "I hope you give her the time she needs to adapt to the role of a princess. It's not easy, and I know that from first hand experience," she said.

The Crown Prince announced recently that he had bought anapartment where he would live with his girlfriend, a single mother.

Princess Märtha's horse Lenaro is competing in the Olympics ridden by Brice Goodin. There's been rumour of a romance between the Princess and the New Zealand rider, but Märtha refused to comment on the speculation.

source aftenposten; date


Norway's queen OKs girlfriend

Queen Sonja said Friday that she was pleased that son Prince Haakon had found a woman he might share his life with. This was her first public commentary on the controversial relationship.

The queen said that Haakon's live-in girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby was an exceptional person, whom she had grown to value.

Queen Sonja said that their partnership was the best way for Mette-Marit to learn the demands of the role of being a future princess.

source aftenposten; date 13.10.00


Pressure grows on Crown Prince

Norway's Royal Palace is reportedly putting some pressure on Crown Prince Haakon and his live-in girlfriend to get engaged. King Harald and Queen Sonja want their son "to formalize" his relationship.

The terse announcement early last month that Haakon, his girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby and her son from an earlier relationship would move into a spacious flat together near downtown Oslo set off shockwaves even in liberal Norway, where live-in relationships are common and have their own legal status called "samboerskap."

Many Norwegians fretted that the arrangement was inappropriate for a crown prince, and some believe it threatens the monarchy because it's simply too, well, common.

Haakon's parents, however, appear to reluctantly have gone along with their son's desires even though King Harald is on record in a recent book as saying he would opposed "samboerskap" for his own children.

Now it's believed that Tjessem-Høiby, who has refused to meet reporters or be officially photographed, will soon make a formal public appearance with the heir to throne, and that an engagement between the two will be announced before Christmas.

No date has been set, but a palace source told Aftenposten that "Mette-Marit will meet the press when she's ready, or when an engagement is announced."

Many royal watchers remain disappointed in Haakon's choice and Tjessem Høiby's past has brought into question her fitness to be Norway's queen. Haakon himself has confirmed that she was an active member of Oslo's house party scene in the early 1990s, and the father of her son has a criminal record.

source aftenposten; date 13.10.00


Editors summoned to palace

The heads of Norway's leading newspapers and TV stations have been invited to meet with the royal palace to discuss media coverage around crown prince Haakon and his partner Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby.

The gossip oriented weekly magazine 'Se og Hør' has also been invited, and this publication's focusing on the prince and his girlfriend's background has sparked controversy and debate. Only the heads of 'Se og Hør' have yet to accept the invitation.

The head of Norway's association of editors has also been asked to attend the Monday discussions.

source aftenposten; date 16.10.00


Palace backtracks on royal engagement

Palace officials set off a new media storm Monday when they indicated Crown Prince Haakon and his controversial live-in girlfriend would be getting engaged. Now it seems it ain't necessarily so.

Palace officials, under pressure following months of intense and unusually critical media coverage of the royal family, confirmed a royal engagement was forthcoming during a meeting Monday with the heads of major newspapers and television stations. Norway's national wire service and every major media outlet picked up the story, and then proceeded to report reaction to a royal engagement from a host of top politicians and even the bishop of Oslo.

But the crown prince stressed later Monday afternoon that "we're not engaged yet." Haakon and his girlfriend, Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, made a rare appearance together in a local Oslo park, strolling hand in hand in a somewhat bizarre walk that attracted hordes of reporters.

Haakon said the pair didn't want to hold any sort of press conference there and then, adding that "we really just want to tone all this down." He warned against anyone jumping to any conclusions regarding an eventual engagement.

Palace officials later toned down their earlier statements and said they certainly didn't mean to make any engagement announcement. In fact, admitted the top palace spokesman, "we are not aware that Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby have decided to get engaged."

The palace had called the editors in for "an open dialogue" about media coverage of the royals. The editors were told that Tjessem Høiby, who has never publicly commented on her relationship with Haakon, would meet reporters later this fall, likely in connection with an engagement announcement.

Among those attending the meeting at the palace were top editors from NRK and TV2, newspapers Aftenposten, Dagbladet, Dagsavisen and VG, wire service NTB and magazine Se og Hør. The latter has been the most aggressive in its royal coverage and initially broke the story about Haakon's at-the-time new girlfriend last December.

The relationship has caused a lot of royal worry both inside and outside the palace, mainly because Tjessem Høiby is widely considered an unconventional candidate to be Norway's next queen.

Tjessem Høiby, 27, is an unwed mother from Kristiansand who allegedly has links to criminal circles in Norway. The father of her young son has been convicted of drug possession and Haakon himself has confirmed she was an active member of Oslo's drug-infested "house-party" scene in the 1990s.

King Harald, however, has publicly voiced his support for the match and said both he and Queen Sonja have grown fond of Mette-Marit. Palace officials reportedly contend there is nothing in Tjessem Høiby's background that make her ill-suited to be queen.

source aftenposten; date 17.10.00


Majority supports royal engagement

Three of every five Norwegians think it would be a good idea if Crown Prince Haakon and his live-in girlfriend got engaged. A new opinion poll indicates only 17% oppose the royal match.

The poll, conducted for Aftenposten, indicates that support for the crown prince and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby is strongest among younger Norwegians. Roughly 75 percent of those aged 44 years or under said they think it would be positive if Haakon and Mette-Marit announce their engagement.

Another 28 percent, however, think such an engagement would weaken the monarchy in Norway. Tjessem Høiby's background has raised eyebrows among many, in part because she is an unwed mother who was active in Oslo's drug-infested "house party" scene and because she has had connections to criminal elements.

The poll also defies several informal surveys that have popped up on the Internet lately. One such survey resulted in some 60 percent responding that they did not think Tjessem Høiby was fit to be Norway's next queen.

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source aftenposten; date 20.10.00


King defends son's romance

King Harald spoke out again last night in defense of Crown Prince Haakon, whose decision to move in with his controversial girlfriend has rocked Norway. The king asked that the pair be left in peace.

King Harald's remarks came during the annual dinner he hosts for members of parliament. He claimed it was important that Norway's heir to the throne be allowed to make his own decisions in his own way.

"It's especially important for the young to be allowed to live in peace," said King Harald. "They must be allowed to develop themselves into the individuals they'd like to become."

The king said it was necessary for every generation "to find its own place and do things in its own way." He noted, however, that he believes it is also important for each generation to take with it "the best" from the previous generation.

The crown prince was himself present at the formal dinner, held at the royal palace in Oslo, but he came without the woman he calls his "kjæreste" (literally, dearest), Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby. The pair have been living together in Haakon's flat in downtown Oslo and plan to move into another, larger flat together with Tjessem Høiby's young son from a previous relationship.

Tjessem Høiby's earlier lifestyle and fondness for the party scene have raised eyebrows, as has the pair's decision to live together without being engaged or married. It marks the first time a European royal has openly done so.

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source aftenposten; date 20.10.00


Top politician also backs crown prince

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The president of Norway's parliament says she doesn't fear that a controversial royal romance will lead to a debate on the future of the monarchy itself. She thinks that may be a good thing.

Kirsti Kolle Grøndahl joined King Harald Thursday night in touching on the subject that has sparked wide public debate in recent months. Kolle Grøndahl said Crown Prince Haakon's decision to openly live with his girlfriend can ultimately breathe new life into the country's democracy.

"The crown prince, by following his heart, has unleashed a debate on the state of the monarchy," Kolle Grøndahl said. "No one has any reason to fear such a debate. On the contrary, it's a healthy sign in a democracy that people can argue about an institution that is so firmly placed in society."

Kolle Grøndahl acknowledged that some people may feel uncertain or insecure when they think new ground is being broken, but she claimed the country should embrace the opportunity that gives to "try out" new attitudes or situations.

Kolle Grøndahl reminded her audience of Crown Prince Haakon's solid formal education and his people-oriented qualities as reasons for also considering an increase in his annual allowance from the state. The crown priince is set to directly receive NOK 150,000 (about US$ 15,000) from state coffers next year and must otherwise rely on financial assistance from his father.

source aftenposten; date 01.12.00,


August wedding in the cards

Sources say Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby will be married in August next year. The newly engaged couple will speak to the press on Friday afternoon at the palace.

Neither King Harald nor Queen Sonja will attend the couple's press conference.

Earlier in the day Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg made an official statement to the press. "The government has advised King Harald to consent to the engagement and marriage," he announced. "That means we'll have a wedding and a marriage," he added.

"There's every reason to congratulate the engaged couple. I wish them good luck with their engagement and with their marriage," said a smiling Prime Minister.

The date of the wedding will most probably be confirmed during this afternoon's press conference at the palace. However, the Kristiansand daily Fæderlandsvennen reports that it will held in August 2001.

source aftenposten; date 01.12.00


Prince to wed single mother

Norway's King Harald informed the Norwegian Parliament on Friday that Crown Prince Haakon had become engaged to his girlfriend, Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby.

The Crown Prince confirmed his romantic involvement with single mother Mette-Marit in a television interview with state broadcaster NRK on 14 May. In September, they bought an apartment in Ullevålsveien in Oslo, but they have yet to move in.

The relationship has been a matter of much discussion and concern in Norway, both inside and outside royal circles, mainly because Tjessem Høiby is widely considered an unconventional candidate to be Norway's next queen.

Tjessem Høiby, 27, is asingle mother from Kristiansand. In the early 90s she was actively involved in Oslo's drugs-infested "house-party" scene. The father of her three-year-old son has a narcotics conviction.

However, the romance between the handsome young Prince and his girlfriend has enjoyed the continued and outspoken support of the King Harald and Queen Sonja.

The Palace has scheduled a press conference for 3 p.m. on Friday.

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source aftenposten; date 16.02.01


Crown Prince moves into new flat

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Norway's Crown Prince Haakon has moved with his fiancé and her young son into a spacious, newly remodelled flat on Ullevålsveien near downtown Oslo. The couple plans to marry in August.

King Harald bought the 266-square-meter flat for his son last year. Haakon already was living with his then-girlfriend, Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, in a smaller flat further down Ullevålsveien.

Haakon had bought that flat shortly after he returned to Norway after several years in the US, where he earned a bachelor's degree at the University of California at Berkeley.

He soon outgrew the flat after launching his controversial romance with Tjessem Høiby, a single mother with a son from a previous relationship. It emerged last year that Tjessem Høiby had moved into the crown prince's flat with her son, Marius.

The new flat at Ullevålsveien 67 takes up the entire third floor of the gracious building in Oslo's St Hanshaugen's district. It features a 13-square-meter terrace with a view over the city.

It remains unclear, however, how long the couple will actually live there. Tradition calls for the crown prince couple to live on an estate called Skaugum, west of Oslo in suburban Asker, and many expect them to move there after their wedding.

King Harald and Queen Sonja have continued to live at Skaugum but are due to move into the newly renovated Royal Palace downtown later this spring. That means Skaugum will soon stand empty.

The estate is then likely to be renovated, meaning Haakon and Mette-Marit in turn will probably delay any eventual move.

source aftenposten; date 29.03.01


Crown Prince's fiancée stops at customs

Customs officers at Gardermoen would have been forgiven for raising an eyebrow when the Crown Prince's fiancée Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby declared metres of wedding dress material on her arrival at the airport.

Members of the royal family are not required to pay duty on goods purchased abroad and brought into Norway. However Tjessem Høiby will not become a royal until August and is therefore obliged to go through the "red" channel and declare certain expensive purchases. Duty must be paid on goods valued above a certain limit and the material for her wedding dress undoubtedly fell into this category.

No statement has been released either about the type of material she had with her, or the duty applied.

All facts concerning the wedding-dress will remain "top secret" until Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby walks down the aisle in Oslo's Domkirken on 25 August to marry Norway's Crown Prince Haakon. The only assumption that can be made is that as Miss Tjessem Høiby has returned to Norway with the material she bought in Paris, she has probably chosen a designer here at home.

According to the celebrity magazine Se og Hør", the future queen of Norway has already started filling up her wardrobe in her new Oslo home at Ullevålsveien 67. She has been shopping on Fifth Avenue and in Madison Avenue, New York where she reportedly spent around NOK 200,000 on Gucci, Fendi and Prada designer wear.

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source aftenposten; date 06.03.01


Effort launched to de-throne the Royals

Not everyone is happy about Norway's upcoming Royal wedding. A Kirkenes-based group is adding steam to its movement aimed at doing away with the monarchy and turning the country into a republic.

One day after plans for the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon and his live-in girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby were unveiled, the group gained support from two outspoken opponents to the monarchy.

Well-known Republican, Professor Trond Nordby, and author-editor Jon Michelet latched on to the group, called "For a Republic in Norway."

"It's an historic event when an organization aimed at doing away with the monarchy is established for the first time in Norway," said Nordby. The group started up in December, but now has been formally registered and claims to be gathering steam.

Nordby concedes that he and his fellow republicans "will probably continue to be a minority for many years." But he cites "serious" reasons for doing away with the monarchy.

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Nordby notes the monarch no longer is thought to be descended from God, that the monarchy has no political power and that the Norwegian people no longer need it as a unifying symbol.

He called the inheritance of royal titles "an anachronism."

Michelet contended the monarchy has lost respect. While the late King Olav liked to say he had 4 million bodyguards, representing Norway's total population, "today's crown prince is surrounded by 4 million informers whose main goal is to call VG (a local tabloid) as soon as they see him at the grocery store."

Bernt Nilsen, who founded the group, said his anti-royal sentiment was fueled a few years ago when King Harald visited Northern Norway and police prevented Nilsen from unfurling a banner protesting the monarchy.

The anti-royalists hope to pour cold water on Haakon's and Mette-Marit's wedding in August, encouraging all Norwegians to leave the country in protest.

The wedding celebration itself is planned over three days, culminating in a 5pm ceremony at Oslo's Cathedral (Domkirken) on Saturday August 25.

source aftenposten; date 07.03.01,


Royal wedding spurs Cathedral facelift

It took a looming Royal Wedding for politicians to release funds for a long-needed renovation of Oslo's Cathedral. The cathedral in the heart of the city will get NOK 6 million for cosmetic repairs.

The money will only cover the most visibly needed repairs, including indoor painting and renovation. Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and his live-in girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby will exchange vows before some 800 guests inside the cathedral, called Domkirken, on August 25.

Clergymen at the cathedral are pleased with the funds allocation, which the city and the federal government will share by forking over NOK 3 million (about US$330,000) each.

Not everyone is satisfied, however. The money won't cover needed exterior repairs or rehabilitation of other rooms within the cathedral. One Member of Parliament from the Christian Democrats said he will lobby for an additional appropriation of at least NOK 2 million.

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source aftenposten; date 12.03.01


Mette-Marit makes her 'Kollen' debut

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The Royal Box drew a lot of attention at Sunday's Holmenkollen Ski Festival. With fog and poor local jumping dampening spirits, it was only natural that the crown prince's fiancé made heads turn.

Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby made her first appearance with the rest of Norway's royal family at the traditional Holmenkollen Sunday. She'll marry Crown Prince Haakon in August and is steadily showing up at official events that feature a royal presence.

She and the family showed up just before the event started, smiled and waved to reporters and a curious public, and didn't say a word. Nor did the crown prince, for that matter.

They took their places in the Royal Box, where Tjessem Høiby appeared to be among the few to sing sing "God Save the King" and the Norwegian national anthem.

She set herself apart from King Harald, Queen Sonja and the crown prince, who all were dressed in traditional navy blue ski jackets, by wearing a light beige ski outfit and a dark wollen hat.

source aftenposten; date 04.04.01


Royal wedding gift lacks public support

Norway's looming royal wedding doesn't appear to have captured the public's imagination, or its generosity. Most suggested giving the crown prince pair "nothing" in an informal poll.

Read a selection of suggested gifts and make some of your own!

An overwhelming amount of emails streaming into Aftenposten responded negatively when asked what the public should give Crown Prince Haakon and his fiancée Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby as a wedding gift.

"Nothing," ("ingenting," in Norwegian) was the dominant reply. Some suggestions are unprintable. A few more generous souls suggested a boat, a private plane or training studio equipment so they can keep themselves in shape.

Lars Roar Langslet, a former politician who wrote a book on the late King Olav, said it was difficult to interpret responses from the informal survey. He said the responses shouldn't be used as a "barometer" for the couple's popularity.

"Or maybe Norwegians have just gotten so wealthy that they've become greedy," he mused.

The harshness of some of the responses nonetheless suggests an underlying disenchantment in some quarters with either the Haakon and Mette-Marit or the monarchy itself. Several pointed out that the royals "already have so much," including millions of crowns in taxpayer support every year, and they were hard-pressed to see a need to give them more.

Defies tradition
It's been a tradition in Norway to give a "gift from the people" to the royals in connection with major celebrations such as weddings or jubilees. Committees hammer out proposed gifts and public fund-raising covers the bill.

In 1906, shortly after King Haakon VII and Queen Maud were crowned in a re-establishment of a Norwegian monarchy, the new royal couple was given a timber ski lodge in the hills above Oslo.

When Crown Prince Olav married his cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden, the couple received a gift of NOK 240,000, a truly princely sum at the time. King Haakon was given a yacht in 1947 when he turned 75 and Olav, fond of cars, later received a Lincoln when he celebrated 25 years as king.

But the tradition of gift-giving was tarnished in 1997, when public support failed to materialize for a proposal to lay stones on the dirt-and-gravel driveway leading up to the Royal Palace in Oslo. The idea for the gift, meant to be a joint 60-year birthday present to the king and queen, fell flat and was roundly criticized in TV debate programs.

Queen Sonja then suggested she'd like new a new china service for gala dinners at the newly renovated palace. Not enough money was raised to foot the bill from Porsgrunds Porcelain Factory, however, and the palace itself had to pay the balance.

And now the vast majority of respondants to an informal poll don't want to give Haakon and Mette-Marit anything at all.

source aftenposten; date 19.03.01


Rooms hired out for wedding of the year

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Drawing rooms and attics, window seats and balconies were let to the highest bidder for the princely wedding of royal cousins Olav and Märtha 72 years ago. Oslo hotels say they still have rooms available for this year's royal wedding.

People travelled from all over the country to take part in the three-day wedding celebrations on 19, 20 and 21 March 1929. Trains carried loyal subjects from Hamar, Halden and Horten to Oslo East and West railway stations. When they arrived they were met by a town decked out in Norwegian and Swedish colours.

Hotel capacity was limited back then, but no one was expected to go without a bed and rooms were rented out in private homes. Column inches were sold in Aftenposten to kindly souls ready to let a room while earning a pretty penny to boot.

"Fine drawing room with piano…." to let in Ullevålsveien; "Well furnished drawing room with piano, bath. 10 minutes from the palace…"; "Two connected rooms available for 2-3 refined guests. With or without breakfast….." And if all accommodation may not have included a piano, hygiene was a decent alternative selling point, "Large room for two. New house and new bedclothes. Kr. 80 per week…"

For those of limited means, beds not pianos were the sought after commodity… "Three attic rooms, with six bed spaces for private party. Kr. 10 per day."

Crown Prince Haakon will marry his fiancée Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby on 25 August. Hotel managers say rooms are still available for people wishing to visit Oslo towards the end of August, but it's unlikely they'll be rented out at budget rates.

Fortunately only one conference (of psychologists) is scheduled at the same time, so there should be enough beds left over for ordinary commoners after the 60 or so royal guests and welter of pressmen and women have been accommodated.

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