Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway

Crown Princess of Norway
The Crown Princess of Norway at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, 19 June 2010
Spouse Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway
Marius Borg Høiby
Princess Ingrid Alexandra
Prince Sverre Magnus
House House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Father Sven O. Høiby
Mother Marit Tjessem
Born 19 August 1973 (1973-08-19) (age 37)
Kristiansand, Norway
Religion Christianity

Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway (born Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby 19 August 1973), is the wife of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.

Background and education

Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby was born in Kristiansand, Norway, as the daughter of Sven O. Høiby, who worked as a journalist in a local paper, and Marit Tjessem. Her parents divorced, and her father would later marry Renate Barsgård. She has a sister and two older brothers, and grew up in Kristiansand, in the southern part of Norway. She spent many weekends and holidays in the nearby valley of Setesdal and at the seaside, where she learned to sail. During her youth she was active in the local youth club Slettheia, where she was also an activity leader. As a teenager she played volleyball, qualifying as referee and coach.

After starting at Oddernes upper secondary school in Kristiansand, Mette-Marit spent six months at Wangaratta High School located in North East Victoria in Australia, as an exchange student with the exchange organization Youth For Understanding. Later, she attended Kristiansand katedralskole, where she passed her final examinations in 1994. After another break from her studies, Mette-Marit attended Bjørknes Private School and then took the examen philosophicum (the preliminary university examination) at Agder University College. Since becoming Crown Princess Mette-Marit has undertaken several university level courses.

By her own admission, Mette-Marit experienced an unconventional phase before she met Crown Prince Haakon Magnus. As a part-time student, she took longer than usual to complete her high school education before going on to take preparatory university courses at Agder. She then worked for a year at a café, Cafe Engebret, in Oslo.

In the late 1990s, Mette-Marit frequently attended the Quart Festival, Norway's largest rock festival, in her hometown of Kristiansand. As a result, she met Crown Prince Haakon, since he used to attend the festival as well.

Courtship and marriage

Styles of
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Royal Monogram of Princess Metta-Merit of Norway.svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am


Norwegian Royal Family
Royal Arms of Norway.svg

HM The King *
HM The Queen *

When the engagement between Crown Prince Haakon and Mette Marit was announced, many Norwegians felt that the Crown Prince’s choice of partner was inappropriate. This was primarily about her being a single mother, but information concerning her involvement in the Rave scene in Oslo, which included a significant drug-subculture, also added to the controversy. In addition, the father of her child was convicted of drug-related offences.

Her first official appearance as the intended bride of the Crown Prince was at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at Oslo City Hall on 10 December 2000, following the announcement of the couple's engagement on 1 December. At the press conference, Crown Prince Haakon said that he and Mette-Marit had been together for about one year. Haakon gave Mette-Marit the same engagement ring as his grandfather King Olav V and his father King Harald V gave to their fiancées.

The couple married on 25 August 2001 at the Oslo Cathedral, Oslo, with attendance of statesmen and royalty from around the world. Upon her marriage she acquired the title Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. They now live at Skaugum estate, outside Oslo.


Mette Marit had a son prior to her marriage to the Crown Prince, Marius Borg Høiby, born 13 January 1997.

There has been some controversy surrounding the conduct of the press around Marius; in a relatively unusual case of outspokenness, the Crown Princess asked the media to respect her elder son's privacy. He is a private citizen and does not hold any titles.

On 21 January 2004, Mette-Marit gave birth to a daughter, HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra, who became second-in-line to the Norwegian throne after her father, Crown Prince Haakon.

Mette-Marit gave birth to her third child, Prince Sverre Magnus, on 3 December 2005. He is third in the line to the Norwegian throne after his sister, Princess Ingrid Alexandra. In the line of succession to the British throne, he is placed before his sister due to the system of male-preference primogeniture.


Royal duties and further education

In October, 2005, Crown Princess Mette-Marit accompanied Crown Prince Haakon, King Harald and Queen Sonja to the United Kingdom on a royal tour to mark the centenary of Norway's independence.

During 2002 and 2003, the Princess undertook development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, apparently without graduating. She was also accepted as an intern at NORAD, the Norwegian government's development organization. At present, Mette-Marit is attending lectures at the faculties of arts and social sciences at the University of Oslo.

The Crown Princess is a UNAIDS Special Representative and visited Geneva to learn more about the organisation and Malawi because of this post. In 2007 the Crown Princess extended her commitment as a UNAIDS Special Representative for another two years. The Crown Princess and her husband attended the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August 2006 as part of this role, serving as Jury member to the UNAIDS family-led Red Ribbon Award.

Along with UNAIDS, the Crown Princess is president of various other organizations. They are The Norwegian Scouting Association, the Amandus Film Festival, Kristiansand's International Children's Film Festival, Risor Festival of Chamber Music, FOKUS Forum for Women and Development Questions, Norwegian Design Council, Red Cross Norway, The Norwegian Council for Mental Health, the Full Rigged Ship Sorlandet, and the Oslo International Church Music Festival.

Since her engagement, the Crown Princess has traveled to Luxembourg, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Canada, Russia, North Korea, Portugal, Monaco, France, Austria, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Poland, Switzerland, India, Thailand, the Netherlands, Japan, Jordan, Bahrain, Nepal, Mexico,Malawi and Malaysia.

On December 2008, she received the Annual Petter Dass award, which recognizes a person that helps to unite people and God. Mette-Marit released the CD "Sorgen og gleden" with religious psalms: the Crown Princess wrote in the booklet "psalms are a link between me and God, between me and life".

She is godmother to three royal children, Prince Christian of Denmark, Prince Odysseas-Kimon of Greece and Denmark and Emma Tallulah Behn.

Humanitarian Fund

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess' Humanitarian Fund was established in 2001 in connection with the wedding of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. The couple announced that they wished for donations to the fund as wedding gifts. The fund allocates funds to humanitarian projects in Norway and abroad. In Norway the fund mainly focuses on projects aimed at improving conditions for children and young people. Abroad the fund mainly focuses on projects related to health and education.

Grant recipients

  • Fundación Xochiquetzal Fundasion Šusital, Nicaragua
  • The good childhood: A collaboration between the Norwegian municipality Karasjok and Lovozero municipality in Russia
  • The Church City Mission: A youth project directed by the PMV Centre for health, dialogue and development (Oslo, Norway)
  • The AIDS Centre, “Project Bus”, Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, Russia
  • Norwegian People’s Aid project ”Følgesvennen”, providing companions and provisional guardians to asylum seekers (Asker, Norway)
  • Norwegian Red Cross project “Leksehjelpen”, offering help with homework to pupils from minority backgrounds (Oslo, Norway)
  • National Community of Women Living with Aids (Uganda)
  • Education through Sport (Zambia)
  • The Vard Model (Haugesund, Norway)
  • Basic education in Alefa Takusa (Ethiopia)
  • Prevention of HIV/AIDS (Mozambique)




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