Who wore it better?
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
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While the UK’s royal scamp is scandalizing his family, Haakon is out and about discussing Dignity Day. It is an initiative that was started in 2006 to “help youth and adults to become their best self and help others to achieve the same”.
The creators are Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland, John Hope Bryant (founder of Operation HOPE), and Haakon. The three got the idea while meeting at the World Economic Forum in 2006.
From the website:
The three friends realized that the one thing that everyone in the world could agree on, irrespective of their differences is: We all want our dignity to be recognized. Dignity is the very foundation of our humanity. Dignity is universal. Dignity is also the source of human rights.
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway is showing Prince Harry how it’s done. Here he is presenting during the 2011 Dignity Day in Finland:
I realize that Haakon will be the king of Norway one day, while Harry is the “spare” to the British heir, Prince William. Harry is not expected to shoulder as much burden as a future king would, but it would be nice if he could have some… what’s the word? Oh yeah. Dignity.
HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will be begin their tour of Scandinavian countries in late March, and their first stop will be Norway. The tour marks the start of Their Royal Highnesses’ official overseas celebrations of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
King Harald and Queen Sonja will host the couple during their stay in Norway. Charles and Camilla will perform official duties which include visiting Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, attending a banquet at the Royal Palace in Oslo, and visiting the Nobel Peace Center to meet the survivors from the 2011 Utøya island massacre.
This tour will also be a time to visit with family – Charles’ great-grandfather was the brother of Harald’s grandmother (King George V was the brother of Princess Maud of Wales, who later became Queen of Norway).
After Norway, the British royals will visit Sweden. It is highly likely that the couple will get a chance to meet the new heir to the Swedish throne – Crown Princess Victoria is due to give birth in the early days of March. Though the prince has met King Carl XVI Gustaf, this will be Charles’ first official visit to Sweden.
The Windsors are also connected to the Bernadottes of Sweden through Gustaf VI Adolf, who was married first to Princess Margaret of Connaught (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria) and then to Princess Louise of Battenberg (the sister of Lord Louis Mountbatten).
The next stop will be Denmark to pay a visit to Queen Margrethe II, another family member. Like Elizabeth II, Queen Margrethe is celebrating a Jubilee this year – 2012 marks her 40th year on the Danish throne. She is related to the British royal family through her grandmother, Princess Margaret of Connaught. Charles was previously in Denmark in 2009, and his son William, along with wife Catherine, visited Copenhagen and met with Crown Prince Frederik to view UNICEF relief operations in November 2011.
The tour will take place from March 20th to 27th.
- Queen Margrethe marks 40 years on Denmark’s throne (cbsnews.com)
- Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Visit Scandinavia (royalcorrespondent.com)
As if the Norwegian princess wasn’t cute enough, she is now singing in a new video, seen at Diez Minutos TV (Haakon isn’t bad, either!).
The Royal Representative would like to congratulate Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway! Today the couple celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary.
It was announced that His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon was engaged to Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby on December 1st, 2000. They married the following year on August 25th. It was the first major royal wedding since the marriage of Haakon’s parents, then-Crown Prince Harald and the former Sonja Haraldsen in 1968. Like Mette-Marit, Sonja was also a commoner.
Haakon met his future bride at a music festival in Kristiansand, a city on the south coast of Norway (and Mette-Marit’s birthplace). Haakon was immediately enraptured, and they became a couple soon after.
King Harald and Queen Sonja were supportive of the relationship, if not their cohabitation. The king and queen remembered their own struggle to be together: Harald had to wait nearly a decade before his father, the late King Olav V, allowed Sonja into the royal family. Olav was not pleased with the idea of marriage between his son and a commoner. Harald had to throw down the gauntlet: either he married Sonja, or he would never marry. Since he was Olav’s only son and immediate heir, the king relented.
Unlike her future mother-in-law, however, the striking blonde Mette-Marit came to the royal family with what has been described as “an unconventional past”. Some of her friends were reportedly involved with drugs and “a criminal environment,” according to police reports. Mette-Marit had been known to attend parties where drugs were used. Police and security believed that this would put a strain on the monarchy.
Mette-Marit also had a child, Marius, out of wedlock with a man who was convicted of cocaine possession.
Haakon had to face the pressure of the media and the nation when he proposed to Mette-Marit. When her past was revealed, most Norwegians didn’t mind that Mette-Marit was a single mother, but they were not amused about the drugs and the underground party scene in which she had participated.
Haakon was steadfast in his devotion to his fiancee and knew that she would be a good and worthy member of the royal family, and wanted the people of Norway to know it, too. With Haakon at her side, Mette-Marit acknowledged her past during a press conference just days before the wedding. She publicly apologized for living what she described as “quite a wild life”.
They have been by each other’s side ever since.
“What we two found together was so strong that I could not let it go,” said Haakon in an interview.
Mette-Marit entered the Oslo Cathedral on Haakon’s arm, another small break with tradition. She was an absolute vision in her bridal finery, which was devastatingly beautiful in its simplicity. The ecru-colored gown was a collaboration between the bride herself, designer Ove Harder Finseth, and seamstress Anna Bratland. It was made of thick silk crêpe and soft silk tulle with a 6.5 foot train, a corset waist, and a square neckline with long, tailored sleeves. Her blonde hair was styled in a classic chignon, topped with a diamond bandeau tiara, a gift from King Harald and Queen Sonja. From the tiara flowed a 19-foot veil of silk tulle.
Instead of the usual bridal bouquet, Mette-Marit carried a stream of flowers worn on her wrist as a muff. It was comprised of rosary vine, Wanda orchids, hydrangeas, roses, bear grass, and beads interwoven on metal threads.
The prince was dashing in his black uniform of the Norwegian Army, complete with Norway’s red and blue sash.
Haakon gave Mette-Marit the engagement ring worn by both his grandmother and his mother. He then slipped the white gold wedding band over her finger, and they were pronounced husband and wife. Norway gained a new Crown Princess.
After their wedding, Mette-Marit dove into her role as Crown Princess by getting actively involved in HIV/AIDS-related work. A few years later she was appointed Special Representative for UNAIDS. Two years later she was invited by UNAIDS to participate in strategic planning of the future AIDS response. In 2010, the princess was appointed Young Global Leader under the World Economic Forum. In addition to these activities, the princess promotes Norwegian trade and industry, architecture and design, education and humanitarian initiatives.
Mette-Marit has made a graceful and intelligent transition from new princess to a true, dyed-in-the-wool Crown Princess of Norway, future Queen. She has provided two heirs to the Norwegian throne: Princess Ingrid Alexandra, born January 21, 2004 and Prince Sverre Magnus, born December 3, 2005. Her son Marius, born January 13,1997, has been adopted by Crown Prince Haakon in all but name. His obvious love and care for Marius has been evident ever since he has been with Mette-Marit.
Again I say, many congratulations to the Crown Prince and Princess, and here’s to the continued happy success of their family, and the Norwegian Royal Family!
A minute of silence was held across the Scandinavian countries today in honor of the victims of the terror attacks in Norway last Friday.
Several people, mostly teenagers, were gunned down at a Norwegian Labour party youth camp on the island of Utoeya. Simultaneously, a bomb was detonated in the Norwegian capital of Oslo just outside the Prime Minister’s office.
People across the world have offered their support and condolences.
“It was an attack against the very values that our countries are built upon. It was an attack against all of us,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said in a statement.
Queen Elizabeth II has sent her condolences to King Harald and his people. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden has also publicly stated her distress and sympathy over the deaths on Swedish television, and has attended a memorial service in honor of the deceased. The Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix, along with her Prime Minister Mark Rutte, expressed shock at the attacks. President Obama of the United States telephoned Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg with his sympathies.
I am hoping to see statements from other Royal Families, especially since Princess Mette-Marit’s own family member was killed trying to protect others.
UPDATE: Condolences from heads of state
- Norway’s royal family to lead moment of silence for terror victims – Telegraph.co.uk (news.google.com)
- Norway terror suspect arrives in court (vanguardngr.com)
- Norway Gunman Kills 80 People After Oslo Bomb; Suspect Arrested (businessweek.com)
- Attorney: Norway suspect surprised he succeeded in alleged attacks (news.blogs.cnn.com)