Mette-Marit, the single mom who became Princess of Norway

A beautiful princess with a fascinating story
From single mom to Her Royal Highness
Born in a common family
A typical Norwegian girl
Daughter of divorced parents
Mette-Marit and her passion for sports
Mette-Marit's memoirs about her childhood
As a rebellious girl, she shaved her head
Mette-Marit as a student
Mette-Marit participated in a dating show
A son with an ex-convict
Single mom
Mette-Marit's first encounter with the Prince of Norway
Haakon's new girlfriend
Moving in together
Continuing student
Mette-Marit's engagement to Haakon
The Royal Wedding
The son who can't be a prince
After the wedding she resumed her studies
United Nations AIDS Ambassador
A princess and a prince
Ingrid Alexandra, Princess of Norway
The first princess to go to a public school
Sverre Magnus, the second son of the Norwegian royal couple
Two Highnesses
Next female monarch?
Happy royal family
Marius is there too
Mette-Marit's father
Mette-Marit as a businesswoman
A princess who cares about everyone
Mette-Marit dressed as a worker
Norwegian Literature Ambassador
Princess Mette-Marit of Norway: style
Traditional clothing
At Norway's national day
Mette-Marit: winter sports
The princess's health
Pulmonary fibrosis
Mette-Marit and Covid-19
A spark in the Norwegian palace
A beautiful princess with a fascinating story

Princess Mette-Marit of Norway is an interesting figure in the circles of European royalty. She has an unusual background and always draws much media attention.

Image: Royal Court of Norway, handout

From single mom to Her Royal Highness

As a child, she witnessed her parents' divorce. While studying, she became a single mom. It was right at that moment, when she was raising her young son by herself, that she met a man called Haakon. He was the Crown Prince of Norway.

Born in a common family

Mette-Marit was born in Kritiansand, southern Norway, into a family without noble ancestry. Her father Sven O. Høiby worked as a journalist for the local newspaper and her mother Marit Tjessem for a bank.

Image: Royal Court of Norway, handout

A typical Norwegian girl

Born in 1973, Mette-Marit spent her childhood dancing ballet, singing in the 'Benedict' choir, joining the scouts and visiting the local church every Sunday.

Image: norwegianroyalfamily, Instagram

Daughter of divorced parents

When Mette-Marit was 11, her parents divorced. Her father was not a good influence. Rumor has it that he had drinking problems, and she decided to live with her mother.

Mette-Marit and her passion for sports

Mette-Marit has always been a sporty girl. In her childhood she spent many weekends on the coast and in the Setesdal Valley; that's when she learned to sail. She also played volleyball and even became a coach. As you can see here, she's also good at skiing.

Mette-Marit's memoirs about her childhood

In 1989, at the age of 16, she travelled to Australia as an exchange student. In her book 'Homeland and Other Stories', Mette-Marit recalls: "Until I travelled to Australia, I had been the most conscientious young woman in the world... But then I said to myself, 'Stop. I can do no more. I cannot meet the expectations that others have for me.'"

As a rebellious girl, she shaved her head

When she returned from Australia, Mette-Marit lived through a time when she felt rage and anger towards her family and society. That's why she shaved her head in high school.

Mette-Marit as a student

Mette-Marit studied Philosophy, Chemistry, and Information Technology at Agder University College. She graduated in 1997.

Image: Royal Court of Norway, handout

Mette-Marit participated in a dating show

Prince Haakon was not her first love. In 1996, Mette-Marit appeared on the reality show 'Lysthuset' looking for a partner. Not long afterwards, she would find someone.

Image: still from 'Lysthuset,' 1996

A son with an ex-convict

On January 13, 1997, Mette-Marit gave birth to a son, Marius Borg Høiby. The father was Morten Borg, an ex-convict. Vanity Fair would reveal later that Borg had been in prison in 1991 for trading cocaine.

Single mom

Mette-Marit was a single mom in her mid-twenties when she met the Crown Prince of Norway.

Mette-Marit's first encounter with the Prince of Norway

She met Prince Haakon in 1999 at the Quart Festival in Kristianland. Some time later, they started dating.

Image: Instagram

Haakon's new girlfriend

Prince Haakon had always followed the beaten path with conventional girlfriends. Now, he brought a single mom and party person home to his parents.

Moving in together

In 2000, Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit moved into an apartment in Oslo together. At that time, Mette-Marit had a summer job in a clothing store.

Continuing student

Mette-Marit was a continuing student. She specialized in the field of Ethics at the University of Oslo and studied there from 2000 to 2002.

Image: Royal Court of Norway, handout

Mette-Marit's engagement to Haakon

Having lived together for a year, the couple got engaged. Mette-Marit was an unusual fiancé for a prince, and Haakon even threatened to renounce the throne if they wouldn't let him marry her.

The Royal Wedding

At age 28, Mette-Marit married Prince Haakon. The wedding was celebrated on 25 August 2001 in the cathedral of Oslo. That day, Mette-Marit became the Princess of Norway.

The son who can't be a prince

Although Mette-Marit married a prince, her first son Marius has no rights in the line of succession to the Norwegian throne. Even so, the young man is one of the most beloved members of the Norwegian Royal Family.

After the wedding she resumed her studies

In 2003, Mette-Marit went to London to study at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Her interests were 'The Global Refugee Crisis' and 'Development Theories'. She also spent three months at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation to study its policy regarding the HIV virus.

United Nations AIDS Ambassador

In 2006, Mette-Marit became an international ambassador for the UN and its fight against AIDS. She leads Norwegian delegations to the International AIDS Conference.

A princess and a prince

With Prince Haakon, Mette-Marit would have two more children.

Ingrid Alexandra, Princess of Norway

On January 21, 2004, Ingrid Alexandra was born; the couple's first daughter and, after Crown Prince Haakon, the second in line for succession to the Norwegian throne.

Image: Royal Court of Norway, handout

The first princess to go to a public school

Ingrid Alexandra was the first princess to go to a public school. Her parents wanted her to have a childhood like any other child.

Image: Royal Court of Norway, handout

Sverre Magnus, the second son of the Norwegian royal couple

On December 3, 2005, the youngest, Prince Sverre Magnus was born. He is third in the line to the throne. Like his sister, Magnus got his primary education in a public school. He then moved on to the Montessori private school in Oslo.

Two Highnesses

Unlike his sister Ingrid, who holds the title of Royal Highness, Sverre Magnus holds the title of Highness.

Image: Royal Court of Norway, handout

Next female monarch?

Ingrid Alexandra, Mette-Marit's daughter, is expected to be the second queen in Norway's history.

Image: Royal Court of Norway, handout

Happy royal family

Together, they are a very happy family.

Marius is there too

Although Mette-Marit's first son, Marius, often doesn't enter the official royal family portraits, it doesn't mean he is not part of the family. Here we see them on holiday, in one of the private images released by the Norwegian Royal Court.

Image: Royal Court of Norway, handout

Mette-Marit's father

Mette-Marit always had a difficult relationship with her father, Sven O. Høiby. In 2005 he got remarried to Renate Barsgard, a stripper half his age. This and other life choices described by some as "inappropriate" hurt the relationship between Mette-Marit and her father.
A year after his wedding, Høiby was diagnosed with lung cancer. Mette-Marit and Haakon visited him occasionally in the hospital in Oslo until he passed away in 2007 at the age of 70.

Mette-Marit as a businesswoman

In 2008, Mette-Marit began studying at the Norwegian Business School. She received the Petter-Dass Prize and was later named a Global Leading Thinker for being one of the most creative people in business.

A princess who cares about everyone

She also worked as a volunteer cooking and serving food to the poor. Mette-Marit was named the World Economic Forum's Global Youth Leader.

Mette-Marit dressed as a worker

The princess promotes Norway and its industry when traveling through the country. Here she and Crown Prince Haakon went 'embedded' in the Ineos Petrochemical Plant in the County Of Telemark.

Norwegian Literature Ambassador

Her earlier studies in liberal arts have been useful to the princess. In 2017, Mette-Marit became the ambassador for Norwegian literature at the International Arena.

Princess Mette-Marit of Norway: style

The beautiful Princess of Norway always makes for stunning appearances during galas and public events.

Traditional clothing

She represents Norway with traditional, flowery headpieces that look great on her.

At Norway's national day

Sometimes, she and Prince Haakon lose their formal composure while attending official events.

Mette-Marit: winter sports

She likes to wear sporty outfits and makes a clear showing of her love for the country. Here she's enjoying the 2011 World Ski Championships in Oslo with her husband. A little bit of sun in the cold Norway winter: delightful.

The princess's health

However, not everything has been glitter and glamour for the princess. In March 2018, Mette-Marit suffered from vertigo and had to undergo surgery.

Image: Royal Court of Norway, handout

Pulmonary fibrosis

In October of that year, she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, which limited her appearances in official events.

Mette-Marit and Covid-19

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Royal House was particularly worried about Mette-Marit's health because of her pre-existing condition.

 

A spark in the Norwegian palace

Mette-Marit has made the Norwegian royal family more diverse and lively. Shaped by her experiences as a child and a single mother, she is accessible to ordinary people and a refreshing presence in the palace.

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