Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway

Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway (born Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, pronounced [ˌmɛtːəˈmɑ̀ːrɪt ˈçɛ̀sːəm ˈhœ̀ʏbʏ], on 19 August 1973) is the wife of Crown Prince Haakon. Haakon is the heir apparent to the throne, which means that should he ascend to the throne, she will automatically become Queen consort of Norway.

Crown Princess of Norway
Mette-Marit av Norge.jpg
The Crown Princess at the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden, June 2013
BornMette-Marit Tjessem Høiby
(1973-08-19) 19 August 1973 (age 48)
Kristiansand, Vest-Agder, Norway
(m. 2001)
HouseGlücksburg (by marriage)
FatherSven O. Høiby
MotherMarit Tjessem
ReligionChurch of Norway

A Norwegian commoner and single mother with a disadvantaged past, she was a controversial figure at the time of her engagement to Haakon in 2000. She became Crown Princess of Norway upon her marriage in 2001. The couple have two children, Ingrid Alexandra and Sverre Magnus, who are second and third in line to the Norwegian throne respectively.

In October 2018, she was diagnosed with a form of pulmonary fibrosis. She is being treated at Oslo University Hospital and has restricted her royal duties.[1]

Background and educationEdit

Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby was born in Kristiansand in the southern part of Norway, the daughter of Sven O. Høiby, who had been unemployed for some time but who had previously worked as a journalist for a local paper, and Marit Tjessem, a former bank clerk. Her parents divorced, and her father later married professional stripper Renate Barsgård.[2] She has a sister and two older brothers, including Per Høiby, chief executive of the PR agency First House. Her stepbrother, Trond Berntsen – by her mother's 1994 marriage to Rolf Berntsen – died in the 2011 Norway attacks.[3] Mette-Marit grew up in Kristiansand, spending many weekends and holidays in the nearby valley of Setesdal and on the coast, where she learned to sail. During her youth, she was active in the local Slettheia youth club, where she was also an activity leader. As a teenager, she played volleyball, qualifying as a 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 organisation, Youth For Understanding. Later, she attended Kristiansand katedralskole, where she passed her final examinations in 1994. She then spent several months working for the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce[4] at Norway House in Cockspur Street, London. When her assignment in London ended, Mette-Marit relocated to Norway.

By her own admission, Mette-Marit experienced a rebellious phase before she met Crown Prince Haakon Magnus.[5] As a part-time student, she took six years, longer than usual, to complete her high school education before going on to take preparatory college courses at Agder College. She then worked on and off as a waitress at the restaurant Café Engebret in Oslo.[6]

In the late 1990s, Mette-Marit attended the Quart Festival, Norway's largest music festival, in her hometown of Kristiansand. She met Crown Prince Haakon at a garden party during the Quart Festival season.[7] Years later, after becoming a single mother she met the prince again at another party related to the festival.[7]

Since becoming crown princess, Mette-Marit has taken several university-level courses. In 2012, she obtained a master's degree in Executive Management.[8] Most of her ancestors were cotters and small farmers.[9]

Engagement and marriageEdit

When the engagement between Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit was announced, public and media reaction was negative, with many Norwegians being "horrified"[10] and feeling that the Crown Prince's choice of partner was questionable; her lack of education, previous relationships with convicted felons and her socialization in a milieu "where drugs were readily available" were often cited by critics.[citation needed] At the time of their engagement, Mette-Marit was a single mother to a son named Marius Borg Høiby, born 13 January 1997 from her relationship with convicted felon[11] Morten Borg. Marius Borg Høiby, who holds no title or special role, withdrew from public life in 2017 when he moved to the United States to attend an unspecified college.[12]

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, Haakon said that he and Mette-Marit had been together for about one year. Haakon gave Mette-Marit the same engagement ring that his grandfather King Olav V and his father King Harald V had given to their fiancées.[citation needed]

The couple married on 25 August 2001 at the Oslo Cathedral. Upon her marriage, she acquired the title, Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Norway.[13] They now live outside Oslo at Skaugum estate.

The couple has two children together: Princess Ingrid Alexandra, born 21 January 2004 and Prince Sverre Magnus, born 3 December 2005.[citation needed]

Public life and further educationEdit

Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon in 2010

During 2002 and 2003, the Crown Princess attended lectures in 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. The appointment received criticism due to her lack of relevant qualifications.[14]

Mette-Marit attended lectures at the faculties of arts and social sciences at the University of Oslo, but did not graduate.[citation needed]

Crown Princess Mette-Marit is a patron of the Norwegian Red Cross and several other organizations.[15][16] In 2010, Crown Princess Mette-Marit was named Young Global Leader under the World Economic Forum, and in 2012 she became a member of the international Foundation Board of the Global Shapers Community.[15]

In 2015, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Kate Roberts, senior vice-president of Population Services International, established Maverick Collective.[15] On 26 April 2017, the Crown Princess was appointed as ambassador for Norwegian literature in the international arena.[15]

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit established The Crown Prince and Crown Princess's Foundation. The purpose of the foundation is to identify and support projects for young people in Norway with the objective of strengthening youth leadership and integration.[17]

In December 2008, she received the Annual Petter Dass prize, which recognises a person who helps to unite people and God.[citation needed]

In October 2018, she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, which will limit her official programmes.[18] Mette-Marit, who has dealt with "health challenges on a regular basis" (such as pneumonia, several instances of norovirus, low blood pressure, along with some falls, concussions, a neck injury and a herniated disc[19]), will undergo treatment at Oslo University Hospital.[20]


In 2012 she attracted controversy for assisting a Norwegian couple with ties to the royal family in procuring surrogacy services in India, despite the fact that surrogacy is banned in Norway; she was criticized by women's rights groups of participating in human trafficking that exploits women in developing countries.[21] The next year, the practice was also banned in India as a form of human trafficking and harmful to women and children.[22][23]

In 2019 she attracted controversy for her friendship with the American convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein; she met him several times between 2011 and 2013, after his conviction on charges of sex trafficking of minors in 2008 and release from prison. Crown Prince Haakon also met Epstein during one of these occasions while the couple were on a holiday in Saint Barthélemy.[24][25][26] Her friendship with Epstein was revealed by Norwegian media in the context of the scandal involving Prince Andrew, Duke of York who in that year resigned from all public roles over his longstanding ties to Epstein and allegations of sexual abuse. In a statement, Mette-Marit spoke of her regret in failing to investigate Epstein's past. The Royal Palace's communications manager Guri Varpe stated that the Crown Princess ceased contact with Epstein as he was attempting to use his connection to her to "influence other people."[24][27]

Titles, styles and honoursEdit


  • 19 August 1973 – 25 August 2001: Miss Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby
  • 25 August 2001 – present: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Norway

Mette-Marit has been Crown Princess of Norway since her marriage.


Honours and medalsEdit

National honours and medalsEdit

Foreign honoursEdit


  1. ^ "Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit reveals rare lung disease". BBC. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  2. ^ Nygaard, Fridtjof (3 November 2005). "Sven O. married today". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  3. ^ Sanchez, Raf (25 July 2011). "Norway killings: Princess's brother Trond Berntsen among dead". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  4. ^ "NBCC Website". Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  5. ^ Steven Erlanger (15 October 2011). "Again in Norway, Events Provide Test for a King's Mettle". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Fuglehaug, Wenche (8 September 2000). "Bare en samboer". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b Birkeland, Monika B. (22 August 2006). "Ingen skandaler i Mette-Marit-dokumentar". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Mette-Marit gets her master's : Views and News from Norway". 2 August 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Mette-Marit har adelige aner - NRK Sørlandet - Lokale nyheter, TV og radio". 8 December 2000. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  10. ^ "The scandalous past of Princess Mette-Marit".
  11. ^ Marius' far var ikke med, BT
  12. ^ Davis, Caris (13 January 2017). "Norway's Marius Borg Høiby Quits Public Life as He Prepares for College in the U.S., Says Palace". People. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Press release". Archived from the original on 3 June 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  14. ^ "Et forbilde?". Dagbladet. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  15. ^ a b c d "Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit". Norwegian Royal House Official Website. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Organisations under the patronage of The Crown Princess". Norwegian Royal House Official Website. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  17. ^ "His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon". Norwegian Royal House Official Website. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  18. ^ Evans, Morgan M. (25 October 2018). "Princess Mette-Marit of Norway reveals she's been diagnosed with chronic lung disease". Fox News. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Crown Princess Mette-Marit's history of ailments". 16 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit reveals rare lung disease". BBC. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  21. ^ Menneskehandel med diplomatpass, Klassekampen, 10 December 2012
  22. ^ "India bans gay foreign couples from surrogacy". The Daily Telegraph. 18 January 2013. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  23. ^ Timms, Olinda (5 March 2018). Ghoshal, Rakhi (ed.). "Ending commercial surrogacy in India: significance of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016". Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. 3 (2): 99–102. doi:10.20529/IJME.2018.019. PMID 29550749.
  24. ^ a b "Kronprinsesse Mette-Marit møtte sexforbryteren Jeffrey Epstein flere ganger: – Jeg burde undersøkt Jeffrey Epsteins fortid nærmere, og beklager at jeg ikke gjorde det". Dagens Næringsliv. 2 December 2019.
  25. ^ Deres kongelige lukkethet, Dagbladet
  26. ^ Skurrende slottssignaler, Dagsavisen
  27. ^ Brenden, Marcus (4 December 2019). "Dette sier utlandet om skandalen".
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "The Decorations of HRH The Crown Princess - The Royal House of Norway". 20 December 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  29. ^ "Tildeling av Kong Harald Vs jubileumsmedalje 1991-2016". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  30. ^ "Prinzessin Mette-Marit «". Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  31. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (PDF) (in German). p. 1811. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  32. ^ "DOU 06/09/2007 - Pág. 7 - Seção 1 - Diário Oficial da União" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  33. ^ "VG Foto". 29 August 2006. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  34. ^ "Modtagere af danske dekorationer". (in Danish). Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  35. ^ Estonian State Decorations, Kroonprintsess Mette Marit - website of the President of Estonia (Estonian)
  36. ^ "Le onorificenze della Repubblica Italiana". 20 September 2004. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  37. ^ "Lietuvos Respublikos Prezidentė". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  38. ^ "CIDADÃOS ESTRANGEIROS AGRACIADOS COM ORDENS PORTUGUESAS - Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  39. ^ Royal Decree 655/2006, BOE no. 126, 27 May 2006, p. 20011

External linksEdit