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Crown Princess Mette-Marit speaks of duty and hope in birthday interview

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway

Crown Princess Mette-Marit gave a wide-ranging interview with Norwegian broadcaster NRK to coincide with her 50th birthday. She spoke of her humble beginnings, how she’s adjusted to life in the Royal Family, and her hopes for the future.

As Norway’s Crown Princess, she said she has been inspired by the people she meets and the sense of community in her work.

“The fact that together we manage to find some values ​​in Norwegian society that we want to protect,” she said.

The balance between giving up a normal life and maintaining a public role weighs on Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s mind, but she said that “you almost just have to factor it in” to this type of life and that being in the public eye is constant.

The Crown Princess met her future husband in 1999 at Quartfestivalen in her hometown. Immediately, she said, “He saw me. He understood me. He was curious. And he held me.”

Words she used to describe her husband include “a kind dad” and “a very responsible Crown Prince” who is serious about his royal role.

Of her children, she said that she dreads the day that all of her children—Marius, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, and Prince Sverre Magnus—move out of the family home.

“I will miss the chatter, talking to them, hearing how they are doing,” she said. “Everyday life with lots of cuddles and chats. So, are we going to sit there alone, Haakon and I, together with the dog and just: ‘Yes, what are we going to do now?’”

Crown Princess Mette-Marit gave lavish praise to her royal in-laws, saying she is “incredibly impressed by and have great respect for them, and for the work they put in for our country.”

She continued: “I also think that one of the things that is so fascinating about the two of them is that they are so good at giving each other space, also in the roles of king and queen. They are exemplary. They are simply really good at giving each other the space they both should and should have.”

She joked about her style, saying that she wishes Queen Sonja’s organisational talent would come to her, “but it hasn’t after 22 years. But [I am] allowed to live in hope, I think.”

Crown Princess Mette-Marit later said that she learned to use a loom during the coronavirus pandemic and made a blanket for her mother-in-law for Christmas.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit also spoke about life with chronic pulmonary fibrosis, which she was diagnosed with in 2018.

“There is much that is painful and difficult and tough about it. At the same time, there is something very nice about it, because you meet yourself very much. You have to take yourself much more seriously. And then you have to slow down, which I have done a lot,” she said.

Thinking positively about her life and how to live with her chronic illness has helped her; she said: “I think that is important for one to have a good life. That you try not to dig into it, but rather see what I can achieve with the limitations I have.”  

She added that balancing her chronic illness with her role as Crown Princess has made her focus on the present and “thinking only here and now.”

Crown Prince Haakon turned 50 earlier in the summer, and the couple are planning a joint birthday celebration later this week with the Norwegian Royal Family present.

The couple jointly celebrates their birthday on their 22nd wedding anniversary.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.