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Crown Princess Mette-Marit talks about her difficult childhood in new book

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit revealed on Tuesday her brand new book together with the author, Geir Gulliksen. The new book from the Crown Princess is the anthology “Homeland and other stories” published by Aschehoug publishing house.

The book reveals, among other things, that Mette-Marit shaved off all her hair in year three in high school, and that her family just looked successful on the outside. It is clear that her childhood did something to her, and in the book, the Crown Princess says that she went through a phase where she had a lot of anger towards her family and society.

“My childhood was based on taking a lot of responsibility early. As a result, I got a feeling very early on that I could stop the world, that I could make the world standstill,” says Crown Princess Mette-Marit in the book. As a 16-year-old, Mette-Marit travelled to Australia to get away, and after returning home, she started on the IB line at Kristiansand Cathedral School. In the book, the Crown Princess says that this was a pretty hard period in her life.

The book is by the publishing house described as the following: “What does it mean to be Norwegian today? Can we define something as Norwegian, or are there only individual experiences of belonging to a community? Is there a Norwegian way of experiencing the world, and what does it mean to be Norwegian to you and me?”

The editors, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and Geir Gulliksen have invited twelve authors to contribute with newly written short stories and essays based on these questions. The texts provide interesting insights into some of contemporary literature’s strongest voices, while at the same time drawing a literary picture of time.

The book, which was announced in June, is to be published just ahead of the famous Frankfurt Book Fair. This year, Norway is the main contributing country at the event which is billed as the ‘most important marketplace’ in the world for print and digital publishing.

The Crown Princess has long shown her support for literature and promoting reading. She has hosted a ‘literature train’ event through Norway for several years, travelling by rail to different destinations for a week to encourage others to pick up books and to discuss Norwegian writing. This year, she hosted her first ‘literature metro’ where she used the underground system in Oslo to promote reading across Norway’s capital.

It’s a message she wants to share on an international stage as she prepares to head to Frankfurt for the book fair. The Crown Princess has played a high profile part in the build-up to Norway’s big moment at the event, and she is expected to travel to Germany in October for the fair itself. In the meantime, her debut as a literary editor will make its way to the shops as another part of her ongoing campaign to boost reading and a love of books.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.