Saturday, June 25, 2016

Royal Families: Crown Prince Haakon & Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway

Crown Princess Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit in
2001 and 2016
     Everyone loves a good Cinderella story or at least a story that reminds us of Cinderella. A young obscure woman who catches the eyes and eventually captures the heart of a handsome and honorable prince. And while royal families over the years can boast of their own Cinderella inspired relationships nothing can really hold a candle to Norway's Crown Prince Haakon and his wife of fifteen years Crown Princess Mette-Marit. 

      So every Cinderella story has a beginning and so does Haakon (pronounced hawk-uhn) and Mette-Marit. Prince Haakon Magnus was born in 1973 to Crown Prince Harold and Crown Princess Sonja of Norway. He had one older sister, Martha Louise, but because of Norway's primogeniture law at the time, he was considered heir presumptive to the throne. Haakon lived a quiet life as a good student, went to Berkeley, joined the Navy and seemed to have no controversial playboy lifestyle at all. In 1991, King Harald ascended to the throne and Haakon was now crown prince. 

      Fast forward to 1999, Haakon is at a concert and meets a beautiful blonde haired woman named Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby. The handsome prince is smitten, but this woman is hardly royal material. Mette-Marit has lived a controversial lifestyle of partying, using drugs and has an four year old illegitimate son from a previous relationship where the father is a convicted drug user. Any self respecting royal would be told to stay away, however, Haakon takes a stand and defends Mette-Marit proving his love for her and her son and even moves in with them during their eight month engagement.  

     Haakon's family, especially his father, were in support of the relationship because this was nothing new to them. King Harold himself had to fight for ten years to be able to marry Sonja who was a commoner. Yet, during Haakon and Mette-Marit's engagement, the royal family's popularity hit an all time low when the news of Mette-Marit's drug use in the past was released. Like any good prince from a fairytale, Haakon soldiered through and would not allow the people or the media to deter him from from marrying the woman he loved. 

The Crown Princely Family of Norway from 2001 to 2016
      On August 25, 2001 Crown Prince Haakon wed Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby in small, but beautiful wedding ceremony. Never one afraid of breaking from tradition, Haakon met Mette-Marit at the doors of the church and they both walked down the aisle together. Together they have two children, Princess Ingrid Alexandra (January 2004 -- heir to the throne after her father) and Sverre Magnus (December 2005). Mette-Marit's first son, Marius (now 19), has lived quietly in the background and is accepted by the royal court and the people, but will never be seen as a royal and will live in secondary status to his younger siblings. 

      Unlike his distant relatives from other European monarchical countries, Crown Prince Haakon was not a rebellious or wild prince growing up. He didn't live the playboy, jet-setting lifestyle and always stayed out of trouble. So for him to choose a woman with such former scandalous life and who also had an illegitimate son must have proven to be a great shock to the people of Norway. 

Haakon did not just rebel against tradition and reform, 
he demolished it all together. 

      Marrying a single mother with such a shady past had never been done before in any royal family. Yet, Haakon has proven to be the stuff of true storybook princes' and found his princess among rubble of past mistakes and regrets. This is why he has been considered not only one of the best royal dads, but also one of the most well loved crown prince of his generation. Mette-Marit has found love and acceptance, not just in Norway but worldwide for her charity work, duties as a devoted mother and modern thinking. 

      To quote the famous last line from Ever After
"And while Cinderella and her prince did live happily every after, the point [gentlemen] is that they lived."
    And how Haakon and Mette-Marit have lived and loved. No other royal couple in history has had a real life Cinderella story so perfectly lived out

The Wedding of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Mette-Merit Tjessem Hoiby
August 25, 2001


"Strong" from Cinderella (2015) covered by Ellie Swisher
(I had to!!)



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