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Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway (born Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby 19 August 1973), is the wife of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.

Background and education

Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby was born in Kristiansandmarker, Norwaymarker, as the daughter of Sven O. Høiby, who worked as a journalist in a local paper, and Marit Tjessem. Her parents divorced, and her father would later marry Renate Barsgård. She has a sister and two older brothers, and grew up in Kristiansandmarker, in the southern part of Norway. She spent many weekends and holidays in the nearby valley of Setesdalmarker and at the seaside, where she learned to sail. During her youth she was active in the local youth club Slettheia, where she was also an activity leader. As a teenager she played volleyball, qualifying as referee and coach.

After starting at Oddernes upper secondary school in Kristiansand, Mette-Marit spent six months at Wangaratta High Schoolmarker located in North East Victoria in Australia, as an exchange student with the exchange organization Youth For Understanding. Later, she attended Kristiansand katedralskole, where she passed her final examinations in 1994. After another break from her studies, Mette-Marit attended Bjørknes Private School and then took the examen philosophicum (the preliminary university examination) at Agder University College. Since becoming Crown Princess Mette-Marit has undertaken several university level courses.

By her own admission, Mette-Marit experienced an unconventional phase before she met Crown Prince Haakon Magnus. As a part-time student, she took longer than usual to complete her high school education before going on to take preparatory university courses at Agder. She then worked for a year at a café, Cafe Engebret, in Oslomarker.

In the late 1990s, Mette-Marit frequently attended the Quart Festival, Norway's largest rock festival, in her hometown of Kristiansandmarker. As a result, she met Crown Prince Haakon, since he used to attend the festival as well. They were introduced by mutual friends.

Courtship and marriage

When the engagement between Crown Prince Haakon and Mette Marit was announced, many Norwegians felt that the Crown Prince’s choice of partner was inappropriate.

Her first official appearance as the intended bride of the Crown Prince was at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at Oslomarker City Hall on 10 December 2000, following the announcement of the couple's engagement on 1 December. At the press conference, Crown Prince Haakon said that he and Mette-Marit had been together for about one year. Haakon gave Mette-Marit the same engagement ring as his grandfather King Olav V and his father King Harald V gave to their fiancées.

The couple married on 25 August 2001 at the Oslo Cathedralmarker, Oslomarker, with attendance of statesmen and royalty from around the world. Upon her marriage she acquired the title Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. They now live at Skaugummarker estate, outside Oslo.


Well before her marriage to the Crown Prince, Mette-Marit gave birth, by a previous partner, to a son, Marius Borg Høiby, on 13 January 1997. Marius is now the stepson of Crown Prince Haakon and the elder half-brother of Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus. There has been some controversy surrounding the conduct of the press around Marius; in a relatively unusual case of outspokenness, the Crown Princess asked the media to respect her elder son's privacy. In English, he is addressed as Master according to the royal family website. As of yet, he has not been given a royal or any other title as he is not the Crown Prince's son.

On 21 January 2004, Mette-Marit gave birth to a daughter, HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra, who became second-in-line to the Norwegian throne after her father, Crown Prince Haakon.

Mette-Marit gave birth to her third child, Prince Sverre Magnus, on 3 December 2005. He is third in the line to the Norwegian throne after his sister, Princess Ingrid Alexandra. However, in the line of succession to the British throne, he is placed before his sister due to the system of male-preference primogeniture.


Name Birth
Marius Borg Høiby 13 January 1997
HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra 21 January 2004
HH Prince Sverre Magnus 3 December 2005

Royal duties and further education

In October, 2005, Crown Princess Mette-Marit accompanied Crown Prince Haakon, King Harald and Queen Sonja to the United Kingdommarker on a royal tour to mark the centenary of Norway's independence.

During 2002 and 2003, the Princess undertook development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studiesmarker at the University of London, apparently without graduating. She was also accepted as an intern at NORAD, the Norwegian government's development organization. At present, Mette-Marit is attending lectures at the faculties of arts and social sciences at the University of Oslo.

The Crown Princess is a UNAIDS Special Representative and visited Geneva to learn more about the organisation and Malawi because of this post. In 2007 the Crown Princess extended her commitment as a UNAIDS Special Representative for another two years. The Crown Princess and her husband attended the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August 2006 as part of this role, serving as Jury member to the UNAIDS family-led Red Ribbon Award.

Along with UNAIDS, the Crown Princess is president of various other organizations. They are The Norwegian Scouting Association, the Amandus Film Festival, Kristiansand's International Children's Film Festival, Risor Festival of Chamber Music, FOKUS Forum for Women and Development Questions, Norwegian Design Council, Red Cross Norway, The Norwegian Council for Mental Health, the Full Rigged Ship Sorlandet, and the Oslo International Church Music Festival.

Since her engagement, the Crown Princess has traveled to Luxembourg, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Canada, Russia, North Korea, Portugal, Monaco, France, Austria, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Poland, Switzerland, India, Thailand, the Netherlands, Japan, Jordan, Bahrain, Nepal, Mexico and Malawi.

On December 2008, she received the Annual Petter Dass award, which recognizes a person that helps to unite people and God. Mette-Marit released the CD "Sorgen og gleden" with religious psalms: the Crown Princess wrote in the booklet "psalms are a link between me and God, between me and life".

She is godmother to three royal children, Prince Christian of Denmark, Prince Odysseas-Kimon of Greece and Denmark and Emma Tallulah Behn.

Humanitarian Fund

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess' Humanitarian Fund was established in 2001 in connection with the wedding of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. The couple announced that they wished for donations to the fund as wedding gifts. The fund allocates funds to humanitarian projects in Norway and abroad. In Norway the fund mainly focuses on projects aimed at improving conditions for children and young people. Abroad the fund mainly focuses on projects related to health and education.

Grant recipients

  • 2008
*Fundación Xochiquetzal Fundasion Šusital, Nicaraguamarker

  • 2007
*The good childhood: A collaboration between the Norwegian municipality Karasjokmarker and Lovozero municipality in Russia

  • 2006
*The Church City Mission: A youth project directed by the PMV Centre for health, dialogue and development (Oslo, Norway)
*The AIDS Centre, “Project Bus”, Petrozavodskmarker, Republic of Karelia, Russiamarker

  • 2005
*Right to Play: A sports and health project (Uganda)

  • 2004
*Yirga Alem Hospital Fistula Unit (Ethiopiamarker)
*Rehabilitation of child soldiers (Democratic Republic of Congomarker)

  • 2003
*Norwegian People’s Aid project ”Følgesvennen”, providing companions and provisional guardians to asylum seekers (Askermarker, Norway)
*Norwegian Red Cross project “Leksehjelpen”, offering help with homework to pupils from minority backgrounds (Oslo, Norway)

  • 2002
*National Community of Women Living with Aids (Uganda)
*Education through Sport (Zambiamarker)

  • 2001
*The Vard Model (Haugesundmarker, Norway)
*Basic education in Alefa Takusa (Ethiopia)
*Prevention of HIV/AIDS (Mozambiquemarker)



  • Miss Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby (1973-2001)
  • Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Norway (Since 2001)


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