Crown Prince and Princess Celebrate 10th Wedding Anniversary
When Crown Prince Haakon married Crown Princess Mette-Marit in 2001, their honeymoon was interrupted by an unexpected terrorist attack in New York City, trapping the couple in the United States. A month prior to their 10th wedding anniversary, which took place Aug. 25, Norway was struck by two equally terrible and unexpected tragedies.
But although the Crown Prince and Princess have been through some truly sorrowful and trying times in their ten years of marriage, they have also enjoyed the happy moments. They have welcomed two children into their family, seen the world together, and enjoyed the mass approval of the Norwegian people.
After participating in the National Memorial Service on Aug. 21, the Crown Prince and Princess began their anniversary celebration with a three-day fylkestur (county trip) to Hedmark, which culminated in a hike to the top of Pika, a mountain in the Greater-Elvdal area of Hedmark. “At 1,157 meters high, the couple will hold a meeting with the press and answer questions on the occasion of their anniversary on the 25th of August, said mayor Sigmund Westand, before the event. “At the top is a 360-degree view. On a good day, it is magnificent.”
During the interview, the couple talked and laughed with the press, answering questions about their marriage. “She is a problem-fixer,” Haakon said of Mette-Marit, asked how he would describe her as a parent. “Much better than me. I focus more on the problems.”
“He is a wonderful father,” Mette-Marit said of Haakon. “And very practical.”
Back in Oslo for the anniversary, the pair attended a service in Oslo Domkirke with their children: Marius, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, and Prince Sverre Magnus. King Harald and Queen Sonja were also at the service, and the guests of honor included Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden, as well as Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, and many other officials, friends, and family. Two hundred free seats were also given out to anyone in the public who wanted to help the royals celebrate. “Interest has been high,” said communications manager at the Royal Palace, Marianna Hagen, before the big day.
Bishop Emeritus Gunnar Stålsett, who married the couple ten years ago and provided strong support for both of them in the time surrounding the wedding and afterwards, spoke at the service.
“Today, ten years ago, this cathedral was filled with love. A month ago, the streets were filled with love. Therefore, we may see even clearer today the relationship between love and charity, between our own happiness and others’,” he said, in an inspiring speech that referenced both the joyous and the sad, especially most recent, times.
“In a challenging time, with strong opinions about the engagement, marriage and the kingdom’s future, you came here to the cathedral. You were reminded about the durability of the mutual warm feelings between the royal family and the people,” he said.
After the service, the Gatekunstakadmiet (Street Art Academy) held a concert in University Square in Oslo. Famous artists and many young people participated. The concert was put together in cooperation with the couple’s humanitarian fund, and entry was free.
The event marked the relaunch of the humanitarian fund, established in 2001 after the couple married, and later in the evening the couple presented the projects the fund will work with during the next few years. In the past, in Norway, the money has gone to projects that strengthen children and adolescents and promote inclusion. Abroad, the money has gone to health and education efforts.
The evening ended with a dinner, held by Their Royal Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja, at the Royal Palace. Princess Martha Louise, Ari Behn, Princess Astrid, Fru Ferner and Johan Martin Ferner were among the guests.
Source: Staff Compilation, Norwegian American Weekly
This article was originally published in the September 2, 2011 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. For more information about the Norwegian American Weekly or to subscribe, call us toll free (800) 305-0217 or email email@example.com.