Couple's joined monogram
The bridal couple (photo copyrighted by the Norwegian Royal Court )
Thursday, 23 August 2001
Friday, 24 August 2001
Saturday, 25 August 2001
Sunday, 26 August 2001
The palace was built to serve as the residence for the king when he was in Norway and to provide official reception rooms. It is said Carl XIV Johan King of Sweden and Norway picked out the site of the Royal Palace himself during a horseback ride. Danish Architect Hans Ditlev Frantz Linstow designed the palace, and the corner stone was laid by the King in 1825. The palace was originally planned as a large H-formed complex, but the plans were simplified due to financial reasons. Under King Oscar I it became soon clear that the palace was too small. The Parliament granted funds to enlarge the wings and improve the exterior. The roof was lowered and the main facade received a monumental temple front with columns. Also the pink facade became white around this time. The Royal Palace was finally initiated in the summer of 1849 in presence of the entire royal family. In the 1990's the Palace was rehabilited and rebuilt. Technical installations have been modernized including the kitchen, along with the overall building structure among others the guestrooms and the royal appartment. In the summer of 2001 the work was finished. Now it also contains offices for the staff. On the first floor you find among others the studies of King Harald V, Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon and the representation rooms.
The architecture of the palace is influenced by the Empire style. With its 158 rooms it is a comparatively small palace, without rich decorated interiors. The palace was built in brickwork. The palace has a surface area of almost 4000 m2 and a total floor area of almost 17000 m2. The palace park was laid out in the 1840s as a romantic park, and covers an area of approximately 220 decares.
The building of the Akershus Fortress was started in 1299, during the reign of King Haakon V Magnusson, and completed under King Haakon VI Magnusson in the second half of the 14th century. During the 1500s the fortress was burned and laid under siege several times. A new construction period started in the first half of the 17th century during the reign of King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway, when the fortress was given much of his present look. In 1815 Akershus ws abandoned as a fortress and became public offices, jail and archive. Today it houses a royal museum - including the burial vault - and is used by the government for representation purposes.
Vår Frelsers Kirke (Our Saviour's Church) from 1697 was Oslo's main church during the reign of King Frederik III of Denmark and Norway. It was built as a small cruciformed church, and was for 150 years, the only church in Oslo, besides the palace church at the Akershus fortress. The church was remodelled in 1848-50 according to the plans of the German architect Alexis de Chateauneuf. The tower was lengthened and given a new shape, inspired by baroque and renaissance styles, while the west portal was formed according to late Gothic style. Today's ceiling decorations, done by the Norwegian painter Hugo Lous Mohr were completed in 1950, the same year the church was given the status of Cathedral.
The design, materials and colours of the floral decorations for the Royal Wedding have been based on the principles of the design manual. The intention has been to create a modern graphic design based on Norwegian materials, traditions and techniques. The materials used reflect the time we are living in, while the design and choice of flowers express timelessness. The techniques used include log construction, weaving and overlapping leaves. The decorators have not only been concerned to use traditional Norwegian flower decoration techniques, but also techniques from other crafts and from architecture.
The Royal Palace
Her Majesty Queen Sonja has taken part the planning of the decorations at the Royal Palace. The decorations have been done by the Palace garden department in cooperation with Kreativ Flora. They are based on the design manual for the Royal Wedding. A total of 5 500 roses have been used.
The balcony of the Palace is decorated with 70 metres of garlands and large balls of oak leaves and other greenery from the Royal Farm on Bygdøy. The classical style of the decoration emphasizes the majesty of the Palace. The flowers used are white Bianca roses and white hydrangeas.
Two rings of white birch and blue lobelia have been placed on the steps of the palace square by the statue of Karl Johan. The largest is about 2.2 metres in diameter and is a gift from Interflora. The rings are intended to emphasize union and the woven grass mats are to symbolize that they are on their way. Some of the work has been done by apprentice flower decorators in Oslo and Akershus.
Karl Johan Street
Karl Johan Street is decorated in red, white and blue.
Woven botanical materials are used to decorate the Storting. Vases of heather (Calluna vulgaris - Norway’s national flower) have been woven together and welded to a base. This work is very time-consuming, and it would have taken one person six weeks to weave these forms. Thus the work has been done by a team of several people. The wall-hangings are made exclusively of Norwegian botanical materials, and include a plant which resembles bamboo, but which grows in Norway. It is called polygonum.
The leaves of coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) are the main material used in the decoration of Oslo Cathedral. The plant is generally regarded as a weed, but the leaves have a beautiful grey-green colour. The backs of the leaves have been used in the Cathedral because the fronts are much greener. The backs also have a leathery appearance. These leaves emphasize that everything in the Cathedral is made of botanical materials. Seals, cones, spheres, flat surfaces and spires are covered with overlapping coltsfoot leaves.
The bowls outside the Cathedral are woven of natural Norwegian materials. The spheres that are being used here are intended to create a calm and decorative impression. The roses form an beautiful contrast to the monumental style of the other decorations. The decorators have also used hydrangeas, celosias and hanging amaranths.
Other floral decoration
The VIP area at Gardermoen Airport and the studio at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation have been decorated in keeping with the design programme. At the studio, polygonum has been knotted together by a special technique and decorated with natural materials and roses at all stages, from buds to fully opened flowers.
Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby took the initiative herself at the pre-wedding press conference at the Royal Palace to address the speculations and rumours that have swirled around her past since she first became romantically involved with Crown Prince Haakon Magnus. She dismissed her former involvement in Oslo's house party circles as part of a youthful rebellion "that was much stronger than many others'." "I was in an environment where my rebellion was tested and we went to extremes," she said, using the Norwegian word "utsvevende," which translates to "wild," especially in a sexual sense. She said it all amounted to "very expensive lesson for me." Mette-Marit, fighting back tears and holding Crown Prince Haakon's hand, said she realized that her earlier lifestyle has been difficult for many Norwegians to accept "and I'm very sorry about that." She said the references to her past have also been hurtful, "but I unfortunately can't make those earlier choices again, no matter how much I wish I could." She also claimed she now "distances herself" from the use of drugs. She then said she didn't want to answer any more questions about her past.
On August 23rd Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby organised a private party at the Skaugum estate in Asker near Oslo. Many royal guests attended the party. The bridal couple posed at Gut Skaugum with King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and bridesmaid Linda Tånevik.
In the afternoon of August 24th, Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby invited young royals and friends for a boat trip on the royal yacht K/S Norge. During the trip it was followed by small security and camera boats, and two bigger fishing ships full of press.
The Norwegian government organised a dinner for bride and groom and their guests at the Akershus Castle in Oslo. Many royal guests attended, as well as Norwegian politicians. Lots of children with Norwegian flags were lining the path to the entrance of the castle.
The morning of the wedding King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Märtha Louise and their guests went to Høvikodden. They watched "Impulses", the exhibition of Queen Sonja's private art collection at the Henie Onstad Art Centre. Princess Märtha Louise made a splash with an enormous hat that caused some difficulties when she kissed the guests at their arrival.
Celebrant: Bishop Gunnar Stålsett.
Organist: Kåre Nordstoga.
Choir: Oslo Dom-Choir, with conductor Terje Kvam.
Trumpets: Arnulf Naur Nilsen, Jonas Haltida, Hans Petter Stangnes and Terje Mitgård.
Trombones: Thorbjørn Lønmo and Ola Rønnow.
Tuba: Arild Ovrum.
Order of service
After the service the bridal couple returned to the Royal Palace. They appeared on the balcony of the Palace sheered by thousands of people outside. Afterwards the official pictures were taken at the Little Feasthall and the Fugleværelset.
The bridal gown of Mette-Marit was the result of a collaboration between the bride, designer Ove Harder Finseth and seamstress Anna Bratland. The gown is of specially dyed ecru thick silk crêpe and soft silk tulle. The gown has a bodice. The skirt is flared with a two-metres long train, inspired by Queen Maud's daily gowns. The gown is draped with 125 metres of silk tulle. The train is edged with decorated tulle that resembles waves in the sand. The veil is of silk tulle and is six metres long. The bride's tiara is antique and was made in about 1910. It is a gift from King Harald V and Queen Sonja. The diamonds in the tiara are brilliants and rosettes, and make up 23 flower rosettes set in platinum and yellow gold.
The bridal bouquet adorns Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby’s wrist and is worn as a muff. The bouquet has been called "Brudeløperen". The idea was developed by the bride in close cooperation with Aina Nyberget Kleppe, who runs the flower shop Passiflora A/S in Oslo. The bridal bouquet is made up of rosary vine (Ceropegia woodii), Wanda orchids (Phalaenopsis orchids), hydrangeas, roses in pink and mauve tones, fescue, beads and metal threads. The bouquet is fixed to wire mesh. The rosary vine forms a base on which the flowers, grasses and beads are mounted one after the other and attached with silver, copper, pink and burgundy metal threads. The colours are various soft tones of pink.
Crown Prince's uniform
His Royal Highness The Crown Prince is wearing the gala uniform of the Norwegian Army during his wedding in Oslo Cathedral and at the wedding banquet at the Royal Palace.
The Crown Prince is wearing the sash of the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav with star, the star of the Swedish Order of the Seraphim and the star of the
Danish Order of the Elephant. He is wearing around his neck the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit.
The Crown Prince is wearing the following medals:
The bride and groom’s wedding rings have been made in cooperation with jewellery designer Ester Helén Slagsvold and are a gift from the Norwegian Association of Goldsmiths. They are made of white gold.
The attire of the bridal children
The bridesmaids, Betina and Emilie Swanstrøm, Kamilla and Anniken Bjørnøy and Tuva Høiby, are all wearing dresses of the same material as the wedding gown. The dresses are the result of a collaboration between the bride, Margrethe Gilboe Kirkestuen and Astrid Myklebust, who have designed and made the dresses. The bride’s son, four-year-old Marius, is wearing white tie and tails. His dress coat was made by Frislid konfeksjon, while his shirt was produced in Sweden. His waistcoat and tie were made by Karin Brekke Larsen of Ferner Jacobsen, Oslo. The children’s wreathes were made by Aina Nyberget Kleppe, who also made the bridal bouquet. The wreathes are made of rosary vine, mini-rose orchids, hydrangeas, fescue, beads and metal threads.
King Harald V's attire
His Majesty The King is wearing the gala uniform of the Norwegian Army during the wedding in Oslo Cathedral and at the wedding banquet at the Royal Palace. The King is
wearing the sash of the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav with star, the star of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit and the star of the Swedish Order of the
Seraphim. He is wearing around his neck the Grand Cross with diamonds of the Danish Order of the Danebrog.
The King is wearing the following medals:
Queen Sonja's and Princess Märtha Louise's Dresses
At the wedding in Oslo Cathedral and the wedding banquet at the Royal Palace, Queen Sonja is wearing a gown, designed especially for the occasion, of emerald green moiré with bead embroidery. Queen Sonja is wearing the sash of the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav with star, a brooch bearing the portrait of His Majesty King Harald V and miniatures. Queen Sonja is wearing an emerald tiara with a matching necklace, earrings and brooch. The set of jewellery was made for the wife of Emperor Napoleon, Josephine of France.
Princess Märtha Louise is wearing a bodice of pale pink duchesse satin with a nougat-coloured duchesse satin skirt. At the banquet she will remove her jacket and put on a stole of taffeta moiré and pin a feather decoration on one shoulder. Princess Märtha Louise is wearing Norwegian gold and silver jewellery and the tiara she received from King Olav when she came of age on her eighteenth birthday. She is wearing the sash of the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav with star, a brooch bearing the portrait of His Majesty King Harald V and miniatures.
Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
Betina and Emilie are the twindaughters of Queen Sonja's nephew Dag Swanstrøm and his wife Anne Karine. Kamilla and Anniken are the daughters of Mette-Marit's sister Kristin, and Tuva is the daughter of Mette-Marit's brother Espen.
The heads of state stayed at the Royal Palace. Other royal guests slept at the Grand Hotel in Oslo. Among the guests who stayed at the Grand Hotel were relatives of the bride, the Prince of Asturias (who was one of the first royal guests to arrive on Wednesday), Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine of Sweden, the Prince of Oranje, Máxima Zorreguieta, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg family, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg, Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg, Madeleine Kogevinas, Sophie Ullens de Schooten and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. On the guestlist were also the unofficial girlfriend of the Prince of Asturias Eva Sannum, being one of the friends of bride and groom. Also Princess Märtha Louise's boyfriend Ari Behn was invited for the wedding service at the Dom Church, but not for the dinner.
After the wedding 400 guests were taken to the Royal Palace and the Oslo Militære Samfund (OMS). After dinner also the guests who had been at the Oslo Militære Samfund were welcomed by bride and groom and their parents at the Royal Palace. At 11pm bride, groom, family and guests appeared on the balcony of the Royal Palace to enjoy ten-minute fireworks. Little Marius jumped of joy when he saw it, while Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark spent his time talking with cousin Nikolaos of Greece. After the fireworks all went inside where around 23.15 the wedding cake was cut by bride and groom. This was followed by the bridal waltz on 'Around the World'. In the night Crown Prince Haakon and Mette- Marit left for their honeymoon. They went on board of the K/S Norge that arrived empty in Copenhagen, Denmark on Sunday August 26th.
Coquilles St. Jacques Prince de Norvège
Turbot au Four
Puree de Chou-Fleur
Girolles à la Crème
Parfait à la Mette-Marit
Coulis de Muron Arctique
Grillet kamskjell på norsk spekeskinke
I stort grillet kamskjell på norsk spekeskinke
Ruccolasalat og ristete gresskarkjerner
Urtekuvertbrød à part
Ovnsbakt piggvar og blomkålpurè
Ovnsbakt piggvar dandert med soya og ingefærmarinert klasetomatbåt
Blomkålpurè drysset med finhakket gressløk
Appelsin beurre blanc (fransk smørsaus med appelsin og fenikkelsmak)
Lammefilet og kremet kantareller
Ytrefilet av norsk lam
Kremet kantareller i nepe
Snøfrisk og yoghurt isparfait med friske bær
Snøfrisk og yoghurtisparfait
Friske norske bær: bringebær, blåbær og bjørnebær
Multemousse på multecoulis
On August 26th most guests left Oslo again. The first guests already left at 9:00am. The last one to leave was the Prince of Asturias. He was scheduled to leave at 11:00am, but finally left via the main entrance of the Grand Hotel at 1:20pm. Even the security started getting impatient. According to one of the security people Felipe had a very nice conversation inside. Most likely he was inside talking and having breakfast/lunch with his girlfriend Eva Sannum. In the evening not everyone had left yet. I saw Madeleine Kogevinas (born Countess Bernadotte) at the Grand Hotel late in the evening. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark didn't leave until Monday.
On August 25th Crown Prince Haakon of Norway married Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby in Oslo Cathedral. At the end of 1999 it became known that the Crown Prince did have a girlfriend who was a single mother and had been a member of the Oslo house-scene. Despite all the comments in Norway and across the world, Crown Prince Haakon stayed with his choice, was living together with Mette-Marit by the end of 2000, and, on December 1st, 2000, their engagement was announced. After the engagement was announced, the press went on talking about Mette-Marit's past. During the press conference just days before the wedding Mette-Marit said: "I was in an environment where my rebellion was tested and we went to extremes". She said the references to her past have been hurtful, "but I unfortunately can't make those earlier choices again, no matter how much I wish I could". She took the opportunity to say she keeps her distance from drugs.
On Wednesday, the day of the press conference, the first royal guest, Felipe, Prince of Austrias, arrived in Oslo and stayed at the Grand Hotel as did several other royal guests. Most of the important guests stayed at the royal palace itself. Three days of partying followed, starting on Thursday with a private party at the Skaugum estate at Asker, just outside of Oslo, to which the younger royals and friends - including Eva Sannum, the girlfriend of Crown Prince Felipe - were invited. Most royal guests didn't arrive until Friday morning. On a very sunny afternoon, the bride and groom invited the younger royals and friends for a boat trip on the royal yacht, K/S Norge, which sailed the Oslo Fjord. Apart from a few security boats and small camera boats, the yacht was also followed by two old fishing-boats full of press - including myself. In the evening the Norwegian government gave a dinner at the Akershus fortress in Oslo to which 320 guests were invited. Hundreds of schoolchildren from Oslo stood along the path from the gate of the fortress to the entrance of the building where the dinner was held, and they greeted the guests with huge enthusiasm and shook hands with Norwegian celebrities, politicians, and, of course, the royals.
Saturday was quite a rainy day, but as the Norwegians say: "Rain on your wedding-day brings luck". Despite the rain, early in the morning gaily dressed people walked through the main streets of Oslo, enjoying the many flags and other decorations along the route from the royal palace to the cathedral. In many shop windows there was a photo of the bride and groom. While the Norwegian royal family, without Mette-Marit, and their guests had a look at the exhibition of Queen Sonja's private art collection at the Henie Onstad Art Centre near Oslo, the first people took their places in front of the cathedral to be sure they would have a good view. Among them were not only Norwegians, but also people from all over the world, some of whom had travelled to Norway especially for the wedding. The first guests for the wedding arrived around 3:00pm; among them was Ari Behn, the boyfriend of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway. Like many of the Norwegian guests he wore his bunad, the traditional costume that differs according to region. Eva Sannum arrived wearing a beautiful blue dress. Her name was screamed loudly by the now huge crowd which had gathered in front of the cathedral.
The royal guests arrived in cars according to rank; first the princes and princesses, then the crown princes and crown princesses, and, finally, the Kings and Queens. Among the guests were Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Queen Sofia of Spain, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, former King Konstantinos II and Queen Anne Marie of Greece, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine of Sweden, The Prince of Wales, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Prince of Asturias, The Prince of Orange with his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Prince Philippe of Belgium, Hereditary Prince Albert of Monaco, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg, Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, and Princess Alexia of Greece with her husband Carlos Morales Quintana.
Crown Prince Haakon, wearing his gala uniform of the Norwegian Army, arrived under loud cheers together with his best man Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. They were soon followed by King Harald V and Queen Sonja. Finally, Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby arrived with her bridesmaid Linda Tånevik. The bride was wearing a gown of specially dyed ecru thick silk crêpe and soft silk tulle with a two-metre long train. The ensemble was designed by Ove Harder Finseth in collaboration with the bride. The six-metre long veil of silk tulle was fixed on the back of the bride's head while she wore an antique diamond tiara dated circa 1910 on her head. The bridal bouquet, a so-called bridal runner, was made of pink and lilac- coloured flowers. Bride and groom entered the church together and were married in a simple but very emotional wedding service conducted by bishop Gunnar Stålsett, who, in his speech, referred to Mette-Marit's past saying: "You are beginning a new chapter, with pages still unwritten. You do this with dignity. Today you are better equipped to understand others, young and old, who are in pain. Jesus says, 'he who is forgiven little, loves little'. Your love for your son shows both tenderness and determination. As a single mother you have set an example in the way you have cared for your child." During this speech Mette-Marit was moved to tears. After this speech, at 5:41pm, Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby said "I do" while, outside, the public cheered loudly. From that moment, Mette-Marit became Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. After Sami (Lapp) singer Mari Boine sung a beautiful song in her own language, Princess Märtha Louise with a clear voice read the text of Isaiah, chapter 58, verse 5-8. Later Crown Princess Victoria read the prayer of Francis of Assisi.
Under the sounds of an old bridal march, the bride and groom left the cathedral around 5:55pm. In front of the cathedral they kissed several times, watched by the very enthusiastic public and press. They left in an open limousine and drove back to the royal palace, slowly passing thousands of cheering people along the route. At 6:50pm the bride and groom appeared on the balcony of the royal palace, while thousands of people stood on the square in front. To the great enthusiasm of the crowd, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit kissed each other several times. The parents of the bridal couple, the best man Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, bridesmaid Linda Tånevik, the young bridesmaids and the page - Mette-Marit's 4-year-old son Marius who looked a bit tired - also appeared on the balcony. After the balcony scene the official wedding photos were taken. The guests were divided in two groups; the royal guests had dinner with other important guests at the royal palace while the others ate at the Oslo Militære Samfund. Outside, the people in the streets could enjoy opera in the harbour, and in front of the palace volunteers gave a performance about their voluntary activities. At 10:15pm the guests from the Oslo Militære Samfund travelled to the royal palace and were received by King Harald V. At 11:00pm bride and groom, their parents, and all the royal guests came outside on the balcony of the royal palace to enjoy the huge 10-minute firework show above while other guests were watching from the windows or from the palace square just below the balcony. Marius reacted with huge enthusiasm when he saw the fireworks. Still thousands of people were standing in front of the palace enjoying the bridal couple, their guests, and the fireworks. Back inside, Haakon and Mette-Marit cut the huge wedding cake and not much later opened the ball with the bridal waltz to "Around the World". During the waltz, Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and his girlfriend Eva Sannum were spotted together on an official occasion for the first time. Who knows, we might get another royal wedding in 2002 after the Dutch on February 2nd! I surely will be there again.