The wedding of Ari Behn and Princess Märtha Louise of Norway

Trondheim, 24 May 2002

The programme

Wednesday, 22 May 2002

  • The Royal Family arrived in Trondheim and the first guests arrive during the day.
  • 10.30 AM: The bride and groom will meet the Norwegian and international press at the Royal Residence of Stiftsgården.
  • In the evening: A private party will be given for friends at the Bølgen & Moi restaurant.

Thursday, 23 May 2002

  • The majority of the guests will be arriving in Trondheim. They will be staying at the Royal Residence, on board the Royal Yacht and in hotels. The Royal Yacht ‘Norge’ lies at the Turistkaia in the centre of Trondheim.
  • In the morning: The King and Queen will visit “City of Kings”, a photo exhibition at Trondhjems Kunstforening (art gallery).
  • Later they will visit “Havstein Bo- og Servicesenter” (a nursing home) for a guided tour.
  • Later in the day the King will visit Trondheim Krigsseilerforening (the Association for Wartime Merchant Marine Sailors).
  • The same morning: The bridal couple, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and other royal guests will visit SINTEF (the Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research at the Norwegian Institute of Technology), and from there walk to Lerkendal football grounds to visit Rosenborg Ballklub, a football club.
  • 3.00 PM: The bridal couple will receive official gifts at the Royal Residence of Stiftsgården.
  • 6.00 PM: The municipality of Trondheim’s Variety Concert at Olavshallen.
  • Followed by: The Government’s official reception for Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn at the Royal Garden Hotel.
  • The evening’s activities will come to an end with dinner for the royal guests at the Royal Residence of Stiftsgården.

Friday, 24 May 2002

  • In the morning: A trip to Munkholmen for the Royal family and their guests. The Steinvikholm music theatre will perform excerpts from the opera “Olav Engelbrektsson”, the wedding gift from the county administration of Sør-Trøndelag.
  • 4.00 PM: The wedding at Nidaros Cathedral. The King will escort the bride to the altar. Father and daughter will ride to the cathedral by horse and carriage. The wedding guests will arrive by motor vehicle.
  • 5.00 PM: The newly married couple will stroll from Nidaros Cathedral to the Royal Residence of Stiftsgården, weather permitting. Should the weather not be so kind, they will return to the Royal Residence of Stiftsgården by motor vehicle.
  • The bride and groom are being photographed with the King and Queen, witnesses and family.
  • 7.00 PM: Wedding dinner at the Royal residence of Stiftsgården, followed by a ball.
  • 10.00 PM: The wedding-cake will be cut.

Saturday, 25 May 2002

The wedding guests leave Trondheim.

Wedding news

A hotel strike in Trondheim earlier in the month threatened to wreak havoc on organisers’ plans for the guests’ accomodation and caused more than a few grey hairs but the conflict was resolved last week.

Both Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn have admitted to suffering from wedding nerves, but both said that they’re waving off criticism over everything from their choice of wedding colors (pink and green) to initial desires for lavish gifts. Märtha Louise said she’s stopped reading the newspapers, in order to focus on what she thinks is important about the wedding, “instead of what everyone else thinks is important.” The colour scheme has been critisized by expert designers who consider it too vivid. Princess Märtha Louise has however defended the choice of colours, saying they reflect the couple’s “somewhat explosive” personalities.

Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn have wished for donations to the H.K.H. Prinsesse Märtha Louises Fond, instead of wedding gifts. The fund was founded on August 15, 1972, and its interest goes to help handicapped children under 16 in Norway.

On Tuesday Ari Behn and Princess Märtha Louise attended a late meeting with the design bureau behind the wedding program, and examined souvenirs prepared for the big occasion. Ari Behn told the press that he had put the finishing touches on his speech at the wedding dinner.

Also on Tuesday the head chef at the Britannia Hotel unveiled the four-course menu for the wedding dinner, which has also been prepared in cooperation with the bride and groom. The meal was tested by local celebrities, Trondheim’s former mayor Marvin Wiseth and former Miss Universe Mona Grudt.

On May 23rd it was announced that Princess Märtha Louise will keep the name she carries since February 1st, 2002. She will be known as Princess Märtha Louise of Norway – without Royal Highness – rather than becoming Princess Märtha Louise Mrs Behn, as was decided for her aunts Ragnhild and Astrid.

The Royal Family was staying in Trondheim as of May 22nd and the first guests were also arriving on that date. The guests were staying at Stiftsgården, on board the Royal Yacht Norge and at various hotels.

Press conference, 22 May 2002

In the morning pf 22 May a press conference and a photo session in the garden took place at the royal residence of Stiftsgården in Trondheim. They shared a sofa, held hands and gazed into each other’s eyes throughout the press conference. Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn arrived at 10:30 bearing a walking staff and told the press that they had made a traditional pilgrimage to their wedding destination Trondheim starting on Monday May 13th and arriving in Trondheim three days later. As tradition says they then walked three times around the Nidaros Cathedral. The couple was pleased they had managed to keep their trek from Sorkmo in Orkdal to Trondheim’s Nidaros Cathedral a secret, and made it clear that they had relished the unexpected opportunity to relax and reflect away from the media glare. They said they had walked, been ferried across lakes by row boats and had lived in a tent during the trip. During the trek they read parts of the book ‘Kristin Lavransdatter’ of Sigrid Undset. They have already started to write a book together about their pilgrimage to Trondheim, and about the experience of the preparations for the wedding.

“I look forward to maintaining the love and respect I feel for Ari now,” Märtha Louise said. “To meet life together with someone is wonderful.” “To grow and develop together – that must be the dream,” Ari Behn added. They had no hesitation when asked if they dared to include the traditional vow to be eternally faithful to each other – “Yes, we do,”. Princess Märtha Louise related sensible advice on marriage from her parents. “They said it was very important to find someone you love and respect and can communicate with well”. Ari Behn added that he had felt at once that he and Märtha Louise had learned the same childhood values from their parents.

Märtha Louise said that it was not for them to decide if they could have children, but they hoped they would be so lucky.

Martha Louise said royal families across Europe give each other mutual support. “We are a very little group of people who are in the same situation,” she said. “We … meet the other royal families who have exactly the same problems and discuss their ways of dealing with it.”

Märtha Louise is convinced that she will be able to separate the roles as a representative of the Royal Family and that of a private business woman. She also pointed to the fact that her official responsibilities in future will be limited, compared to those of the rest of the Royal Family. Märtha Louise will work for the Norwegian tv-channel NRK and will record a Christmas cd with the Oslo Gospel Choir.

Ari Behn said he didn’t regret his former lifestyle. “I have had a rich life and met wonderful people. I’m comfortable with what I have done with my life and I want to give something back in my writing.” He repeatedly explained that he had not broken with old friends or with a former lifestyle. He said that the transition to his new life as the husband of a princess was a difficult process for those he knew, but that the result would be a circle of close and trusted friends. He admitted that it was “very painful” when former friends sold photographs never meant to be made public. Märtha Louise agreed that he had not dropped friends, but rather old friends had chosen how they would relate to changes in Behn’s life. Ari Behn also pointed out that a TV program he made about the dissolute life in Las Vegas had been meant as a criticism of excess, but instead he had become associated with that type of revelry. He said: “That type of life, dealing with lowest and emptiest things in our culture, is bad. That was the message.”

Party, 22 May 2002

From about 8:00 in the evening Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn gave a private and informal dinner party for about 100 people at the Bølgen & Moi restaurant in the centre of Trondheim, while a few hundreds of people were outside to watch the couple and their guests. The menu seems to have been mainly based on fresh seafood. Apart from members of the family and friends also several young royals showed up, including the Prince of Orange, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Prince Laurent of Belgium, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth.

The party went on until about 3:00 in the morning and the guests enjoyed dancing on popmusic. Bride and groom stayed until the end and left the restaurant smiling and waving to the somewhat hundred people that were still waiting outside. Queen Sonja and King Harald already left the party shortly before midnight. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit left about half an hour before. Not much later a cheerful Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Prince Nikolaos of Greece left the party together, much enjoyed by the boulevard press.

23 May 2002

And the frog turned into a prince …

In the morning Princess Märtha Louise, Ari Behn, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and some of their royal guests visited SINTEF (the Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research at the Norwegian Institute of Technology), from where they walked to the Lerkendal football grounds to visit Rosenborg Ballklub, a football club.

Early in the afternoon the couple was welcomed at the Erkebispegården in Trondheim by a dancing couple in white dresses and a crown on the head. They also met little girls dressed as a princess who had to convince Princess Märtha Louise to do the big princess test. Princess Märtha Louise was confronted with a frog she was supposed to kiss wearing a paper crown on her head and this way had to pass the big princess test. When Märtha Louise kissed the frog it turned into her groom Ari Behn who gave her a kiss on her chin.

At 3:00 in the afternoon the bridal couple received official gifts at the Royal Residence of Stiftsgården. Next to paintings, graphic art and photo art, also money for the Princess Märtha Louise Fund and cruet-stands was given.

Concert and reception

More of the official guests for the wedding arrived in Trondheim. Among the first guests that arrived were the Earl and Countess of Wessex together with Princess Ragnhild Mrs Lorentzen and Princess Astrid Mrs Ferner with their husbands. Some three hours later, at 16:20, the airplane with the Prince of Asturias arrived,. just in time for the concert and reception. In the early evening Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg arrived, while his uncle Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg and his wife Sibilla didn’t arrive until 22:55. At 21:25 Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine arrived from Sweden. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark will arrive on Friday in the early afternoon.

At 18:00 Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn, together with their guests (family, friends, royals and representants of the official Norway), attended a gala concert in their honour at the Olavshall. They walked the 50 metres long distance between the Radisson SAS Royal Garden Hotel and the Olavshall, where they were received at the entrance by Liv Sandven, acting mayoress of Trondheim, and Grethe Komisar, manager of the Olavshall. Princess Märtha Louise wore a hand-painted strapless silk dress by Wenche Lyche decorated with silver and gold butterflies and a chiffon stole together with a pompadour bag. The text on the front of the dress was composed by the Princess herself and said: “When they met, every moment came an eternity, and every eternal moment embraced a glimpse of their love”. She also wore a pearl necklace and had little butterflies in her hair. Queen Sonja wore a mint-green silk dress with a chiffon jacket. Her jewelry consisted of emeralds with diamond clasps. Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore a dress of ice-blue velvet, and her jewelry consisted of pearl earrings and a three-stranded pearl bracelet. Ari Behn, King Harald V and Crown Prince Haakon wore dinner jackets.

The 1 hour and 20 minutes long show was a present to the couple from the City of Trondheim. All together 1100 people attended the gala concert. 90 Norwegian artists were invited to perform, among them Morten Abel, Sondre Lerche, The Brazz Brothers, the latin group Mambo Companeros from Trondheim, Andrew Strong, the opera star Randi Stene and the TrondheimSolistene. Ari Behn’s best man, Kåre Conradi, himself an actor and performer, hosted the show. The South African band “Women Unite” ended the show by performing a wedding song, and Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn came on stage and joined in the dance. At the end a touched Princess Märtha Louise thanked the City and everyone who had participated in the show.

After the concert the Government reception took place at the Radisson SAS Royal Garden Hotel in Trondheim, for which 460 guests were invited. When Sigvart Dagsland sang “Kjærlighet fra Gud” with the help of the choirs Embla, Trondheim Kammerkor and Det Norske Mannskor Princess Märtha Louise was very touched and was in tears; Ari Behn had to comfort her. Afterwards Princess Märtha Louise held a short speech in which she referred to her pilgrimage to Trondheim together with Ari Behn. She was joking “How are you called if you travel to Trondheim by car?” and said that it was called ‘Bilegrim” (bil = car). She finished by saying that tomorrow is a new day and that – ‘Vi glær oss!’ – we are looking forward to it.

Finally the reception was followed by a dinner for the royal guests at Stiftsgården.


The royal property of Trondheim, Stiftsgården, is a wooden mansion originally built in 1778. It is one of Norway’s largest wooden structures. It served as a site for King Harald and Queen Sonja’s 60th birthday celebrations in 1997 and this time it will also have a large tent in the garden, where the wedding dinner will be served.

Floral decoration

All the floral decorations at Stiftsgården are based on the design manual for the wedding, which has been developed by Slottsgartneriet and Kreativ Flora in cooperation with The Queen and Princess Märtha Louise. The main flower used to decorate Stiftsgården is a white Easter lily known as the Märtha lily. All the decorations in the rooms, around the windows and in connection with the wedding banquet are inspired by the shape of the lily.

Slottsgartneriet is responsible for planning and carrying out the decoration of Stiftsgården.

The round dinner tables are decorated with upright lily-shaped structures made of weeping birch. The lily-shaped structures are filled with the season’s flowers and scents – lilies-of-the-valley, lady’s mantle, birch, peonies, roses and stephanotis, with the Märtha lily in evidence.

The façade of Stiftsgården has been decorated by the cathedral’s decorator Ole Erik Melum in cooperation with Slottsgartneriet.

Speech of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik’s speech by handing over the wedding gift of the government at Stiftsgården

Kjære prinsesse Märtha og Ari,

Ingen av livets fester er så fylt av lys og glede som bryllupsfesten. To unge som har funnet hverandre og vil leve livet sammen – det er festens midtpunkt. De lyser, fordi kjærligheten har tent dem, den store kjærligheten som er livets største gave. Rundt dem står gjerne kretsen av to familier, brudens og brudgommens, og deres venner – alle de nærmeste gleder seg med brudeparet.

Men i dag er det et helt folk som slår krets om morgendagens brudepar, og vil dele gleden med de to og deres nærmeste, for det er en norsk prinsesse og hennes utvalgte som er festens midtpunkt. Derfor er det hele folkets fest.

Det er et gammelt ord i Olavssagaen som sier at “den som vil råde i Norge, må først råde over Trøndelagen”. Det siste er det ikke tvil om at dere vil gjøre under disse festdagene. Ellers tror ingen at dere har ambisjoner om å råde eller herske over noen andre enn dere selv. Tvert om tror jeg dere ønsker å tjene andre – og vårt folk.

Det har visst ikke vært noe norsk prinsessebryllup i Trondheim siden middelalderen, den gang våre konger residerte her – i naboskap med nasjonalhelligdommen, Nidarosdomen. Det er vakkert at brudeparet har valgt nettopp den kirken for morgendagens store begivenhet. “Norges hjerte og krone” ble den kalt – og i morgen skal både hjerter og kroner gi innhold til festen.

Jeg gleder meg over å kunne overrekke dere Regjeringens bryllupsgave i dag. Det er to skap kalt “Ikoner for hjertene”, fylt opp med gjenstander laget av kunsthåndverkere fra hele landet. Skapene er laget av Liv Mildred Gjernes, og hun bruker “ikon”-begrepet fordi det fra gammelt av besegler håp og drømmer, og gir trygghet og beskyttelse mot onde makter.

Jeg håper disse skapene med kunstskatter kan være til glede for dere.

Jeg ønsker dere av hjertet lykke til. Vi lykkeønsker Norge med ny bryllupsfest i vårt kjære kongehus! Og vi gleder oss stort til morgendagen.

Another speech by the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik’s speech at the reception after the concert.

Your Majesties,
Your Royal Highnesses,
Ladies and Gentlemen –
Dear Princess Märtha and Ari Behn,

On behalf of the Government I am honoured to welcome you all to our reception here, on the eve of what will be one of the happiest days in Märtha?s and Ari?s life. You have come to one of Norway’s medieval capitals, – which – not least because of St. Olav’s shrine in Nidaros Cathedral – has seen royals, ambassadors, commoners and pilgrims come and go for a thousand years.

We hope you will enjoy this chance to meet after Trondheim’s royal variete. I now beg our non-Nordic guests to pardon me switching to Norwegian. Our mother tongue is always closest when it comes to finding words about love.

Kjære prinsesse Märtha Louise og Ari,
I folketradisjonen har vakre prinsesser ofte måttet gjennomgå ganske merkelige opplevelser før deres liv omsider blir stabilisert – eller skal vi si normalisert.

I utenlandske eventyr stikker prinsessen seg for eksempel til blods og må sove i hundre år bak en skog av roser, inntil en prins kommer og vekker henne til live igjen med et kyss.

Eller de biter i forheksede epler og faller i dødlignende søvn, omgitt av sørgende dverger, inntil det igjen dukker opp en prins og kysser dem tilbake til livet.

I norske eventyr er det litt annerledes. Og her er vår kongsdatter på hjemmebane.

Dine levende framføringer av nettopp våre folkeeventyr har gjort deg til hele folkets eventyrprinsesse. Først og fremst er du et eventyr selv, gløgg, humørfylt og varmhjertet, med stor personlig utstråling.

I norsk tradisjon er prinsessen en aktiv, handlende part. Hun kan stelle hester i stallen, være sur og tverr, narre sine friere opp i stry og nekte å gifte seg med noen av dem. Men man er aldri i tvil om at den norske prinsesse har både styrke og tiltrekningskraft. Det vet i det minste alle de forsmådde friere som forlater kongsgården med ømme rygger og salt i såret.

Men til syvende og sist er det en som får henne. Det er Espen Askeladd, den uventede, den uvanlige, den kreative og fantasifulle. Snakker jeg nå om Ari? Kanskje er det nettopp det jeg gjør. Det er noe her som stemmer med eventyrets norske urbilde: Den flotte prinsessen og den kreative gutten. Det er slik det må være og slik det nå skal bli.

Norge er et gammelt kongerike, selv om vi er å regne for en ung nasjon.

Om tre år kan vi feire 100-årsdagen for gjenopprettelsen av den gamle norske kongetrone, og at vi på denne tronen fikk Europas eneste folkevalgte monark, Haakon VII, som ble kronet sammen med dronning Maud i Nidarosdomen.

Siden fikk vi en slags videreføring av unionen med Sverige ved ekteskapet mellom daværende kronprins Olav og kronprinsesse Märtha, som du, kjære prinsesse, bærer navn etter. Du vet at det forplikter. Prinsessen er nr. to i arvefølgen til Norges trone, og det er betryggende at du har alle forutsetninger for å kunne fylle en så viktig oppgave hvis det noen gang skulle bli aktuelt.

Med gjenopprettelsen av den norske trone, fikk vi altså deg, Märtha Louise, som kong Harald og dronning Sonja i morgen skal “gi bort” til Ari, mannen som ifølge prinsessen får henne til å stråle.

Det forekommer meg at han ikke stråler så rent lite, han heller.

Det er ikke til å legge skjul på at vi vet en god del mer om din tilkommende enn deg, Ari. Men vi vet en del. Du har vist omsorg for de fattigste i landet. Vi vet du blant annet er skribent, noe som i hvert fall har fått Den norske forfatterforening til å anse prinsessens valg av livsledsager, ikke bare som klokt, men som nesten selvinnlysende. Din kunstneriske begavelse kan du – som Askeladden – bruke til å se nye og ukjente sammenhenger når du møter hindringer på din vei.

Jeg tror dere to har funnet noe felles hos hverandre. Evnen til å oppleve og gleden ved å formidle. Disse felles indre strenger som dere spiller på har utløst en sprudlende glede som gjør at dere stråler i hverandres nærvær. Bare se!

Vi har merket oss at en folkefest allerede er i gang på gater og torg her i Trondheim – i Nidaros – som i middelalderen var dette gamle rikets så vel geistlige som verdslige maktsentrum. Folkefesten blir ikke mindre i morgen.

Etter eget ønske og valg skal dere vies i selveste Nidarosdomen. Det er et djervt, symbolsk og meningsfylt valg, for intet annet sted kan vi merke Norges gamle hjerte slå sterkere og mer følbart enn nettopp i denne vår nasjonalhelligdom.

Hit til Nidaros har mange valfartet før oss, som pilegrimer gjennom århundrer.

Og vi vet nå at dere to også har vandret, og forøvrig ser på ferden hit til Nidaros som en pilegrimsferd. Pilegrimsferden og eventyrfortellingen er begge dypest sett en vandring som fordyper og gir ny innsikt og forståelse. Vandringen går mot helligdommen, der dere i morgen skal vies til ektefolk. For Guds åsyn, i Hans omsorg.

Det gir glede og styrke å gå til Kongenes konge, han som er selve kjærlighetens kilde. Kjærligheten mellom to som er glade i hverandre er et gjenskinn av Hans kjærlighet til oss. Den fører oss inn i gudsmysteriet og inn i livsmysteriet. Det er et mysterium som først og fremst handler om tilgivelsens fornyende kraft. En kraft jeg ønsker at dere må erfare i deres pilegrimsvandring sammen i ekteskapet

The wedding day, 24 May 2002

Excursion to Munkholmen

In the morning Ari Behn hosted an excursion to Munkholmen, while Princess Märtha Louise prepared herself for the wedding. Around 10:00 the royal guests and family members, many still sleepy after having partied long, arrived at the quay at Ravnkloa. Most guests wore beige and grey colours, except for the Prince of Orange who arrived in red trousers. By boat they toured the Trondheimfjord heading for their destiny, the island of Munkholmen. The sphere on board was very good.

At Munkholmen the guests enjoyed a 30-minute performance of extracts of the opera “Olav Engelbrektsson” by the Steinvikholm Music Theatre, a wedding gift from the county administration of Sør-Trøndelag. Afterwards Queen Sonja and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden chatted with the singers. A lunch was served at Griffenfeldts big room. The main course existed of ‘dampet breiflabb’ and ‘ristede kamskjell med spinat’, asparagus, roots, potatos with salmon-caviar sauce. As a drink the guests were served a French white wine, Gentil Hügel. As a dessert they got strawberry – and vanilla-mousse on a bottom of walnuts and with marinated fruit on top.

Nidaros Cathedral

The Nidaros Cathedral dates back to medieval times and was the site of Viking coronations. It also was where Princess Martha Louise’s own father, grandfather and great- grandfather were sworn in as kings of Norway.

Floral decoration

The main flower used in the decorations in Nidaros Cathedral is a white Easter lily called the Märtha lily. The cathedral has been decorated with 760 sprays of Märtha lilies. Yellow and cream lilies, pale roses, marguerites, lilies-of-the-valley and greenery are also being used. Fresh branches of juniper, hazel and willow have been arranged on bases of dried birch. The flowers are concentrated in groups varying from 20 cm to 6 m in height. Ole-Erik Melum and Drivstua Gartneri were responsible for the floral arrangements in the cathedral.

The wedding

The city of Trondheim was decorated with flags and banners in the mint and fuchsia colours Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn had chosen as their wedding colours. Tens of thousands of people, waving little Norwegian flags, stood along the way from Stiftsgå:rden to the Nidaros Cathedral to catch a glimpse of the wedding. They cheered loudly when Princess Märtha Louise and her father, King Harald V, passed in a horse-drawn carriage pulled by two black horses. They arrived at the cathedral around 16:00. Meanwhile at 15:30 the groom, Ari Behn, had already arrived at the Nidaros Cathedral together with the witnesses Kåre Conradi and Marianne Ulrichsen. Right afterwards the royal guests arrived with busses and cars. The last ones to arrive were Queen Sonja with Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Then the brides children arrived and soon afterwards the bride.

Just after 17:00 Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn, just married, left the Nidaros Cathedral. Outside they were cheered by more than 45.000 people – among them several girls dressed as princesses complete with crowns and people in colourful bunads (national costume) – waving flags. They weren’t disappointed, as soon Princess Märtha Louise kissed her prince, Ari Behn, outside the cathedral. Afterwards they led a procession of wedding guests over the 651 metres long carpet through the streets of Trondheim to the wedding reception at Stiftsgården. The procession gave the tens of thousands of people assembled along the route a unique chance to see royalty from all over Europe up close and personal. The couple was followed by the brides children, maid of honour and best man, then by King Harald V, Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon – Crown Princess Mette- Marit had to ride back to the reception because she’s still nursing a broken ankle – and the groom’s parents. They were followed by a long line of royalty starting with Princess Ragnhild Mrs Lorentzen and Princess Astrid Mrs Ferner with their husbands. Then came Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden with Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, the Prince of Asturias, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, other royals, Norway’s prime minister and government officials. All seemed to enjoy it as they smiled and waved all the way. Bands and choirs played and sang along the route, starting with the ‘Bruremarsj’, written by Brazz Brothers frontman Jan Magne Førdes, that was played for the newlyweds.

At the end of the procession Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn appeared on the balcony of Stiftsgården and kissed again before going inside. Even the weather cooperated. Brilliant sunshine all week in Trondheim gave way to overcast skies on Friday, but the rain held off until all the guests were inside for the wedding reception. Just as the bridal couple went inside Stiftsgården, the first few drops of rain fell.

The bridal couple (photo copyrighted by Fame Fotograf Schroder for the Norwegian royal court)
Order of service

Entrance and welcome

The Music performed before the Wedding Ceremony by the Nidaros Cathedral Oratorio Choir

Wedding March from Valsøyfjord, arr. Trygve Moe
Anton Bruckner: Locus iste
Arild Sandvold: Jubilate Deo omnis terra
Georg Friedrich Händel: from “Judas Maccabaeus”
“To our great God”
“Hallelujah, Amen”

By the Nidaros Cathedral Choir

Wedding March from Østerdalen, arr. Per Indrehus
Terje Bjørklund: Ave Regina
Knut Nystedt: Song of Praise

Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir

Psalm 100. René Clausen

Odd Johan Overøye, arr:
The People of God – sing! (Norwegian Folk tune)
Soloists: Ulla Westvik and Annabel Mjøen
The little Bird (Norwegian Folk tune)
Soloist: Ingeborg Aadland, Clarinet: Erlend Eid
Harp: Johannes Wik

Egil Hovland: Laudate Dominum

On the Baroque Organ

Øyvind Kåre Pettersen: Johann Sebastian Bach: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. BWV 645 Meine Seele erhebt den Herren. BWV 648 Wo soll ich fliehen hin. BWV 694

Wedding March

Svein Møller (1958-1999): “Eg er glad” (I was glad)
Entrance music for Choir, Brass and Organ. Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir

Eg er glad når dei seier til meg:
“Vi vil gå til Herrens hus.”
No har vi sett våre føter
i dine portar, Jerusalem.

(translation) I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord”.
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Psalm 122, 1-2 (the text expresses the pilgrim’s longing to enter the house of God)

Gregorian chant

Schola Sanctae Sunnivae

From “Lux illuxit laetabunda” (A joyous light hath shone forth). From the High Mass on the Feast of St. Olaf in Nidaros (29th of July) – 12th century. St. Olaf’s Day was celebrated as a feast of highest rank throughout the Middle Ages. The words and music are from the time of Archbishop Eystein Erlandsson (1161-1188).

Words of welcome (by the bishop)

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Dear bride and groom and all who accompany you;
welcome to the house of God.
The journey you have started together
reaches a milestone today,
one which has been looked forward to with expectation and joy.
You have come to Nidaros Cathedral,
the goal of so many pilgrims throughout the ages.
Here your journeys become one
as you make your vows to each other
before the altar of the Lord.
From this day forward,
this is the way aheead laid out for you,
– the way of love,
a way of faith and trust in each other
and in God to whom we pray that your life will be blessed.

Hymn (Norsk Salmebok nr 727)

Guds kjærleik er som stranda og som graset,
som vind og vidd og jord og allheims rom.
Vi fridom fekk å bu der, gå og koma,
å seia ja til Gud og seia nei.
Guds kjærleik er som stranda og som graset,
som vind og vidd og jord og allheims rom.

Vi vil ein fridom der vi er oss sjølve,
ein fridom vi kan gjera noko av,
der ingen tomleik finst, men rom for draumar,
ei jord der tre og blomar kan slå rot.
Guds kjærleik er som stranda og som graset,
som vind og vidd og jord og allheims rom.

Og endå er det murar oss imellom,
og gjennom sprinkelverk vi tøyer hand.
Vår fangerom er murt av redsle-steinar,
og fangekleda er vårt stengde eg.
Guds kjærleik er som stranda og som graset,
som vind og vidd og jord og allheims rom.

Å døm oss, Herre frikjenn oss i domen!
I di forlating fridom finst og von.
Den rekk så vide som din kjærleik vandrar,
til folk av kvar ein rase og nasjon.
Guds kjærleik er som stranda og som graset,
som vind og vidd og jord og allheims rom.

(translation) The love of God is broad like beach and meadow,
wide as the wind, and an eternal home.
God leaves us free to seek him or reject him,
he gives us room to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
The love of God is broad like beach and meadow,
wide as the wind, and an eternal home.

We long for freedom where our truest being
is given hope and courage to unfold.
We seek in freedom space and scope for dreaming,
and look for ground where trees and plants may grow.
The love of God is broad like beach and meadow,
wide as the wind, and an eternal home.

But there are walls that keep us all divided;
we fence each other in with hate and war.
Fear is the bricks-and-mortar of our prison,
our pride is self the prison coat we wear.
The love of God is broad like beach and meadow,
wide as the wind, and an eternal home.

O, judge us, Lord, and in your judgement free us,
and set our feet in freedom’s open space;
take us as far as your compassion wanders
among the children of the human race.
The love of God is broad like beach and meadow,
wide as the wind, and an eternal home.

God’s Word about marriage (by the bishop)

Dear bride and groom:
God has created us to live in a relationship with him
and with each other.
He has ordained that man and woman
shall be one,
and he has confirmed this fellowship
by his blessing.
Marriage is God’s generous gift.
Here is tested our willingness, to share joy and sorrow,
to give and to receive, to understand and to forgive.
Here man and woman grow closer to each other
and reach out in faith and hope to all that God gives.

God’s word says that marriage is holy
and inviolable.

It is written in the book of Genesis:
So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, and God said to them:
“Be fruitful and multiply,
and fill the earth and subdue it.”Gen. 1, 27-28

And our Lord Jesus Christ says:
“Have you not read
that the one who made them at the beginning made them
male and female, and said
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together, let o one separate.”Matt 19, 4-6

Let us hear what God’s Word says about love and married life.

Our Lord Jesus Christ says:
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”John 13, 34-35

The Apostle Paul writes:
“Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say, rejoice.
Let your gentleness be known to everyone.
The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.”Phil 4, 4-6

Paul also writes:
“Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.”Eph 5, 21

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
cloth yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,
meekness, and patience.
Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another,
forgiving each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”Col 3, 12-13

We read in the first letter of John:
“In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son
to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.”1 John 4, 10-11

The Pilgrim’s Prayer (Lær meg å kjenne) – Sissel Kyrkjebø

The singer Sissel Kyrkjebø was born on June 24, 1969 in Bergen, Norway. During her wedding performance she wore a green Luster-bunad. She performed with the help of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and the Nidaros Girls Choir. The psalm ‘Lær meg å kjenne’, written in 1902 by Jakob Pauli from Åseral in Vest-Agder, was one of the songs Sissel Kyrkjebø recorded for her album ‘All Good Things’ that was released in 2000. One of the songs on “All Good Things” sticks out as being in Norwegian. Sissel was just going to test a microphone, when producer Jørn Dahl sat down at the piano and asked if she knew the psalm “Lær meg å kjenne”. “It was one of those magical moments that was fortunately recorded. The text was written in the early 1900’s. A priest came home after being away on a trip. When he came home he found his house ruined, and his whole family had perished in the fire. Then he wrote this song,” Sissel tells us.

The song as sung by Sissel Kyrkjebø at the wedding
Together with the Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir and a group from the Trondheim Symphonic Orchestra

Lær meg å kjenne dine veie,
Og gå dem trøstig skritt for skritt.
Jeg vet at hva jeg har i eie,
Er borget gods og alt er ditt.
Men vil din sterke hånd meg lede,
Jeg aldri feil på målet ser.
Og for hvert håp som dør her nede,
Får jeg et håp i Himlen mer.

Men lær meg fremfor alt å kjenne,
Din dypeløse kjærlighet.
Den som kan tusen stjerner tenne,
Når lykkens sol for meg kom ned.
Den tørrer tåren som du skapte,
Den leger såret som den slog.
Dens veg går gjennom det vi tapte,
Den gir oss mere enn den tok.

Men vil din sterke hånd meg lede,
Jeg aldri feil på målet ser.
Og for hvert håp som dør her nede,
Får jeg et håp i Himlen mer.

(translation) Lord, let me know your ways and courses,
and give me the faith to follow them!
What mine is, came from your resources.
I am a branch, you are my stem.
But if your hand is on my shoulder,
I shall not fail to find my road.
The more this world is growing colder,
the more are hopes in heaven stowed!

But most of all I wish to measure
the width and depth of all your love.
Of what I lost you make a treasure
and light ten thousand stars above!
Love wipes away the tears it brought us,
love heals the wounds and scars it tore.
Through trials love has bent and taught us –
and made us richer than before!

But if your hand is on my shoulder,
I shall not fail to find my road.
The more this world is growing colder,
the more are hopes in heaven stowed! The original text of the psalm, Norsk Salmebok 312

Lær meg å kjenne dine veie,
Og gå dem trøstig skritt for skritt.
Jeg vet at hva jeg har i eie,
Er borget gods og alt er ditt.
Men vil din sterke hånd meg lede,
Jeg aldri feil på målet ser.
Og for hvert håp som dør her nede,
Får jeg et håp i Himlen mer.

Lær meg å kjenne dine tanker,
Og øves i å tenke dem.
Og når i angst mitt hjerte banker,
Da må du kalle motet frem.
Når jeg har tenkt meg trett til døden,
Så si hva du har tenkt O’Gud.
Da kan jeg se at morgenrøden,
Bak tvil og vånde veller ut.

Men lær meg fremfor alt å kjenne,
Din grenseløse kjærlighet.
Den som kan tusen stjerner tenne,
Når lykkens sol er gået ned.
Den tørrer tåren som du skapte,
Og leger såret som den slog.
Dens veg går gjennom det vi tapte,
Den gir oss mere enn den tok.

Crown Prince Haakon’s reading – The Lord is my Shepherd

There is written in Psalm 23.

Herren er min hyrde,
Jeg mangler ingen ting.
Han lar meg ligge i grønne enger;
Han fører meg til vann der jeg finner hvile,
Og gir meg ny kraft.

Han leder meg på de rette stier
For sitt navns skyld.
Selv om jeg går i dødsskyggens dal,
Frykter jeg ikke for noe vondt.
For du er med meg.
Din kjepp og din stav, de trøster meg.

Du dekker bord for meg
like for øynene på mine fiender.
Du salver mitt hode med olje,
mitt beger flyter over.

Bare godhet og miskunn
Skal følge meg alle mine dager,
Og jeg får bo i Herrens hus
Gjennom lange tider.

Thus sounds the word of the Lord.

The Lord is my shepherd
therefore can I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
He shall refresh my soul

And guide me in the paths of righteousness
For his Name’s sake
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You spread a table before me,
In the presence of those who trouble me;
You have anointed my head with oil;
And my cup shall be full.
Surely goodness and loving mercy
Shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Sermon by Bishop Finn Wagle

The Peace of God

The Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir sings “The Peace of God” by John Rutter while bride and groom proceed to the altar. The text was taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer: The Epistle. Phil. 4.4.

The peace of God,
which passeth all understanding,
keep your heart and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our lord:

The peace of God,
which passeth all understanding,
keep your heart and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our lord:

And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Ghost be amongst you
and remain with you always,

The Marriage Vows

First Ari Behn said ‘yes’ twice, and then Princess Märtha Louise.

The Intercession

Dear Bride and Groom!
Kneel at the altar of Our Lord, so that we may pray for you.

Merciful God and Father,
you have established marriage,
and blessed man and woman. We pray:
Let our blessing rest upon these two persons
who kneel in your presence.
Fill them with your love,
and build their home in peace.
Grant them your grace
and strengthen them with your Spirit,
so that in good days and bad,
they may place their trust in you,
be faithful to each other
and help each other towards life eternal.

O Ipmil, buressivdnit dál

(Norwegian) Å Gud, velsigna desse to
som står for dine augo
og bind dei saman, to til eitt,
med bandet frå din kjaerleik.
Gjev du dei truskap mot den pakt
dei gjorde for ditt altar,
så kjaerleik styrer deira dag,
den vonde som den gode.

Og lèt du kjaerleik bere frukt
med nyfødd liv i verda,
hjelp dei å ta imot med takk
dei små av dine hender,
og laere dei å kjenne dei
i godsfrykt og i glede.
Og hjelp dei to i tru og von
sin eigen kross å bere.

(Sámi) O Ipmil, buressivdnit dál
dan bára, gii dás cuozzu
ja cana sudno oktiidál
du ráhkisvuodat báttiin
Jja veahket sudno doallat ain
dán lihtu, maid soai dahkaba
ja eahccit goabbat guoimmiska
buot heajos, siega dilis.

Ja jus don attát sudnuide
dán ilmmis heakka sattuid,
de veahket sudno giitossin
daid alddát vuostáiváldit
ja bajásgeassit iluin daid
du ballui ja du dovdui
ja veahket sudno ruossaska
du balus doaivvuin guoddit.

(English) O God, we pray you, bless these two,
who bow before your presence,
and join them so that two are one,
you love the tie that binds them.
God, bless with faithfulness the vows
they pledge here at your altar,
so that in sickness and in health
their love may never falter.

And when you let their love bear fruit,
new life comes into being,
God, let them gratefully receive
their children as your blessing,
and raise them, as good Christians should,
in fear of God, in gladness.
And help them both to bear their lot –
be it of joy or sadness.

Psalms 1997 nr 273. Text: Lars Haetta (1834-1896), 1870; Norwegian text: Arve Brunvoll, 1996; music: Halvdan Nedrejord, 1997.

Herrens Bønn

La oss sammen be Herrens bønn:

Fader vår, du som er i himmelen!
La ditt navn holdes hellig.
La ditt rike komme.
La din vilje skje på jorden som i himmelen.
Gi oss i dag vårt daglige brød.
Forlat oss vår skyld,
som vi òg forlater våre skyldnere.
Led oss ikke inn i fristelse,
men frels oss fra det onde.
For riket er ditt, og makten og aeren i evighet.

Let us pray the Lord’s prayer together:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Amen.Musicians from the Trondheim Symphonic Orchestra and the Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir will play and sing “Spring” by Edvard Grieg (1843-1907). Opus 33 no 2 is part of “Melodies to Poems by A.O. Vinje”.

Anja Bjørshol’s reading – The Song of Songs (Høysang) 2: 2-3, 10-14, 16-17

The Song of Songs is also known as the Song of Solomon and the Canticle of Canticles.

There is written in the Song of Songs.

Som en lilje blant tornebusker,
slik er min elskede blant piker.
Som et epletre blant skogens trær,
slik er min venn blant unge menn.
Å sitte i hans skygge er min lyst og min glede,
hans frukt er søt for min gane.

Stå opp, min elskede!
Kom, du min fagre pike!
For se, nå er vinteren slutt,
regnet er over, det er borte.
Blomstene kommer til syne på marken;
sangens tid er kommet,
turtelduen kurrer i vårt land.
Fikentreet setter frukt,
det anger av blomstrende vintrær.
Min elskede stå opp!
Kom, du min fagre pike!
Du min due i bergets kløfter,
i ly av de bratte fjell,
la meg få se din skikkelse,
la meg få høre din røst!
For din røst er så mild
og din skikkelse så fager.

Min venn er min, og jeg er hans,
han som gjeter blant liljer.
Når dagen blir sval, og skyggene flyr,
da kom tilbake, min kjæreste!
Løp som gasellen og den unge hjort
over høyder som anger av balsam!

Like a lily among thorns,
is my darling among women.
Like an apple-tree among the trees of the forest,
so is my dearest compared with other men.
I love to sit in its shadow,
and its fruit is sweet to my taste.

Come then, my love;
my darling, come with me.
The winter is over;
the rains have stopped;
in the countryside the flowers are in the bloom;
This is the time for singing;
the song of doves is heard in the fields.
Figs are beginning to ripen;
the air is fragrant with blossoming vines.
Come then, my love;
My darling, come with me.
You are like a dove that hides
in the crevice of a rock.
Let me see your lovely face
and hear your enchanting voice.
For your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.

My over is mine, and I am his,
he feeds his flock among the lilies
Until the morning breezes blow and the darkness disappears.
Return, my darling,
Like a gazelle, like a stag
on the mountains of Bether.

Translation from the illustrated “Good News Bible” (thank you Dag).

Hymn: Alltid Freidig

Alltid freidig når du går
veier Gud tør kjenne,
selv om du til målet når
først ved verdens ende.

Aldri redd for mørkets makt!
Stjernene vil lyse;
med et Fadervår i pakt
skal du aldri gyse!

Kjemp for alt hva du har kjært,
dø om så det gjelder!
Da er livet ei så svært,
døden ikke heller.

On your way! Be brave and true!
Should the road seem endless,
walk where God is near and you
never can be friendless.

Stars above the clouds still shine
through your darkest hour!
In the Lord’s own prayer you find
courage, peace and power.

Live and die for what you love!
Cherish and defend it!
Then you lift your life above
things that waste and end it.

The song originally had its place in a musical written by Christian Richardt (1831-1882) in 1867. This musical Tornerose had its theme from the well-known fairy-tale “Sleeping Beauty” of the Grimm Brothers.

The Blessing

The Bishop:
Let us praise the Lord!

God be praised. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

The Bishop:
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Amen. Amen. Amen. (3 x 3)

The bells of the cathedral start ringing. The Bishop of Trondheim, Finn Wagle, kisses the bride and hugs the groom. He gives the groom the wedding bible and a psalm- book.


Wedding March: “Toccata in F-major from the Organ Symphony no 5 in F minor by Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937).

With lots of thanks to: Trond Norén Isaksen and the Nidaros Bispedømme for texts and translations.

Sermon by Bishop Finn Wagle

The Nidaros Cathedral Choir sings “Amen” from “Lo, the Full, Finald Sacrifice” from 1946 by Gerald Finzi (1901-1956).

“We do not live to ourselves …”

Dear Märtha and Ari,

Like pilgrims, you are stopping for a final pause before you take the final steps up to the altar. When your destination is in sight, the time has come, not to get there as quickly as possible, but to concentrate on the experience of arriving and dwell upon what is happening. There are thoughts you would like to think, arising from this place where you have sat down… There are feelings you want to savour today, as you celebrate this feast of love… Joy and thankfulness over being so near to the place where the love that unites you will be solemnly affirmed…

It all began when you found each other and were found by each other. In the joyful conviction that you love each other and want to share your lives with each other, you have defied all the doubt with which our age regards every lasting relationship between two people. This is what love is about, love that in its very nature is eternal. In a relationship based on equality, you have conquered a kingdom where you can create a future together. And you have done this in such a moving way: Two young people with an unusual gift for putting their feelings for each other into words, and for being together with overflowing love, with devotion and respect. Two young people who meet life around them with love in their eyes. You make the world a more beautiful place!

And now you are sitting here – side by side – on what we can call a “loveseat”. I greet you with some words about living together, fundamental enough to encompass this feast of love. Paul writes this in one of his letters: We do not live to ourselves… (Romans 14:7) Who can understand and rejoice over the profundity of these words better than you two who love each other? We do not live to ourselves… Thank you, dear God, that this is really true!

The place where you are sitting makes a wider context clear. It is as though you are saying: This day is not just about ourselves, but about ourselves and the relationships that we are woven into. On our way to the altar it’s important for us to sit right here, near to you who are such important threads in the tapestry of our lives: mother and father, sister and brother, family, relations and friends… We will sit here for some precious minutes and feel thankfulness for life itself; because we do not live to ourselves…

The words of the Bible also enable us to see the changes that are now taking place in your lives in new perspectives. The next time you sit beside each other it will be as man and wife, with all the delight and all the anticipation that that involves… But for the two of you it is also a matter of other changes and other roles, since your lives are so closely bound up with the public sphere. To live in this sphere can be both rewarding and challenging, but also pitiless and lonely. It’s as though these words about living together address you in a new and different way: We do not live to ourselves…

For you, Märtha, it’s a matter of redefining your role as princess. You are entering a professional life which is not based on your royal dignity. You have chosen a life as a conveyor of culture and values, with a basis in our rich treasure of folk stories. Both children and grown ups are following your career with great expectations! Folk tales are a wonderful source for understanding life and giving us courage and hope. What would Askeladen – “The Ash Lad”, hero of so many Norwegian folk tales – have been without his helpers, his sensitivity for nature and the people he met, his capacity for wonder and his basic trust in life? These are all qualities that you yourself radiate so strongly. Or, to say it with these fundamental words: We do not live to ourselves…

You too, Ari, are the conveyor of culture and values. You want to reach out to the world through the written and the spoken word. You are achieving this with great powers of expression, sensitivity, honesty and courage. As you understand your role, these fundamental words can be read as a sounding board: We do not live to ourselves… Today, you are winning the whole nation’s princess. In the world of folk stories, half the kingdom would have been yours as well. In the real world you are being endowed with the attention of the whole kingdom! What a starting point for you whose basic concern is to communicate a zest for living!

Dear Märtha and Ari: All life is life together. Our time on earth is not a private matter. We are one another’s gift and duty. What would we have been without love? What would we have been without the relationships that we are woven into – relationships to one another and to the whole of creation? What would we have been without the presence of God in our lives – as the depths of grace, as boundless love, as the call to commitment? What would we have been, if the love of God was not “like the seashore and the grass” – the love that embraces us and sets us free to live our lives together? What would we have been, if the life of Jesus hadn’t given all our life together its direction and goal? What would we have been? We do not live to ourselves… We have every reason to sing praises at this feast of love!

“We do not live to ourselves and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14: 7-8, New Revised Standard Version) When we hear these words in their context, they not only lead you up to the altar, but much further. It becomes clear that the solemnisation of your marriage at the altar of the Lord today is just one destination on your journey. Pilgrims understand this. When they reach their destination, their journey begins – the journey onward.

With this perspective, it’s not so appropriate to speak of marriage as a haven. Marriage is to travel together – supporting and challenging each other as you go – in gentle terrain and rugged terrain. It’s a journey you should regard from the perspective of growth and maturing. Today you are beginning your journey onwards, along the road of love, the road of matrimony, the road of maturing. With love’s “yes” to each other, and the blessing of God, you are well equipped for the journey!

For this journey onwards you have written your own prayer. I want to pray this prayer with you now, as the last thing that happens while you are still sitting on the “loveseat”:

Lord, let us live in faith and trust,
let us feel that our lives unfold
in the way that you reveal to us,
with eternity in each day that passes.
Let us act out of love,
the seed of life,
the seed that is holy.
let us live in faith and trust.

Dear Märtha and Ari: The time has come to complete your arrival and take the final steps up to the altar of the Lord – in faith and trust! Because we do not live to ourselves!

The wedding dress and other attires

The Princess’s wedding dress

Princess Märtha Louise’s wedding dress is designed by Wenche Lyche, who has designed all the clothes and created a coherent style for the bride and her attendants. The bride’s dress is in two pieces. The jacket has been made by the designer, while the dress itelf has been sewn by Anna Bratland. The costume is inspired by the shape and colour of the Märtha lily combined with the gothic arches of Nidaros Cathedral. The letters M and A are woven into the design and reflect the shape of the arches and lilies. The bride’s jacket is in off-white duchesse satin and has a formal, ceremonial air. A vine, “the thread of life”, has been embroidered round the edge of the train. The cut is similar to that of a tailcoat, with gothic sleeve inserts. The embroidered sleeves are trumpet-shaped and inspired by The Queen’s own wedding dress. The train is three metres long and ends in a pointed gothic arch. A circle of five lilies (the sacred number for a wedding), two for the woman and three for the man, is embroidered at the end of the train. The jacket is held together at the front with a jewel in the shape of the letter A made of cultured pearls, 18-carat gold and 16 brilliants. In the cathedral the jewel was worn on the jacket and later in the evening as a brooch on the wedding dress. The jacket is embroidered with Swarovski crystals. The wedding dress is made of silk crepe with simple, modern lines and a gothic V at the front and back. The train also ends in a gothic arch. The dress has clean lines and is white like the lilies in the bridal bouquet. It is sleeveless. The silk chiffon veil is attached to a tiara that originally belonged to Queen Maud and has the same cut as the train of the dress.

Bridal bouquet

Princess Märtha Louise’s bridal bouquet consisted mainly of lilies-of-the-valley, orchids and Märtha lilies. The colours were white and cream, and the bouquet has been made by Barbro Kirknes of Wallden & Moum AS in Trondheim. The bouquet has a narrow, elegant heart shape, with a waterfall of sweet-scented lilies-of-the-valley contrasting with the clean lines of the Märtha lilies. Phalaenopsis orchids have been used to create a harmonious whole. Ceropegia has been used together with the lilies-of-the-valley in the waterfall, and its heart-shaped green leaves form an attractive contrast to the white of the flowers. The same precious stones that were used to decorate the wedding dress also appear in the bouquet.

Ari Behn’s costume

During the wedding and at the wedding banquet in Stiftsgården the groom wore white tie.

The wedding rings

The wedding rings were made by the goldsmith Ulf Larsen. They are hand made in white gold with brilliants. They are richly engraved by hand.

Dress of the bridesmaids, page and chief bridesmaid

The dresses of the bridesmaids were made of duchesse satin and designed by Wenche Lyche. The dresses were in the same colour and material as the Princess’s jacket. They are A-line with lilies on the breast and chiffon puff sleeves. They wore wearing small glittering crowns on their heads. The page wore white tie and tails. The chief bridesmaid wore a dress of lemon yellow satin with a bolero in chocolate brown silk organza. The dress was designed and sewn by Wenche Lyche.

The Royal Family’s attire – wedding and wedding banquet

During the wedding and at the wedding banquet in Stiftsgården, The Queen wore a silk chiffon dress in shades of blue. She wore the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav and a miniature portrait of His Majesty King Harald V. Her jewelry consisted of the Desirée tiara and a double-stranded diamond necklace. The Crown Princess wore a two-piece in pale blue. The top consisted of a bodice embroidered with silver sequins, and the skirt of layers of tulle. The Crown Princess wore the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. Her jewels were the tiara she received for her wedding last year and diamond earrings. Both The King and The Crown Prince wore white tie and tails with the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. They also both wore the Commander’s Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit around their necks.

Bridal attendants

The flower girls at the wedding were the 9-year-old Madeleine Ferner Johansen, granddaughter of Princess Astrid Mrs Ferner, and 9-year-old twins Betina and Emilie Swanstrøm, daughters of Queen Sonja’s nephew Dag Swanstrøm and his wife Anne Karine. The twins were already flower girls at the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby in August 2001. 8-year-old Ask Andreas Bjørshol Grønsund is the son of Ari Behn’s sister Anja Bjørshol and her former partner Are Grønsund.

Dinner and party

At 19:00 the 232 guests were welcomed by bride and groom and King Harald V and Queen Sonja. After speeches of King Harald V and Ari Behn the guests had dinner in a large tent outside in the garden. The first course of the menu existed of trout tartare with fresh asparagus and poached quails’ eggs. The main course was noisettes of veal with spring vegetables and potato fondant with purée of Jerusalem artichokes followed by grilled chevre white goat’s cheese on spiced biscuits. Finally the dessert was vanilla bavarois with raspberries and pomegranate sauce.

The King’s speech during the dinner

Your Majesties,
Your Royal Highnesses,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last year we celebrated Mette-Marit and Haakon´s Wedding in Oslo. This year we have moved north, and the Queen and I would like to welcome all of you to Trondheim and Stiftsgården, and most of all we are glad to welcome You to the celebration of Märtha´s and Ari´s wedding.

The relationship between daughter and father is a very special one, and I hope that all foreign guests will understand that I would like to continue in Norwegian.

Kjære Märtha og Ari,
Ved at du gifter deg i dag Märtha, markerer på flere måter slutten på en av livets viktigste faser for mor og meg. Nå er både du og Haakon gifte og har fått deres eget. Vi er ikke lengre deres nærmeste.
(Dear Märtha and Ari, Your wedding today, Märtha, in more ways than one marks the ending of one of life’s most important phases for your mother and me. Now you and Haakon are married and have gained your own. We aren’t your closest family anymore.)

Du Märtha, går inn i en ny fase av ditt liv, Ari er nå din nærmeste, og dere skal bygge et liv sammen. Grunnmuren skal være den kjærlighet som dere har bekreftet overfor hverandre i dag. Jeg gleder meg til å følge med på det livet dere skal bygge sammen. Det jeg er sikker på er at det blir ikke noe standard liv. Ingen av dere er hva man kan karakterisere som A-4 mennesker. Dere finner deres egen vei, og den veien er ofte både spennende, original og uventet.
(You Märtha, move on to a new phase of your life. Ari is now your nearest, and you will build a life together. The foundation shall be the love that you have confirmed to each other today. I am looking forward to follow the life you will build together. I am certain that it won’t be any standard life. None of you is what one may call an A4 person. You will find your own way, and that way will often be exciting, original and unexpected.)

Jeg har aldri hatt noen spesiell mening om hvordan mann du skulle gifte deg med, Märtha. Mor og jeg har vært opptatt av at dette skulle være ditt valg uten at vi skulle legge noen føringer for deg. Dette betyr ikke at vi har vært uinteressert, og vi har hatt mange tanker om hvem som skulle passe for deg. Det er et karaktertrekk vi tydelig har sett at man trenger for å være gift med deg, og det er et åpent sinn! Derfor er det godt å konstatere at om vi skal sammenfatte en karakteristikk av deg, Ari, så må det være at du er en person med et åpent sinn. Du møter dagen med forventning, og i tillit til at den vil bringe noe som er positivt inn i ditt og dine nærmestes liv. Du avviser aldri en ny tanke og du lever i tiden, åpen for de utfordringer og gleder hver dag gir. Denne innstillingen til livet som du representerer har gitt Dronningen og meg en ny dimensjon til våre liv.
(I have never had any specific opinion about what kind of man you should marry, Märtha. Your mother and I were determined that our children should choose their own spouses. This doesn’t mean we have been uninterested, and we have had many thoughts about whom should be right for you. We have seen an obvious characteristic one needs to be married to you, and that is an open mind! Therefore it is good to ascertain that if we shall summarise a characteristic of you, Ari, it must be that you are a person with an open mind. You meet the day with expectations, and confident that it will bring something positive to the life of yourself and those closest to you. You never reject a new thought and you live in the present, open for the challenges and joy every day provides. This attitude to life represented by your, has given a new dimension to the lives of the Queen and myself.)

Nå når du skal være Märthas nærmeste er jeg også veldig glad for å ha erfart at du er både snill og oppmerksom. Men viktigst av alt Ari – Du er den som har fått Märtha til å stråle!!
(When you now shall be Märtha’s closest, I am very happy to have experienced that you are both kind and attentive. But most important of all, Ari – you are the one who has made Märtha sparkle!!)

Det har vi sett de siste månedene, og ikke minst ser vi det i dag!
(We have seen that during the last months, and not the least we see it today!)

Märtha, det er godt å se deg stråle slik du gjør i dag. Du har alltid vært en “gladjente”.
(Märtha, it is good to see you radiant like you are today. You were always a happy girl.)

Latteren din er sjelden langt unna, og når den springer ut er den farlig smittsom. Ditt gode humør er det tydeligste tegn på at du er et følelsesmenneske, men dine følelser kommer også frem gjennom ditt engasjement og i ditt temperament. Latteren er det mest framtredende, men når du er sint eller føler urettferdighet er det lett å oppdage det også.
(Your laughter was never far off, and when you burst out, it is dangerously contagious. It had always been exciting to follow you. Your good humour is the most obvious sign of you being a person of emotions, but your emotions are also visible in your commitment and your temperament. The laughter is the most prominent, but when you are angry or feel injustice, that is also easy to detect.)

Forutsigbarhet er en beskrivelse som ikke på noen måte passer på deg. Du er en dristig person, det gjelder ikke bare på det fysiske/ praktiske plan, men kanskje like mye på det mentale og intellektuelle plan. Dette sammen med din sterke nysgjerrighet gjør at det alltid har vært spennende å følge med deg. Noen ganger litt for spennende for oss som foreldre. Og her vil jeg advare deg Ari, det kommer til å skje ting som du ikke er forberedt på og som du ikke har visst om, men jeg tror du vil erfare det samme som Dronningen og meg – hun forteller alt – i alle fall i ettertid!
(Predictable is a describtion which in no way fits you. You are a bold person, not only on the physical or practical level, but perhaps as much mentally and intellectually. Because of this, together with your strong curiosity, it has always been exciting to follow you. Sometimes a bit too exciting for us as parents. And here I want to warn you Ari: Things will happen for which you are not prepared, and things you had not heard about,- but I think you will experience what the Queen and I have experienced,- she will tell all – at least afterwards!_

Märtha, du har hatt en fenomenal evne til å komme ned med begge bena på jorda, bortsett fra når du hopper i strikk. Du har skaffet deg rikelig med erfaringer som jeg er sikker på at du tar med deg videre i livet og som vil hjelpe deg i dine fremtidige utfordringer.
(Märtha, you have had a phenomenal ability to land with both your feet on the ground – except when you go bungee jumping. You have gained many experiences which I am sure you will bring with you in life and which will help you in your future challenges.)

Ari og Märtha, dere er begge personer som i stor grad lever i tiden. Og for å bruke et ord i tiden skal dere nå drive team building for to. Det er en utfordring som jeg vet at dere er opptatt av og som jeg ønsker dere til lykke med. Dere står på startstreken til et samliv, nå skal dere skape noe som ingen andre har skapt før dere. Dette skal være deres og deres alene. Vi andre gleder oss til å være tilskuere.
(Ari and Märtha, you are both persons who to a large degree live in the present. And to use a word which is very much in the present; you shall do team building for two. It is a challenge I know you are taken up with, and in which I wish you luck. You are now at the starting point of a life together, and will now create something no one has done before you. This shall be yours and yours alone. The rest of us are looking forward to being onlookers.)

Jeg vil gratulere dere med det valg dere har bekreftet i dag, og ønsker der lykke til med alle de valg som ligger foran dere.
(I want to congratulate you both with the choice you have confirmed today, and wish you the best of luck with all the choices now before you.)

Translation: Trond Norén Isaksen and Aftenposten

Ari Behn’s speech at the dinner

Deres Majesteter,
Deres Kongelige Høyheter,
Kjære Märtha,

Vi møttes i drømmene våre da vi var små. La oss fortsette med å møtes i drømmene våre. Det gjør tiden vi nå får sammen, dobbelt så lang.
(Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses President of the Storting Dear Märtha We met in our dreams when we were small. Let us continue to meet in our dreams. That makes the time we get together twice as long.)

Takk, kong Harald. Takk for de gode og varme ordene vi ble overrakt som niste, det gir styrke og næring til Märtha og meg på den vandringen som ligger foran oss.
(Thank you, King Harald. Thank you for the good and warm words we were given as travelling provisions, that give strenght and nourishment to Märtha and me on the wandering awaiting us.)

Kjære Sonja og Harald,
Først og fremst må jeg takke dere for at dere er verdens beste foreldre. For makan til datter har jeg aldri møtt! Ja, det er tydelig nok hvem hun slekter på. Dere er to helt unike mennesker. Og da tenker jeg ikke på den rolle dere har som vårt lands kjære kongepar. Jeg tenker på den unike hjertekraften og godheten dere besitter. Jeg takker dere for fra første stund å ha møtt meg med tillit og en vennlighet som har grepet meg dypt. Takk for at dere har tatt dere tid til å lære meg å kjenne, det har gitt meg trygghet da jeg trengte det som mest. Å forelske seg i landets prinsesse er nå èn ting. Men det å få hennes ja, gjør at en hel nasjon følger spent med på notene – som om det er et musikkstykke spilt høyt for åpne dører. Takk for at dere som mine kommende svigerforeldre har tatt varmt vare på meg når jeg har følt det som om jeg snubler og mister fotfestet. Jeg er blitt svært glad i dere begge to, og gleder meg veldig til å tilbringe mer tid sammen med dere i årene som kommer. Jeg takker også av hele mitt hjerte for den storslåtte feiringen dere har laget i stand for oss!
(Dear Sonja and Harald. First of all I must thank you for being the world’s best parents. For equal the daughter I have never met! Yes, it is obvious who she resembles. You are two completely unique human beings. And then I am not thinking about your role as our country’s dear King and Queen. I am thinking of the unique power of heart and goodness you possess. I thank you that from the first moment you met me with trust and a friendliness which have touched me deeply. Thank you for the way in which you received me into the family, for meeting me in faith and friendliness and for giving me the security and confidence I needed. To fall in love with the
country’s princess is one thing, but to get her. I do, that means the whole nation is following along – like it is a piece of music played aloud for open doors. Thank you for taking care of me when I felt like I was stumbling and losing my grip. I have come to be very fond of both of you, and I am looking very much forward to spend more time with you in the years to come. I also thank you from my entire heart for the splendid celebration you have arranged for us!)

Kjære Mette-Marit og Haakon,
Dere stråler av felles kunnskap og overskudd. Takk for de råd og den omsorg dere ga meg da det ble klart for de nærmeste at Märtha og jeg ønsker å dele livet med hverandre. Samtalene med dere to har fått en helt spesiell plass hos meg, og jeg takker dere for å ha tatt imot meg med innsikt og glede. Nå var det riktignok ikke mye glede å spore da kronprinsen knuste meg fullstendig på en skitur i fjellet. Men jeg kan fortelle dere alle at det ga avgjørende innsikt. Førstemann til topps, det er en fin-fin øvelse med utrente svogere. Takk for det kappløpet, kjære Haakon. Det lærte meg at du er skåret over samme lest som søsteren din, og det lover godt for kommende påskeferier og kommende tider. En gammel hederskar har sagt at det forholder seg på samme måte i ekteskapet, som det gjør med ski på bena i fjellet. Det gjelder å ha styrke i motbakkene, ellers er det rett ut i første utforsving!
(Dear Mette-Marit and Haakon, You radiate joined knowledge and surplus. Thanks for the advice and the consideration you gave me when it became obvious to those closest that Märtha and I wanted to share our lives with each other. The conversations with you two have gained a very special place for me, and I thank you for having received me with insight and happiness. On the other hand, there was not much happiness to see when the Crown Prince totally crushed me on a ski trip in the mountains. But I can tell you all that it gave decisive insight. First to the top is a splendid exercise with unfit brothers-in-law. Thank you for that race, dear Haakon. It taught me that you are made of the same material as your sister, and that promises well for future easter holidays and future times. An old man of honour has said that is the same in a marriage as with skis on in the mountains. It is important to have strenght uphill, or it will go straight out in first downhill curve!)

Kjære mamma og pappa,
Takk for at dere etter først å ha skjenket meg livet, ikke et eneste øyeblikk har latt være å ta meg på alvor. Det er den største verdi et barn kan få hjemmefra. Det er denne kilden som i dag gjør at jeg står her som den jeg er, og det takker jeg dere for. Kjære Anja og Espen! Takk for at dere er de åpne og evnerike menneskene jeg er stolt av å ha som søsken. Jeg takker også med takknemlighet resten av familien min som er samlet rundt oss. Alle har dere vært med på å gi meg en oppvekst fylt av kulturelle og skapende verdier.
(Dear mother and father, Thank you for after having given me life, for not a moment having failed to take me seriously. That is the greatest treasure a child can bring with it from its home. That is the source which is responsible for me standing here today as I am, and I thank you for that. Dear Anja and Espen! Thank you for being the open and talented human beings I am proud of having as my siblings. Also, I thank in gratitude the rest of my family who are gathered around us. All of you have contributed to giving me a upbringing filled with cultural and creative values.)

Kjære Märtha,
Aldri har jeg møtt et menneske med større styrke enn deg. Aldri har jeg møtt et menneske som har mer hjertekraft enn deg. Aldri har jeg sett en kvinne som er så inderlig vakker som deg. Du utstråler en uimotståelig blanding av klokskap og skjønnhet, ynde og besluttsomhet. Du er uimotståelig sprudlende og kraftfull, lekende og alvorlig på samme tid. Ja, du er uimotståelig når du bestandig lar meg få avslutte en diskusjon med disse ord: Ja, min elskede – du har helt rett! På kjærlighetens vinger fløy jeg over, For ingen mur kan lukke elskov ute. Hva kjærligheten makter, vil den våge,
(Dear Märtha. I have never met a person with more strength than you, I have never met a person with such a big heart as you, I have never seen a woman with such an inner beauty as you, You radiate an irrestistible mix of wisdom and beauty, charm and decisiveness. You are irresistible and powerful, sparkling and playful, and serious all at once. Yes, you are irresistible when you always let me finish a discussion with the words: Yes, my beloved – you are completely right! On the wings of love I flew over, because no wall can shut out love. What love manages, it will dear.)

Dette er Romeos ord, han som mistet sin elskede Julie. En bitter misforståelse gjorde det slik at de ikke fikk hverandre i levende live. En overdrivelse og ubetenksom løgn kan langt på vei gjøre kjærlighet mellom to mennesker til en umulighet. Selv i vår tid, som på et øyeblikk kan la seg forvandle til tider vi liker å tenke på som mesterlig utpenslede intriger hos Shakespeare. Det var netter da jeg trodde ti år var en tilmålt tidslengde for en ørkenvandring hver for oss, i vent på det som i dag er skjedd. Hva som fikk floken til å løsne, var den rene og klokkeklare tonen som sang natten igjennom: Ti år er ingen umulig tid å vente. Vi klarer også dette, bare det blir oss.
(These are Romeo’s words, he who lost his beloved Juliet. A bitter misunderstanding made it so that they did not get each other in living life. An exaggeration and a thoughtlessness can to a certain degree make love between two people impossible. Even in our time, which in a moment can change to times we like to think of as masterly crafted intrigues by Shakespeare. There were nights when I thought ten years was an allotted time for wandering through the desert apart from each other, waiting for what has happened today. What made the tangle unravel, was the pure and clear tune which sang throughout the night: Ten years is not an impossible amount of time to wait. We will handle this too, as long as it will be us in the end.)

Kjære Märtha,
Du er lyset som overvinner mørket. Å vite at du finnes, får meg til å vite at også Gud er nærværende. Sammen med deg frykter jeg ikke lenger døden. Gjennom deg, Märtha, er livet evig. Gjennom deg, Märtha, er livet levelig. Du er en seer, og du er ikke redd for å fortelle hva du ser. Du er det mennesket som har sett meg slik jeg aldri før er blitt sett, i et åpent
blikk der svakhetene mine lå på rekke og rad uten at det gjorde deg det minste skremt. Du er et mirakel av en kvinne, påannen måte går det ikke an å forklare det vidunderlige at du i dag har sagt ja til å bli min kone!
(Dear Märtha, You are the light that conquers the dark. To know that you exist, makes me realize that God is also present. Together with you I no longer fear death. Through you, Märtha, life is liveable. Through you, Märtha, life is liveable. You are a watcher, and you are not afraid to tell what you see. You are the human being who have seen me as I never before have been seen, in an open look where my weaknesses lay side by side without making you scared. You are a miracle of a woman, in no other way is it possible to explain the wonderful thing that today you have said yes to become my wife!)

Mange kan forledes til å tro at det er rene eventyret at vi fant sammen. Selvsagt har de rett. Det er uten unntak et eventyr hver gang to mennesker finner hverandre og bestemmer seg for å livet sammen.
(Many can be lead to believe that it is a fairy tale that we are together. Of course they are right. It is without exception a fairy tale every time two human beings find each other and decides to share their lives together.)

Visst er du Norges prinsesse, og dette ene kan ikke skilles fra alt det andre som du også representerer. Du er blitt formet og bygget av din arv og din rolle, det gjør deg til det mennesket du er i dag. Moden og klar for de oppgavene som du har peilet ut i livet ditt, er du en åpenbaring av inderlighet og virketrang for alle oss som kjenner deg. Og i hele denne tiden som jeg har kjent deg, har jeg ikke tenkt annet enn dette: Er det virkelig oss to som er ment for hverandre, så vil også Gud ordne det slik at det blir oss to.
(Indeed you are Norway’s Princess, and that can not be separated from all the other things you represent. You have been shaped and built by your heritage and your role, that makes you be the person you are today. Mature and ready for the tasks you have singled out in your life, you are revelation of sincerity and energy for all those of us who know you. And in all this time that I have known you, I have not thought of anything but this: If it is really us two who are meant for each other, than God will also arrange so that it will be us two.)

I dag er livet kommet oss i møte. I dag er du og jeg selve livet.
(Today Life has come to meet us. Today you and I are Life itself.)

Jeg elsker deg!
(I love you!)

Jeg ber om at forsamlingen blir med meg og skåler i kjærlighet for bruden!
(I ask the congregation to join me in a loving toast to the bride!)

Translation: Aftenposten, Trond Norén Isaksen.

The Cake

The traditional wedding cake, with five tiers and weighing 250 kilogrammes, was made by Sous-chef Morten Carlson at the Britannia Hotel in Trondheim and it took him two months to create it. It was made according to an old recipe and was flavoured with citrus peel and citrus juice. It also contained marinated raisins and apricots. It was covered with a thin layer of marzipan and royal icing and decorated with a white veil and ribbons. The decorations consist of roses, lilies, small white flowers, buds, roseleaves and lily buds. The ornaments include a crown, book (both on the side of the cake), swan (upper parts), a vase (the lowest part), butterflies and a monogram (middle part). For the whole cake 1000 eggs, 20 kilogrammes white flour and 15-20 kilogrammes of sugar were used. Bride and groom cut the cake with a sword that was handed over to them by best man Kåre Conradi and the help of the Steward of the royal court, Jon Henrik Schreiner, who had some problems cutting the cake. During the waiting time bride and groom kissed shortly. Princess Märtha Louise took a first bite from her cake, and then toasted and drank of her champagne.

The Dance

The party meant salsa and rock’n roll music, but also at 23:00, right after cutting the cake, a traditional and romantic wedding-waltz. First bride and groom danced together, soon followed by Queen Sonja with Olav Bjørshol, and King Harald V with Marianne Solberg Behn. Afterwards the guests heard more long and touching speeches, of Marianne Solberg Behn, and of Marianne Ulrichsen and Kåre Conradi, maid of honour and best man. At night sausages were served to the guests. The dancing went on until the early hours of the morning, only interrupted by a magnificent fireworks around midnight. All guests came outside to enjoy it together with the people who were waiting outside. During the party inside of Stiftsgården the front door stayed open so everybody who was outside could get a glimpse of the warm and nice party that was going on inside.

Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn leave the party

While some hundreds of people had gathered in front of Stiftsgården in the pouring rain, the party went on inside. Shortly after 2am bride and groom said goodbye to family and friends on the stairs of Stiftsgården and came outside while the guests threw rice on them under big cheering of the public. Thereafter the couple quickly disappeared in a blue Volvo. It is not known where the honeymoon went to. At the press conference Ari Behn said they were going to Florence, but nobody knew if they had to believe him or not. At 2:25 they arrived at Ringve, not far from Trondheim, but quite soon afterwards they left again for Trondheim’s airport where they took the plane to Brussels, Belgium, and from there the destiny stayed a secret.


The family of the bride

  • King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway
  • Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
  • Princess Ragnhild Mrs Lorentzen and Erling S. Lorentzen
  • Haakon and Martha Lorentzen
  • Ingeborg Lorentzen Ribeiro and Paulo Ribeiro
  • Ragnhild Lorentzen and Aaron Long
  • Princess Astrid Mrs Ferner and Johan Martin Ferner
  • Cathrine Ferner Johansen and Arild Johansen
  • Benedikte Ferner and Mons Einar Stange
  • Alexander Ferner and Margrét Gudmundsdottir
  • Elisabeth Ferner Beckman and Tom Beckman
  • Carl-Christian Ferner and Charlotte Aslaugsberg
  • Haakon and Lis Haraldsen
  • Karl Otto and Jasmin Haraldsen
  • Pia Haraldsen
  • Lis Haraldsen
  • Morten Magnus
  • Anita Moen
  • Egil Moen
  • Gry-Helen Haraldsen
  • Dag and Anne Karine Swanstrøm
  • Ian Swanstrøm
  • Jan Myhr
  • Gry Shetelig
  • Kaare Shetelig
  • Anne Marie Ulrichsen
  • Kjell Ulrichsen
  • Cathrine Ulrichsen
  • Theis Helseth
  • Vibeke Ulrichsen
  • Frank Robert Svendsen
  • Marianne Ulrichsen
  • Didrik J. Vigsnæs

The family of the groom

  • Marianne Solberg Behn
  • Olav Bjørshol
  • Anja Bjørshol and Christian Udnæs
  • Espen Bjørshol
  • Jan Pahle
  • Tone Bjerke
  • Anne Marie Solberg
  • Andreas Solberg
  • Edith Carlsson
  • Ada Behn
  • Atle Martin
  • Inger Bjørshol
  • Pål Bjørshol
  • Rune Stokmo
  • Randi Elisabeth Jensen
  • Randi Behn Odberg
  • Eskil Odberg
  • Marit Jørgensen
  • Åge Jørgensen
  • Ruth Solberg
  • Reidar Solberg
  • Marie Bjørshol Mjøen

Royal guests

  • Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
  • The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands
  • The Prince of Asturias
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg
  • Count Flemming and Countess Ruth af Rosenborg
  • Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
  • Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
  • Princess Madeleine of Sweden
  • Princess Christina Mrs Magnuson and Tord Magnuson
  • Gustav Magnuson
  • Oscar Magnuson
  • Madeleine and Nicolas Kogevinas
  • Astrid and Lionel Jadot
  • Sophie Ullens de Schooten
  • Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduchess and Archduke of Austria-Este
  • Prince Laurent of Belgium
  • The Earl and The Countess of Wessex
  • Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg
  • Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan
  • Princess Sumaya bint Hassan of Jordan and Nasser Judeh
  • Prince Nikolaos of Greece

Official Norwegians

  • Stortingets President Jørgen Kosmo
  • Anne-Lise Kosmo
  • Statsminister Kjell-Magne Bondevik
  • Bjørg Bondevik
  • Høyesterettsjustitiarius Carsten Smith
  • Lucy Smith
  • Stortingets Visepresident Inge Lønning
  • Kari Lønning
  • Utenriksminister Jan Petersen
  • Vesla Petersen
  • Statsråd Per Kristian Foss
  • Statsråd Valgerd Svarstad Haugland
  • Geir Haugland
  • Statsråd Lars Sponheim
  • Mette Sponheim
  • Regjeringsråd Nina Frisak
  • Øystein Dahle
  • Utenriksråd Bjarne Lindstrøm
  • Berit Lindstrøm
  • Biskop Finn Wagle
  • Ellen Mediaas Wagle
  • Fylkesmann Kåre Gjønnes
  • Inger Lill Gjønnes
  • Ordfører i Moss Gretha Kant
  • Olaf Kant
  • Ordfører i Trondheim Liv Sandven
  • Politimester Per M. Marum
  • Liv Myklebust Marum
  • Generalmajor Kjell Narve Ludvigsen
  • Herdis Gabrielsen
  • Regiondirektør Kjetil Lehn
  • Kari Ranum Lehn
  • Fylkesordfører i Sør-Trøndelag Arnt Frøseth
  • Kirsten Frøseth

The Royal Court

  • Hoffsjef Lars Petter Forberg
  • Brit Forberg
  • Hoffmarskalk Arne Omholt
  • Kari Omholt
  • Hoffintendant Lise Harlem
  • Viggo Johannesen
  • Informasjonssjef Wenche Rasch
  • Tor Morten Sneve
  • Slottsforvalter Ragnar Osnes
  • Kari Gaarder
  • Brigader Bjørn Ruud
  • Kari Ruud
  • Sekretær Mari Sørli
  • Sekretær Hilde Haraldstad


  • Kåre Conradi
  • Lars Krogh
  • Anita Krogh
  • Mette Horn Johannesen
  • Lars Johannesen
  • Stein A. Føyen
  • Hanne Tischbein
  • Yvonne Stenersen
  • Johan Chr. Stenersen
  • Dundi Resen-Fellie
  • Ilmi Horn
  • Hans Horn
  • Elin Gerrard
  • Johan Gerrard
  • Nils Jørgen Astrup
  • Mariann Astrup
  • Wanda Dietlev-Simonsen
  • Val Aisher
  • Robin Aisher
  • Diane Symonette
  • Marian Aas Hansen
  • Gry Brusletto
  • Carl Christian Christensen
  • Katharina Salbu
  • Caroline Lorentzen Teigen
  • Sven Teigen
  • Claes Aabyholm
  • Ole Edvard Reitan
  • Sverre Arnt Simonsen
  • Emilie Cajsdatter
  • Cecilie Haugemoen Olsen
  • Anders Kjekstad
  • Marco Lempens
  • Iris Daphne Lempens
  • Ria van Mulken
  • Jeroen van Mulken
  • Tom van Mulken
  • Bas van Mulken
  • Marion Rosen
  • Hans Axelson
  • Berit Tversland
  • Bjørn Kjesbu
  • Annika Minnbergh
  • Anders Ölander
  • Erik Fosnes Hansen
  • Kerosha Gonaseelan
  • Elfrid Friestad Bergseth
  • Rolf Bergseth
  • Fiona May Rust
  • Mark Rust
  • Trond Giske
  • Anne Grethe Moe
  • Annbjørg Sætre Håtun
  • Jon Andreas Håtun
  • Jerry Månsson
  • Brennan Banks
  • Toril Grue
  • Torleiv Grue
  • Morten Abel
  • Gry I. Sandnes
  • Turi Sollihøgda
  • Johnny Halberg
  • Marius Holst
  • Dag Werner-Svendsen
  • Gry Kronstad Svendsen
  • Vidar Kvalshaug
  • Charlotte G. Hansen
  • Linda Sætre
  • Håvard Rem
  • Trond Moi
  • Line Dunsæd
  • Bjørn Roar Bye
  • Djenneba Bye
  • Siv Gjølme
  • Edvard Bull
  • Mette Bull
  • Wenche Lyche
  • Espen Holm

Saturday, May 25th, 2002

Already around 8:00 in the morning the first guests left from the airport. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden left to Stockholm around 10:00, and Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan left by private plane at 14:00. The others left mostly between these two. At noon Queen Sonja and several other guests, including Madeleine and Nicolas Kogevinas and Count Flemming and Countess Ruth af Rosenborg, left Trondheim with the royal yacht Norge. King Harald V also left in the early afternoon. The last to leave on Saturday were Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. They left by train at 16:25 from the railway station of Trondheim and didn’t arrive in Oslo until 23:00.

One thought on “The wedding of Ari Behn and Princess Märtha Louise of Norway

  1. Netty:

    Nineteen years after the event and reading this post feels like I was experiencing it in real time. Your post is so beautifully written, I was caught up in all the emotions of the beautiful and joyful event that is a wedding.

    The wedding ceremony was truly moving; it is sad that the marriage did not last and most tragic that Ari Behn met his demise before seeing his children grown.

    I have read a lot of negative things written about Martha Louise, but it is obvious, that she marches to the beat of her own drum, is self assured and very confident–her dad said as much at the wedding!

    Thank you for this wonderful resource!



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