The wedding of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby

Oslo, 25 August 2001

The program

Thursday, 23 August 2001

  • During the day most guests will arrive in Oslo, among them several royal guests.
  • 17.00: Guests go to the private party at Skaugum, Asker.
  • 17.30: Arrival at Skaugum. Guests will be received by Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby. Guests will be greeted by King Harald V and Queen Sonja also.

Friday, 24 August 2001

  • Heads of State, royal and other guests will arrive in Oslo. The heads of state and royal guests who have arrived during the morning will be invited for lunch at the Royal Palace by King Harald V and Queen Sonja.
  • 12.25: Boat tour around the Oslo Fjord for royal, Norwegian and foreign guests with the royal yacht Norge hosted by Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby. Transport by boat from the Hjortneskaien to the royal yacht Norge.
  • ca. 12.35: The royal yacht Norge leaves the harbour. 15.30: The guests will leave the royal yacht Norge.
  • 15.40: The guests will leave from the Hjortneskaien.
  • From 18.30: The guests arrive at the Akershus Slott at the Sortieport. 19.10: Arrival of the foreign royals that are not heads of state, together with Princess Märtha Louise, at the Sortieport.
  • 19.15: Arrival of the foreign heads of state.
  • 19.20: Arrival of King Harald V and Queen Sonja together with Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby. The guests will be received at the Borggården by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Mrs Ingrid Schulerud. Procession to the diningroom.
  • 19.30: The dinner is given by the Norwegian government at the Akershus Slott. Around0 300 guests.
  • ca. 23.00: The royals leave the Akershus Slott.

Saturday, 25 August 2001

  • 10.45: Arrival at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Høvikodden. The guests will be able to see “Impulser” – the exhibition of Queen Sonja’s private collection.
  • 12.00: Lunch at the restaurant “Bølgen & Moi”.
  • 13.30: Leaving Høvikodden.
  • 15.15: Guests will start arriving at the Dom Church in Oslo.
  • 16.17: The first procession will leave the Royal Palace.
  • ca. 16:30: Bride and groom will leave the Royal Palace.
  • 17.00: The wedding service at the Dom Church of Oslo starts and will be led by bishop Gunnar Stålsett.
  • 18.05: Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will leave the Dom Church. Guests leave the Dom Church and go to the Royal palace and the Oslo Militære Samfund (OMS).
  • 18.15: Bride and groom arrive at the Royal Palace.
  • 18.30: Guests will arrive at the Royal Palace and the Oslo Militære Samfund (OMS). All together 400 guests are invited for dinner.
  • 18.45: Bride and groom will appear at the balcony of the Royal Palace.
  • 19.00: Official photographs are taken at the Little Feasthall and the Fugleværelset.
  • 19.45: Galadinner at the OMS.
  • 19.45: King Harald V and Queen Sonja greet the guests.
  • 20.00: Galadinner at the Royal Palace.
  • 21:00: Wedding gala for the Norwegian people at the Rådhusplassen. The Norske Opera presents music from “Madama Butterfly”, “Carmen” and “Tosca”.
  • 21.45: Dinner at the Oslo Militære Samfund finishes.
  • 22.15: Dinner at the Royal Palace finishes. Arrival of the guests from the OMS.
  • 22.15: Procession with fireworks, led by the Sinsen Ungdomskorps, will leave the Rådhusplassen and goes to the Royal Palace.
  • 22.25: Bride and groom, King Harald V and Queen Sonja greet the guest who come from the OMS.
  • 23.00: Festive fireworks, royal family at the balcony of the Royal Palace. Guests will watch from behind the windows of the Royal Palace.
  • 23.15: Bride and groom cut the wedding cake.
  • 23.30: Bride and groom open the ball with the bridal waltz. They will leave the palace later that night via the head entrance.

Sunday, 26 August 2001

  • Guests will leave Oslo.


The Royal Palace

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 Akershus Castle

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.

The Cathedral

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 decoration

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 Cathedral

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.

Press conference, 22 August 2001

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.

Private Party, Skaugum, 23 August 2001

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.

24 August 2001

Boat trip

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.

Government dinner

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.

Speech by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and gentlemen

We have reached the eve of the great day. We are gathered here this evening to celebrate two young people who are radiant with joy and anticipation. We share their joy.

Norwegian writer Halldis Moren Vesaas wrote that it is not true that love makes people blind. It makes them wise. Love has a price. But it is a precious thing to find the person one wants to share one’s life with. And it is a fundamental principle of our Christian cultural legacy that: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Our fairytales are woven around this desire – to find love and happiness. Only those with goodness in their hearts can find the way to the king’s castle and win half the kingdom. Only those who can endure trial and tribulation. Over the last year, and right up to the present moment, we have seen this strength in the bonds between the Crown Prince and his fiancée. They stand together. They are ready to take up their duties together.

Exactly 10 years ago, when he was 18 and had come of age, Crown Prince Haakon stood in this banqueting hall and made his first official speech. He compared himself to Askeladden, the hero of Norwegian fairytales, the poor boy who ventures out into the world and finds all kinds of objects on the road, but who throws away nothing until he has examined it and seen whether he can find a use for it. We have followed the Crown Prince from his earliest years. We have learned to know him as he is – determined, full of respect for other people and highly conscious of the task ahead of him. We have seen him at the helm in the Navy and in the Council of State at the Palace. We have learned to know Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, the Crown Prince’s chosen companion. We have seen and heard a courageous woman who has met us with warmth, honesty and maturity. These two are required to share their lives with others to a much greater extent than other people. Together they will now bear the responsibility and the duties involved in uniting the best of tradition order with the demand of a new era.

The kings of modern-day Norway have one thing in common: they have managed to reflect their own time. This can form a contrast to other times, other traditions and other values. But our kings have managed to build bridges – between generations, between values and between people in all parts of the country. Each in his own time, they have all been the people’s king. King Haakon, who was elected by the people, who adopted the motto “We give our all for Norway” and who said No! when threatened by the occupying forces during the Second World War. King Olav, a regal figure and at the same time a king of the people, a symbol of unity for so many years, whose memory the people honoured with thousands of candles in front of the Palace on that dark winter’s night. King Harald, tireless in the servive of his people, serving them with dignity, who knows every corner of his country, and who is a leading ambassador for Norway, together with Queen Sonja, who is deeply committed to sharing her love and knowledge of Norwegian culture.

Now we are getting to know the Crown Prince and the future Crown Princess. We have heard them, in connection with the establishment of their Humanitarian Fund, emphasizing the importance of solidarity in a world where so many are suffering from poverty and want. We have seen them on an ice-cold February evening in Oslo, marking their aversion to racism and intolerance together with tens of thousands of others throughout the country.

As a new century opens before us, “We give our all for Norway” is also becoming a vision of a Norway for all. Norway is an old nation though a young state. We gained our independence and a new Royal Family at the start of the last century. Now we are looking ahead towards a new era, with a new generation of a monarchy that has served its country and its people for almost a hundred years. We see a Crown Prince who is exercising the right of every free individual – the right to be guided by love in his choice of a wife. We see a young woman who is mature and who knows that love transforms all things. We see two young people who are willing to bear the pressure that their position involves in a media-dominated society. We, the people, wish these two young people and their little family every happiness as they grow and develop. May they, too, be able to close the door when they need to, and find peace and quiet together.

Tomorrow Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit will vow to be true to each other, just like in fairytales, which always end with a wedding, the most powerful symbol of love and happiness. Now this point has been reached in real life. Our future king has found the woman he wishes to share his joys and sorrows with. Once more Norway has a Crown Princess for its Crown Prince. And tomorrow the whole of Norway will experience the thruth of the beautiful words from that hymn to love: “So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Speech by HRH The Crown Prince

Your Majesties. Your Royal Highnesses, Prime Minister, Ladies and gentlemen

I felt a little sceptical as I walked up the stairs at Akershus Castle this evening.

One usually spends the day before one’s wedding with close friends, and in such company one must be prepared for anything. After attending meetings of the Council of State at the Palace, I know that the tone around the tabel is not only solemn. Although I am not exactly expecting a bachelor party, there is no knowing what surprises the Government has in store for us tonight.

I am fully aware that the government ministers and other politically committed people have other things to think about at the moment, things that have nothing to do with weddings. I would therefore like to thank you for taking the time in the midst of a hectic election campaign to celebrate this occasion together with us. Thank you for arranging this splendid dinner here at Akershus Castle. Thank you for your generous gift to the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess’s Humanitarian Fund. And thank you for all the support you have given Mette-Marit and me, and the whole Royal Family. I know that a great many people have put a considerable amount of time and effort into the preparations for the wedding. My grateful thanks for all those who have contributed.

Being young means making choices. This is not always easy. As our great poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson once said, “Some moments are moments of choice that decide your whole life.” Although my own future seems predetermined, I can assure you that I have done a lot of thinking about it over the years. The same can also be said of other choices I have made. None of this has been a matter of course. And that includes Mette-Marit’s entry into my life. But as we got to know each other better, it became clearer and clearer what we wanted to do: to spend our lives together.

I know that our choice has not been equally easy for everyone. And I respect this. But I want to assure you that we will both do our best to carry out our duties for the good of our country and the Norwegian people.

Mette-Marit and I want to build our lives and service to the country on a combination of tradition and progress. We want to be the bearers of tradition, preserving the best that previous generations have given us, but adapted to our own time and situation. We are all adventurers in our own lives, and each new generation has to experience things for itself.

Being my parents has not always been easy. Today I would like to thank you, Mother and Father, for giving me the time and the space I needed to find a standpoint for myself. Thank you for giving me freedom with responsibility. Thank you for always taking me seriously and for not talking down to me. Thank you for the love and care with which you have always surrounded me, and for letting me feel that not everything had been decided beforehand, for letting me make my own choices. And, not least, thank you for welcoming Mette-Marit and Marius, for being there and for giving us support and encouragement.

There are a number of important milestones in every life. The present occasion is a significant milestone in Mette-Marit’s and mine. We have already learned a number of things, and will learn a lot more. For me the best way of learning is from individuals, and I am very much looking forward to our tour of Norway and to meeting the people and getting to know local communities. We are also looking forward to serving Norway at the international level. My year in the Foreign Ministry, and the time we both have spent abroad, have hopefully given us a sound basis for such a task.

It is with deep humility and gratitude that we take up our mission. I feel that I am a stronger person now that I have Mette-Marit by my side.

We are looking forward to embarking on our new tasks.

We are looking forward to tomorrow.

The wedding, 25 August 2001

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.

The wedding service

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
  • Introductory organmusic by L.M. Lindeman, Oscar Borg, J. Haarklou and J. G. Wernicke.
  • Entree – Bridal march. Introitus for choir, blowers and organ.
  • Song 8,6. Psalm, Norwegian Psalmbook nr. 698.
  • Introductory speech: In name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
  • Gods word about marriage.
  • Jan Garbarek plays «Eg vil binda blomekransa» on his saxophone.
  • Speech by the Bishop.
  • Exchanging of the vows.
  • Mari Boine sings «Mitt hjerte alltid vanker» in the Samish language, accompanied by Roger Ludvigsen on guitar.
  • Reading Isaiah, chapter 58, verse 5-8 by Princess Märtha Louise of Norway.
  • The Lord’s prayer.
  • Psalm, Norwegian Psalmbook nr.710.
  • Crown Princess Victoria reads the prayer of Francis of Assisi (in Swedish).
  • Motet.
  • Choir: versikkel for choir and organ.
  • Psalm, Norwegian Psalmbook nr. 733.
  • Blessings.
  • Departure: old bridal march – saxophone and organ.

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.

Sermon by Bishop Gunnar Stålsett

Dear Haakon and Dear Mette-Marit “

So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13,13). Today these beautiful words from the Bible are yours. Rarely have they rung out so strongly! They point the way for the life you will live together – a life borne up by faith, hope and love.

The path you have chosen has not been without thorns. But love has prevailed. Today it is being confirmed for all the world to see: love is the greatest of all, greather even than faith or hope. You have given courage to many who long for a love that ‘bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all thing,’ as the Apostle Paul says. You believe in each other as you embark on the future with confidence. You are showing us the creative power of love.

The Cathedral choir has greeted you with the Bible’s powerful tribute to love: ‘for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.’ Passion is a part of life. It can tear down and build up. And passion can also be divine – a physical experience of eternity. It is a gift from God, who on the sixth day made man in His own image. Therefore I say to you, keep alive the passion that unites and renews.

God’s word reminds us that love and fidelity seek each other out. Love does not say, ‘I will love you until tomorrow’, or ‘until next year’, but ‘I will love you for the rest of my life’. The vow to love and honour one another is thus a part of love. Such a promise to God and to the whole world to be faithful for better or for worse says something about how vulnerable love is. This is why you are standing before God’s altar today.

He who is born to be king knows the meaning of destiny. A crown prince has a demanding legacy. Only love can transform destiny into a vocation. Only love can transform duty into a gift. Together with the woman you love, by your side, Crown Prince Haakon, you will find your responsibility easier to bear. And, like your great-grandfather, your grandfather and your father, as you encounter the people’s love, you will also gain the strength to one day bear the great responsibility it is to be Norway’s king.

God moves in mysterious ways. Love’s ways are wondrous. Mette-Marit, you show courage and faith in saying yes to an unknown future. You are beginning a new chapter, with the 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’ (Luke 7, 47). 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.

Your love for your son has shown tenderness and determination. The Prophet Isaiah compares God’s love to a mother’s love when he says, ‘Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands’ (Isaiah 49, 15f). You have not forgotten, you will not forget. Nor will you be forgotten by God.

Haakon and Mette-Marit, the Bible says that you shall become one. This does not mean obliterating your true selves. Marriage is a lifelong exercise in turning towards one another. This means being able to meet each other’s eyes – as you have already shown us so eloquently. It means taking care of the other by taking care of yourself.

‘Be each other’s closest friends,’ as Kofi Annan recently said to you, and as he asked me to remind you today. When a marriage is characterized by friendship it is not threatening but safe to ‘be subject to one another’, as the Bible says.

Love and marriage are not merely a private matter. Lifelong, binding love is part of the public sphere. This is very clear today, when you two take your marriage vows. Relating to two families is enough for most people. You have to relate to a whole nation, a nation with many strong opinions. Rejoice that so many people are offering you their prayers and good wishes! Rejoice that so many are waiting for you in villages and towns all over Norway!

You yourselves have chosen hymns and texts that speak of truth, justice and brotherly love. These are values that the Church, too, wants to keep alive.

For what is the Church’s task if not to give people courage and hope, wherever they are in the world? What is the Church’s vocation if not to show that there is a heaven above each individual life? This is also the main reason why we are here in the Cathedral today. We are here to pray for you, and to pray with you.

We pray that you will always be able to live together in love. We pray for the home you will build together. We pray for the vocation that you will be sharing. We pray that you will help each other towards eternal life. From God’s house the blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ shall shine upon you, upon Marius, upon all those you carry in your hearts.

This is the mystery, this is the secret of faith, what the Bible calls grace: that we may live with God’s blessing. It encompasses everything, our whole life, from birth to death. Grace is what holds our lives together. Even our choices can be borne up by God’s grace – if only we dare.

This is what the old general in Karen Blixen’s tale Babette’s Feast has understood when he thanks her for the meal:

“Man, my friends, is frail and foolish.. in our human foolishness and short-sightedness we imagine divine grace to be finite. For this reason we tremble – we tremble before making our choice in life and after having made it, again tremble in fear of having chosen wrong. But the moment comes when our eyes are opened, and we see and realize that grace is infinite. Grace, my friends, demands nothing from us but that we shall await it with confidence and acknowledge it in gratitude.. See! That which we have chosen is given us.”

Haakon and Mette-Marit, when our eyes are opened we understand that God’s grace is infinite. This is the moment you have waited for with confidence. This is the moment you can acknowledge with gratitude.

Haakon, she whom you have chosen is offered you as a gift.

Mette-Marit, he whom you have chosen is given you.


The wedding dress and other attires

Wedding dress

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.

Bridal bouquet

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 Knight’s Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav
  • The Knight’s Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit
  • The Defence Service Medal with Laurel Branch
  • Olav V’s Commemorative Medal
  • Olav V’s Jubilee Medal
  • The National Service Medal (Navy)

The rings

The bride and groom’s wedding rings have been made in cooperation with jewelry 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:

  • The Knight’s Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav
  • The Knight’s Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit
  • St. Olav’s Medal
  • The Defence Service Medal with Laurel Branch
  • Haakon VII’s Jubilee Medal 1905-1955
  • Haakon VII’s Centenary Medal
  • Olav V’s Commemorative Medal
  • Olav V’s Jubilee Medal
  • The Medal of the Veterans’ Association
  • The Red Cross Medal of Honour

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 jewelry 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 jewelry 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.

Bridal staff

Best man: Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark

Bridesmaid: Linda Tånevik

Bridal children

  • Betina Swanstrøm (8)
  • Emilie Swanstrøm (8)
  • Kamilla Bjørnhøy (12)
  • Anniken Bjørnhøy (7)
  • Tuva Høiby (4)
  • Marius Borg Høiby (4)

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.


  • King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway
  • Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
  • Princess Ragnhild, Mrs Lorentzen and Erling S. Lorentzen
  • Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner and Johan Martin Ferner
  • Marit Tjessem and Rolf Berntsen
  • Sven O. Høiby and Jorunn Wold
  • Espen Høiby and Hege Skatvig Høiby
  • Kristin Høiby Bjørnøy and Per Olav Bjørnøy
  • Per Høiby and Wenche Lindal Høiby

Royal guests

  • King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians
  • Prince Philippe of Belgium Duke of Brabant
  • Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
  • Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
  • Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra of Denmark (on the 23rd and the 24th)
  • Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
  • Hereditary Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Count Flemming and Countess Ruth of Rosenborg
  • King Constantine II and Queen Anne Marie of Greece
  • Princess Alexia of Greece and Carlos Morales Quintana
  • Prince Nikolaos of Greece
  • Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg
  • Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg
  • Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg
  • Willem-Alexander The Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta
  • Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
  • Queen Sofia of Spain
  • Felipe Prince of Asturias
  • King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
  • Princess Madeleine of Sweden
  • Prince Carl and Princess Kristine Bernadotte
  • Madeleine and Nicolas Kogevinas
  • Sophie Ullens de Schooten
  • The Prince of Wales
  • Earl and Countess of Wessex
  • Hereditary Prince Albert of Monaco

Other guests

  • President Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson of Iceland and Dorrit Moussaieff
  • President Tarja Halonen of Finland and Pentti Arajärvi
Dinner and party

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
Filet d’Agneau
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
Bakt minisquash
Lettrøkte rødbeter
Snøfrisk og yoghurt isparfait med friske bær
Snøfrisk og yoghurtisparfait
Friske norske bær: bringebær, blåbær og bjørnebær
Multemousse på multecoulis

Speech by HM The King

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, President of the Storting, Ladies and gentlemen, Dear Bride and Groom

First of all The Queen and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our foreign guests welcome. Many of you have travelled a long way to be here today and we appreciate that you wanted to share this special day with us.

Since this is a special Norwegian occasion, I hope you will accept my apologies for giving this speech in Norwegian.

Dear Bride and Groom, Dear family, official representatives from Norway and friends.

The Queen and I would like to welcome you all to this wedding today. We are very glad that you are able to celebrate this great day together with us. The marriage of one’s only son is a great event, and so is gaining a new member of the family. Because we are such a small Royal Family, we are very close to each other. We are linked not only by family ties, but also by the common tasks we have been called on to undertake.

Dear Mette-Marit, First I would like to welcome you with all my heart into the family, and to the tasks that you will now be part of. This evening you are sitting here as a newly married couple. This is in many ways the culmination of a process that has been going on for almost two years. For The Queen and me, this has been a challenging and valuable process, but above all it has been a good one.

On several occasions I have read that you are an ordinary young woman who has become Norway’s Crown Princess today. This does not fit with my own impression.

You are not an ordinary young woman. You are an extraordinary young woman. You are extraordinarily open and honest. You are extraordinarily committed. You have an extraordinary determination. You have extraordinary courage. Today you have made an extraordinary choice. You are in love with Haakon to an extraordinary extent. And today you have chosen to embark on an extraordinary life.

Your ability to care for others is clear to everyone. It is reflected in all your actions, especially in your role as Marius’s mother. The Queen and I have become very fond of you, and have deep respect for what you stand for.

Dear Haakon, Most people regard making choices as one of the most important parts of their lives. An heir to the throne is born to a role that he is expected to accept. But you have never accepted that your destiny was predetermined. You didn’t wish merely to accept a role. You embarked on a process that involved a good deal doubt and hesitation. You worked your way through this and then concluded that you wished to fill your role, and that you would place yourself at the disposal of the Norwegian people if they so wished.

The fact that you have always had to ask questions before going into a new situation has not always made life easy for you, but it has allowed you to make your life your own, and in this way you have made your destiny your own personal choice.

You have close contact with the time we are living in, you are concerned about the issues of our time, and you are living in accordance with the trends of our time. This has been a challenge not only to your parents, but to others as well. However, those who are close to you see other sides of you that have become more visible recently.

In the field of sport, you have always sought challenges, tested limits and taken chances, but we have also been aware that you have a gentler side, which has become clearer since you met Mette-Marit.

We have also got a much clearer picture of the values and the traditions you stand for through the choices you have made in the last couple of years. You have now found your own path, founded on the traditions and values of our nation.

Today you have confirmed your choice of wife. This is one of the most important personal choices we make in our lives. The Queen/Mother and I are very proud of your choice.

Dear bride and groom, During the last few months, you have experienced the enormous interest aroused by your engagement and marriage. Your life together will also be the object of much greater attention that that of ordinary couples who start out on their lives together.

You are privileged, and you will have a wealth of opportunities that no one else in our country has. You will live an extraordinary life.

In your life together it is important that you accept this extraordinary aspect. At the same time you must not lose sight of yourselves, or of the family life that you will be building. Perhaps the most important thing is that you continue to talk to each other, something that you yourselves have said means so much in your relationship.

You have included The Queen and me in these talks many times. This has given us a great deal – in many ways it has given our lives a new dimension, and we therefore hope that these talks, too, will continue.

Now I would like to ask you all to join me in a toast to the bride and groom, and to wish them every happiness in their future lives.

Speech by Marit Tjessem

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Dear Bride and Groom,

Congratulations dear Haakon and Mette-Marit! This is truly a great day for all of us, and it gives us great pleasure to see your radiant happiness and love.

Like most people in this country, I never thought I would be a guest at the Palace. The King’s palace was the stuff of fairytales and fantasy. I must admit that it is all a little unreal.

I have always been certain that you would be a beautiful bride, Mette-Marit. But today I see that you are even more beautiful and more elegant than I could ever imagine.

All through your life you have been a very special person for your parents and your siblings. You have been a ray of sunshine and a great source of pleasure for all of us. I hope that you will give as much pleasure and inspiration to Haakon and all the others your meet along your way. We are extremely proud of you.

The task you are embarking on is a great and important one. I hope that you will be able to support and encourage each other. Practise taking care of each other. Good luck with your life and work together!

I know that one of the most important things in your lives is being able to talk to each other and with other people. I hope that you will continue to spend time and effort on preserving such golden moments.

Mette-Marit, you have a wonderful husband. Haakon charmed us all from the very beginning, and we have all become extremely fond of him. Thank you, Haakon, for the way you have accepted Mette-Marit – and the whole of our family.

I would also like to thank The King and Queen and Princess Märtha Louise for the warmth with which they have received us. We have always felt welcome and surrounded by affection. We are very moved by the way you have included us and taken care of us.

On behalf of our whole family, I would like to thank you, King Harald, Queen Sonja and Princess Märtha Louise, for giving us so much support, – and above all for the way you have accepted Mette-Marit.

Good luck, dear Haakon and Mette-Marit! I wish you every happiness with the words of the poem ‘Being Great’ by Tove Houck:

“Great deeds are not what make you great deeds are often an expression of the abilities life has given you but the love that warms your deeds the goodness that smiles in your hands show how great you really are.”

Speech by HRH The Crown Prince
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, President of the Storting, Dear Mette-Marit,

Now we’re here. Now we’re together.

I would like to thank you, Father, Marit and the President of the Storting for your inspiring words.

Dear Marit, Sven, Espen, Per and Kristin. It has been a great pleasure getting to know you and your families. I felt welcome from the very start. And although it’s not always easy to be related to the woman who is to marry the Crown Prince, you have never let this get in the way of our friendship. I always enjoy visiting you in Kristiansand, at the family parties at Høyvoll, or at Aunt Sidsel and Uncle Ivar’s. I feel I’ve got to know you well in the relatively short time we’ve been together, and I’m happy that I can now call you my family.

Dear Mother and Father, dear Märtha, you have always been a fantastic support for me, and now also for Mette-Marit. We’ve spent many long evenings talking and discussing over the last year. This has taught me a lot and given me a good feeling. Although it has been tough at times, I feel that it has helped us grow. You are all strong, tolerant people with a great capacity for love. The way you have accepted Mette-Marit and Marius has been wonderful. Thank you for all your support and care.

I would also like to thank Lord Chamberlain Lars Petter Forberg, Private Secretary Berit Tversland, Head of Information Wenche Rasch, and the entire staff of the Palace. Thank you for your tireless efforts and dedication. You have all been of invaluable assistance to us.

My heartfelt thanks also go to all those throughout the country who have supported us in their thoughts and prayers, with handshakes, letters and good wishes. This has warmed and brightened our days.

Dear Mette-Marit, Your soul glows with light.

Living, that means loving The loftiest part of your soul; Living, that means striving To achieve the most worthy goal.

This is what is essential. Everything we do with love comes alive. If loving is combined with striving, each of us can achieve ‘the most worthy goal’. Mette-Marit, you are sensitive, easy to please, detail-oriented, sometimes a bit apathetic, intensely committed, highly strung, courageous, inscrutable. You can be defensive – or resolute, you have a good sense of humour and a big and warm heart. In other words you are an absolutely fantastic, complex person.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so angry with anyone as with you. I don’t think I’ve ever been so weak or so strong as when I’ve been together with you. I don’t think I’ve ever been so filled with love as when I am together with you.

You bring out everything that is in me. When we communicate I feel like a whole person. Thank you for giving me this feeling.

Today you are no longer only my friend, my girlfriend and my fiancée. Today we have been married, and you have become Norway’s Crown Princess. I am looking forward to taking up our tasks side by side with you, and together with Marius. I cannot promise that it will be easy or that there will be no problems, but it will be interesting and meaningful.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live together with Marius. This is a gift in itself.

Thank you for your love and for everything you’ve done, Mette-Marit. I’m proud to call myself your husband.

For now we’re here. Now we’re together.

Mette-Marit, I love you.

And now I would like to propose a toast to the bride.

26 August 2001

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.

My report

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.

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