Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, heir apparent to the throne of Norway, first met Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby through friends in 1999 when they were both attending Norway’s largest rock festival, the Quart Festival.
When the public caught wind of the relationship, there was quite a bit of public outcry since Mette-Marit was an unwed mother who was known to have been involved in the rave scene. Making matters more difficult, the father of her son was convicted of drug related offences. Not exactly “future Queen material” to many Norwegians.
Despite all of the controversy, Haakon and Mette-Marit decided to move into an Olso apartment together along with her young son. This was quite a departure from tradition to say the least, and Prince Haakon admitted that the decision had been hard on his father the King. However, this all turned out to be a careful strategy set up to help introduce Mette-Marit to royal life. A few months after the couple moved in together, they announced their engagement.
The official announcement came on December 1, 2000. Here is another shot taken that day:
Prince Haakon presented Mette-Marit with a very meaningful heirloom engagement ring. The ring was originally the engagement ring of Crown Princess Martha Louise (she was Prince Haakon’s paternal Grandmother). She was born the Princess of Sweden and Norway and married Crown Prince Olav of Norway. She was quite a looker:
Here is a portrait of on the day their engagement was announced in 1929. The couple became engaged during the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam (another Royal Olympic connection! Check out or favourite Royal Olympic story by clicking here).
The ring was then passed onto Crown Prince Harald to give to Sonja Haraldsen (the current King and Queen of Norway). Interestingly, Sonja was a commoner like Mette-Marit and though there were fears that she would not be accepted as a royal, the Norwegian people quickly warmed to her. History certainly repeated itself with Mette-Marit. Here is a picture of the young couple:
In keeping with this tradition, the ring was passed onto Mette-Marit. Here it is on her finger during the engagement announcement:
The ring is very unique in design and is composed of diamonds and two crescent shaped rubies set in yellow gold.
A few days before the wedding, Mette-Marit addressed her past in a televised press conference. She was tearful when speaking about her past, and she is now well loved by the Norwegian people. To end, here is a recent portrait of the couple:
And if you’re in the mind, check out Princess Mette-Marit’s GORGEOUS wedding dress by clicking here.