NETTY ROYAL

Oslo, 25 August 2001

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

uploaded: September 2001 / last modified: 9 December 2013

The programme

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.
  • Preparations

    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.

    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.

    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 jewellery designer Ester Helén Slagsvold and are a gift from the Norwegian Association of Goldsmiths. They are made of white gold.

    The attire of the bridal children

    The bridesmaids, Betina and Emilie Swanstrøm, Kamilla and Anniken Bjørnøy and Tuva Høiby, are all wearing dresses of the same material as the wedding gown. The dresses are the result of a collaboration between the bride, Margrethe Gilboe Kirkestuen and Astrid Myklebust, who have designed and made the dresses. The bride’s son, four-year-old Marius, is wearing white tie and tails. His dress coat was made by Frislid konfeksjon, while his shirt was produced in Sweden. His waistcoat and tie were made by Karin Brekke Larsen of Ferner Jacobsen, Oslo. The children’s wreathes were made by Aina Nyberget Kleppe, who also made the bridal bouquet. The wreathes are made of rosary vine, mini-rose orchids, hydrangeas, fescue, beads and metal threads.

    King Harald V's attire

    His Majesty The King is wearing the gala uniform of the Norwegian Army during the wedding in Oslo Cathedral and at the wedding banquet at the Royal Palace. The King is wearing the sash of the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav with star, the star of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit and the star of the Swedish Order of the Seraphim. He is wearing around his neck the Grand Cross with diamonds of the Danish Order of the Danebrog.
    The King is wearing the following medals:

  • 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 jewellery was made for the wife of Emperor Napoleon, Josephine of France.

    Princess Märtha Louise is wearing a bodice of pale pink duchesse satin with a nougat-coloured duchesse satin skirt. At the banquet she will remove her jacket and put on a stole of taffeta moiré and pin a feather decoration on one shoulder. Princess Märtha Louise is wearing Norwegian gold and silver jewellery and the tiara she received from King Olav when she came of age on her eighteenth birthday. She is wearing the sash of the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav with star, a brooch bearing the portrait of His Majesty King Harald V and miniatures.

    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.

    Guestlist

    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.

    Family

  • 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.

    Menu

    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
    Trøffelhonningvinaigrette
    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
    Rissolèpoteter
    Rosmarinsjy
    ***
    Snøfrisk og yoghurt isparfait med friske bær
    Snøfrisk og yoghurtisparfait
    Friske norske bær: bringebær, blåbær og bjørnebær
    Multemousse på multecoulis

    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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