The future Crown Princess of Norway was born Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby on 19 August 1973 as the daughter of Sven Høiby and Marit Tjessem. She has a sister and two older brothers. Following her parents’ divorce in 1984, she lived with her mother, and her mother eventually remarried to Rolf Berntsen, and Mette-Marit gained a stepbrother named Trond who was tragically killed in the 2011 Norway Attacks. She grew up in Kristiansand, which was also the place of her birth, and she loved to sail and play volleyball.
Mette-Marit spent a year abroad in Australia during her upper secondary education at Kristiansand Katedralskole, and she graduated in 1994. She then attended the Bjørknes Private School, and she took the preliminary university examination as well as examinations in chemistry and information technology at Agder University College in 1997. From 2000 until 2002, she studied ethics at the Faculty of Social Science and the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oslo. In 2003, she took courses at the University of London and from 2008 until 2012 she studied at the BI Norwegian School of Management in Oslo, where she completed her Master of Management.
After having a child with Morten Borg in 1997, a son named Marius Borg Høiby, she became acquainted with Crown Prince Haakon in 1999. Their engagement was announced on 1 December 2000 to a rather lukewarm reception by the Norwegian people. She was considered to be unsuitable, not in the least because of her self-admitted rebellious youth. Her first official appearance came nine days later at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on 10 December. A few days before the wedding, Mette-Marit spoke of her youth. “My youthful rebellion was much stronger than many others. That resulted in me living quite a wild life. We overstepped the limits. It was a costly experience for me, that I took a long time to get over.” She added that she hoped the issue of her past would now be closed. Crown Prince Haakon said during the press conference announcing their engagement that his parents had been very supportive. “What we two found together was so strong that I could not let it go.”1
Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon were married on 25 August 2001 at Oslo Cathedral with many foreign royals in attendance. She wore a dress of white silk crepe and a 20-foot long veil. Crown Prince Haakon wore an army uniform. Instead of walking down the aisle on her father’s arm, she and Crown Prince Haakon walked together. Her young son served as page boy while Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark was Haakon’s best man. Upon marriage, she became Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway.
On 21 January 2004 at 9:13 am, Mette-Marit gave birth to her first child with Haakon – a daughter named Ingrid Alexandra. Their daughter will be Norway’s first Queen regnant since Queen Margaret, who ruled over Norway, Denmark and Sweden 500 years ago, owing to Norway introduction of absolute primogeniture in 1990. On 3 December 2005, she gave birth to a son named Sverre Magnus. Unlike his grandparents, parents and sister, he is not part of the Norwegian Royal House – though he is, of course, a member of the Royal Family. He also has the style of His Highness, rather than the style of Royal Highness that his parents and sister have.
Since becoming Crown Princess, Mette-Marit became the patron of several organisations, including the Norwegian Red Cross. She also became an ambassador for Norwegian literature, and she established The Crown Prince and Crown Princess’s Foundation with her husband.
In 2018, it was announced that she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, which has no cure. She is undergoing treatment at Oslo University Hospital.