amazed Publish time 10-3-2010 11:58 PM

crown prince and princess of Norway; Haakon Magnus & Mette-Marit

Wednesday March 10, 2010The people’s kingBy CHIN MUI YOON
The young Crown Prince of Norway Haakon Magnus rules with heart and humility.

DURING the oil crisis in 1975, the then reigning Norwegian King Olav V, at the grand old age of 80, was photographed paying for a ticket to ride the tram with his poodle to the Holmenkollen ski jump for a bit of skiing, which is the national obsession. He was also renowned as a hugely popular and unifying monarch, competing in ski jumps and an Olympic champion yachtsman.

Fast forward to 2010: King Olav V’s grandson, the current Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and his wife, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, currently in Malaysia for a state visit, are also known for being approachable, down-to-earth royals.

“Well, I see my role differently; I look at what my opportunities and how I can contribute. I try to narrow it down a little and work from there,” explains Prince Haakon, 37, during an interview arranged for Malaysian journalists at the Royal Palace in Oslo last week, to coincide with their state visit here.

That sense of approachability and equality is evident even at the palace. It’s not often we find squealing children playing with colourful plastic spades in the snow just steps away from the palace’s front door. Happy family: The Crown Prince and Crown Princess’ family, January 2008. – Picture courtesy of the Royal Court of Norway

Mothers pushing prams, couples walking their dogs, and of course, camera-toting tourists, are just some of the common folks trampling the pristine white lawn fronting the palace – the same spot where the Prime Minister presents his new cabinet to the King and Queen, and the people every term.

The Norwegian monarchy has its roots firmly founded on principles of democracy and its first king’s motto of “All for Norway”.

Annexed by Denmark in 1380, Norway had a succession of Danish kings until 1814. For having sided with the French in the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark was forced to surrender Norway into a union with Sweden. A struggle for independence from Sweden ensued until confrontation took place in the summer of 1905. Under threat by the Swedes, Norway sought support from the major powers.

The then government offered young Prince Carl of Denmark the throne as he had excellent alliances. The Danish royal family was connected through marriages with the Russian tsar, German aristocracy, and the British monarchy, as Prince Carl’s father-in-law was the Prince of Wales, soon to become King Edward VII.

“Our monarchy began from a king who was elected by the people,” explains Prince Haakon.

His great-grandfather Prince Carl (later named Haakon VII) sought a referendum from the Norwegian people in the autumn of 1905. It yielded and overwhelming majority favouring a monarchy. This marked the beginning of Norway’s constitutional monarchy.

“He was a king voted by the people. He was accessible and that same philosophy has passed down to us.”
Formalities of the Royal Court aside, Prince Haakon is amicable and willingly answered questions ranging from his personal opinions to the country’s renowned gender equality policies. In Norway, half of all cabinet seats are allocated to women.

Fathers share 10 months of full-pay maternity leave with mothers to ensure parental duties are equally apportioned, and it’s against the law for employers to ask prospective female employees whether they plan to have a child later on.

“Our government is very conscious of gender equality. It’s good for the Norwegian economy to benefit from 100% of an innovative workforce instead of just half if we only concentrate on the men,” says Prince Haakon.

“This has worked out very well with a positive effect on the economy. It has created a good support system for parents and is well accepted within the Norwegian working community. For the system to work, it’s important that men take up part of the responsibility when it comes to bringing up children because one person cannot do everything.” Three generations: King Harald, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Ingrid Alexandra, in a portrait dated Aug 28, 2009. – Picture courtesy of the Royal Court of Norway

Born to be prince

Crown Prince Haakon was born on July 20, 1973, and has a sister, Princess Märtha Louise.

After graduating from the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy in Bergen in 1995, Prince Haakon took up political science at the University of California at Berkeley in the United States. In 1993, he received his masters degree in development studies, specialising in international trade and Africa, from the London School of Economics and Political Science in Britain.

In what’s best described as a fairy tale, he married commoner Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby in August 2001 at the Oslo Cathedral.

They have three children, Marius Borg Høiby, Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus.

Princess Ingrid made history on Jan 21, 2004 when she was born, for she became the first ever heiress to the throne. Unlike Britain, Norway’s gender equality extends even to the royal throne.

In 2003, Prince Haakon was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with a particular focus on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He has travelled to Tanzania, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Guatemala and Burundi under this capacity.

“The experience of visiting different developing countries has affected me in many ways. I have always been interested in issues like poverty. So, when I was asked to become a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, particularly to promote the MDGs, I took up the challenge. They give us new tools and a common language to talk about issues,” he says.

“Even though we are moving forward, there still exists a big difference between regions. Millions are living in extreme poverty. But there has been progress along the way, albeit slow.

“There’s a possibility for a different future for every child. There was a school project in Mongolia where 15 children were attending classes inside a tent on a garbage disposal site.

“When asked about their dreams and aspirations, some replied they would like to be a policeman, a politician, or a doctor. We have the same hopes and aspirations, even those living in dire situations. And, that is something we must take seriously. It has been fulfilling to contribute towards a cause that makes a difference, no matter how minute it seems.”
Prince Haakon has felt a deep empathy towards disparity in the world since he was young.

“I have always reacted to injustice. I always wondered why some people go through extreme hardship and others don’t. This was why I chose to study political science and international relations. My wife and I focus on specific areas which we feel we can contribute towards directly.

“Everyone has a gift of being able to do something good for others. Our lives become more meaningful when we have a sense of purpose.”

Despite having privileged access to unique experiences around the globe, Prince Haakon says that the most memorable events in his life had been, “when I got married and also when my children were born.”

“But, this isn’t the answer you were expecting, is it?” he asks with a twinkle in his eye.

“It’s one of the things that is very close to my heart. It made a big shift in my life. I have never stopped acknowledging how very fortunate I have been to have such rich experiences in my life.” Crown Prince Haakon fishing with local fishermen in the Okavango delta, Botswana, last year. – Picture courtesy of the Royal Court of Norway

Nation with a heart

Norway covers a large geographical area of 385,199sqkm and has a population of only 4.8 million people. It has been contributing towards major causes around the world, and quietly emerged as the largest and most important international force in tropical forest conservation.

The country has committed NOK3bil (RM1.7bil) a year. It is the first country to contribute up to US$1bil (RM3.34mil) alone to a Brazilian fund to reduce deforestation in the Amazon.

Over 130 nations converged in Oslo on Dec 3, 2008, to sign a global ban on cluster munitions. Norwe- gian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store had played a vital role leading to the ban.

“I think Norwegians see ourselves as world citizens,” explains Prince Haakon.

“What happens around the world matters to everyone else. Norway wants to contribute positively towards peace and security. We have been known to facilitate negotiations and peace talks, and we host the Nobel Peace Prize.

“We are very lucky to be in a fairly safe and stable corner of the world. We have had the opportunity to build a society that is equitable compared to many countries,” he says.

Norway consistently ranks among the world’s happiest countries. The United Nations also ranked Norway as the most prosperous country for the fifth year in a row. Here, equality means a factory worker earns nearly as much as a doctor, and a state pension fund generated by Norway’s wealth in oil production ensures state welfare and health care.

“While we are very fortunate to have a safe society and we have wealth from the energy sector, I would like to emphasise that it is not oil and gas that makes us wealthy. Rather, it’s the knowledge, the human capital, how we create technology that makes it possible.

It is how you administer the companies in a professional way, how revenues are used and distributed in society that matters,” Prince Haakon adds.

When asked about the ever-widening gulf between different nations, faiths, religious convictions and ideologies, he replies: “I don’t see the widening gulf between disparities among nations. I focus more on the things that have developed over the past century that have brought us together.

“We now know each other better through communication. And, we are more inter-dependent on one another. When other countries are mired in poverty and desperation, it also creates a security risk that affects other parts of the world. We are inter-connected to each other in a profound sense of the word. For example, as far as climate change is concerned, there’s not one person or country that is able to tackle a complex issue like this.

“I see opportunities for us to work together in constructive ways more than ever before,” he concludes.

amazed Publish time 11-3-2010 12:01 AM
PUTERA Mahkota Norway, Haakon Magnus (dua dari kiri) dan Puteri Mahkota,
Mette-Marit tertarik dengan salah satu lukisan seni bina yang dipamerkan
ketika melawat Pameran Arkitek Norway di Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 10 Mac.
Mereka dalam rangka lawatan rasmi selama tiga hari ke Malaysia. - Bernama

miminn Publish time 11-3-2010 12:03 AM

bagus. royalty mesra rakyat!!

agydeyn Publish time 11-3-2010 12:53 AM

yang aku ingat; waktu crown prince ni nak kawen dengan wife dia; agak controversy sebab wife dia ni ada anak satu with her previous partner..

amazed Publish time 11-3-2010 07:19 AM

Puteri Mahkota Norway kagum seni bina Malaysia
Putera Haakon Magnus (kanan) dan Puteri Mette-Marit mendengar taklimat daripada Pengurus Kawasan Penyelidikan dan Pembangunan Jotun, Sook Im Saw semasa melawat kilang membuat cat Jotun di Kuala Lumpur, semalam.
Turut hadir (dari kiri), Pengarah Urusan Jotun Malaysia, Peder Bohlin dan Pengerusi Jotun Malaysia, Tuanku Datuk Seri Shahabuddin Tuanku Besar Burhanuddin.

KUALA LUMPUR 10 Mac - Puteri Mahkota Norway, Mette-Marit yang dalam rangka lawatan tiga hari ke sini berharap arkitek negaranya dan Malaysia dapat membentuk jaringan kerjasama dalam bidang seni bina.

Beliau yang mengagumi pencapaian cemerlang ditunjukkan oleh arkitek Malaysia berkata, dunia seni bina kini sudah dipengaruhi oleh perkembangan global tanpa mengira batasan geografi dan budaya.

"Banyak pencapaian besar dalam seni bina sudah dicapai Malaysia, antaranya pembinaan bangunan mesra alam Menara Mesiniaga di Subang, Menara Komtar di Pulau Pinang, Pusat Konvensyen Antarabangsa Putrajaya (PICC) dan Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA).

"Begitu juga dengan Pusat Konvensyen Kuala Lumpur (KLCC) dan ini menunjukkan kemeriahan seni bina negara ini," kata beliau sewaktu merasmikan Pameran Alam Semulajadi dan Seni Bina: Perspektif Arkitek Norway di sini hari ini.

Turut hadir pada pameran yang akan berakhir pada 17 Mac itu ialah suaminya, Putera Mahkota Haakon; Menteri Perdagangan dan Industri Norway, Trond Giske serta Timbalan Menteri Sumber Asli dan Alam Sekitar, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.

Pada majlis tersebut, pasangan kerabat diraja Norway itu sempat meluangkan masa melawat pameran selain beramah mesra dengan beberapa warga Norway di Malaysia.

Selain pameran, seminar seni bina turut dianjurkan yang dihadiri oleh arkitek terkenal Norway iaitu Borre Skodvin, Hakon Vigsnaes and Ingebjorg Skare.

Mette-Marit berkata, seni bina memainkan peranan penting kerana ia menampilkan budaya selain menggambarkan kemajuan ekonomi, struktur masyarakat serta keupayaan sesebuah negara.

Putera dan Puteri Mahkota Norway tersebut tiba Isnin lalu untuk lawatan tiga hari bertujuan mengukuhkan kerjasama perdagangan serta meningkatkan perhubungan dua hala antara kedua-dua negara.

Pasangan tersebut turut melawat kilang cat Jotun di Shah Alam dan sebuah syarikat pengeluar minyak dan gas, Aker Solutions di Pelabuhan Klang sebelum berangkat ke Bangkok, Thailand untuk memulakan lawatan di negara itu, esok.

fatinandreanna Publish time 11-3-2010 01:06 PM

Post Last Edit by fatinandreanna at 13-3-2010 03:19

yang aku ingat; waktu crown prince ni nak kawen dengan wife dia; agak controversy sebab wife dia ni ada anak satu with her previous partner..
agydeyn Post at 11-3-2010 00:53

Not only that. HRH Crown Princess Matte Marit the mother of her child Marius now 13 used to attend parties where drugs was consumed and Marius father, Morten Borg is a convicted drug dealer . Majority of Norwegian didnt really mind the fact she had a son out of wedlock since almost half of firstborn there born by single mothers even though they still think its not appropriate choice for CP. But what make Norwegian even more reluctant to accept her as Crown Princess due to this drugs and people approval of royalty significantly dropped since. Days before marriage, she went on press conference , openly wept, apologized and asked the forgiveness from Norwegian people. She also said that she regret her past colourful life and it shouldnt happened & requested her past to be leaved alone. King Harald & Queen Sonja was also stood by her side as the King himself had to wait 9 years before gained his father, late King Olav permission to marry Sonja Haraldsen, a commoner. At that time her appearance was also not regal as what you see. She had to attent grooming & etiquette classes and there a beautiful princess is coming . After a while she gained acceptant and approval by the public as she conducted herself in manner expected by the public of their royalty.

During press conference few days before wedding ceremony on 2001. Picture by BBC

ujio Publish time 11-3-2010 02:46 PM

ooo gitu ceritanya...
tp as long dia dh mintak maaf nk insaf segala bagai..
ok la tu kan...setiap org ada kelemahan diri masing2..
pulak2 lg time muda, kurang bijak nilai hidup...

fatinandreanna Publish time 13-3-2010 02:14 AM

Saya ceritakan sedikit tentang pertemuan Crown Prince Haakon Magnus dengan Crown Princess Mette Marit.

Mereka berdua telah dipertemukan by their mutual friends di Quart Festival, Kristiansand 1999. Quart Festival adalah sebuah festival tahunan muzik rock yg terbesar di Norway sebelum festival ini bankrup pada 2008 kerana persaingan sengit. Prince Haakon dan Mette Merit juga telah beberapa kali mengunjungi festival ini. Kristiansand yg terletak di selatan Norway juga adalah hometown bagi Mette Merit.

Fedrelandsvennen adalah akhbar pertama yg menyiarkan tentang Prince Haakon dan teman wanitanya diikuti yg lain. Bagaimanapun tiada sebarang pengesahan dari pihak istana mahupun Mette Marit sendiri berkaitan perkara ini walaupun mereka secara low profile telah menjalinkan hubungan.

Hanya pada 14 May 2000, perhubungan ini diakui secara terbuka oleh Prince Haakon pada temuramah oleh stesyen tv tempatan. Pada sept 2000, pasangan ini tinggal bersama di sebuah apartment di Oslo.

fatinandreanna Publish time 13-3-2010 03:11 AM

Pada 1 dec 2000, pertunangan antara Prince Haakon & Mette Marit dilangsungkan dan diumumkan oleh King Harald sendiri. Sidang akhbar diumumkan bahwa majlis perkahwinan akan diadakan pada 25 aug 2001

Cincin pertunangan yg diberikan oleh Prince Haakon kepada Mette Marit adalah cincin yg penuh sejarah kerana ia adalah cincin pertunangan yg sama diberikan ayahandanya King Harald dan nendanya King Olav kepada tunang masing masing.

fatinandreanna Publish time 13-3-2010 03:22 AM

During their engagement day.

nazurah Publish time 13-3-2010 06:09 AM

6# fatinandreanna

kalau kat malaysia korang nak terima ke orang macam ni jadi crown princess? sila la jawab dengan jujur :)

madamme Publish time 15-7-2010 11:24 AM

berjiwa rakyat

malaygurlz1984 Publish time 16-7-2010 08:36 PM

alah...ok lh ni...comey jer...

Orange1 Publish time 17-7-2010 12:40 AM

org sana lebih bersikap terbuka walaupun pada awalnya agak menentang jugak sbb background si Mette ni....bukan setakat mette merit ni saja bapak dia pun ada isu jugak, tu yg menambahkan lagi kontroversi tu...

kacangkuda Publish time 30-4-2011 11:05 PM


skymania Publish time 1-5-2011 12:56 AM

Reply 11# nazurah

   tgk ajeh fazura ngan pasah..berjejeh orng tak sker...nak jdk bini TMJ.....tak layak katanyer..:lol:

rosewhite Publish time 23-9-2011 03:02 PM

rosewhite Publish time 27-9-2011 04:56 PM

Princess Mette-Marit and Prince Haakon attendedthe opening ceremony of the One Young World summit in Zurich, Switzerland on 2/9/2011

rosewhite Publish time 11-10-2011 09:08 AM

Norwegian Royal Family attended the commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Fridtjof Nansen at University of Oslo

rosewhite Publish time 12-10-2011 02:09 PM

Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit visited Arbeidsinstituttet Buskerud
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