The Crown Princess of Norway has had a notoriously work shy work schedule, has been targeted for criticism because of her materialistic ways, scandalous associations, and preferences for luxury travel unrelated to her duties as a princess. Crown Princess Mette-Marit is also suspected of having been embroiled in an affair with a wealthy Norwegian-American businessman who is supposed to be married! Supposedly the alleged lover is a friend of the couple and it has devastated Haakon, yet the prince has not publicly addressed the issues and rumors and there is not a response from the palace. As a result, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway are reportedly fighting each other! There have been relentless rumors that the crown princely couple have been having serious problems and a rift has been developing for a wide variety of reasons.
The Crown Princess has become notorious for her inability to avoid controversy and scandal. She was blasted by the Norwegian media for going to India using her diplomatic immunity to assist a homosexual couple in watching over the birth of a set of twins via a surrogate. Surrogacy is banned in Norway and has been one of the hottest topics in ethics among medical specialists and religious leaders. To be associated with surrogacy has become controversial in and of itself, but the use of impoverished Indian women has been openly declared exploitative and degrading to desperate people who are desperate for the chance to make any kind of living.
The princess’ luxury lifestyle has been a cause for serious reprimanding as well in the eyes of the courtiers and general population. The Crown Princess developed a preference for expensive haute couture while her closet has been stocked heavily with nothing but designer labels. It has been triggering criticism and her love of luxury has scandalized the down to earth Scandinavian country and low-key royal family and generated substantial bad press. The princess shows a preference for questionable designer combinations and has been known to purchase large amounts of designer dress, but has failed to wear them anywhere, most of her purchases languishing in her closet. The open preference for designs such as Prada, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta (an exceptionally expensive line of gowns), and Chanel has caused disgust in the eyes of traditionalists who view the princess’ extravagance as pointless and irresponsible.
The court of Norway is small, has always been low budget and since the crown princess does not do many duties, there is an increasingly disgusted populace and court who views the princess as behaving like a jet set trophy wife. “The princess has done nothing but behave like a lottery winner and she’s not changed one of her habits, one being that she lacks a sense of direction and has made no progress. The crown prince believes she can do no wrong, but she hasn’t been doing much right,” whispers one miffed staff member. She has been suspected of accepting freebies and not publicly declaring them, one big no-no and she hasn’t been dressing in a more practical manner as well. Her preference for tiny pointed shoes at the toe and stiletto high heels has come across as distracting and she isn’t showing much sense in what she prefers to wear.
In regards to supporting her husband, Mette-Marit is viewed as falling hopelessly short. The princess was absent at a summit meeting between the future monarchs of Europe and the crown prince was forced to make excuses and attend on his own. Her spending has not strained his bank account, but is has caused a lot of tension. The prince possesses an earthy nature and has been unpretentious in his lifestyle outside of his work and enjoys time with his children and family when he isn’t working, but the princess has been spending plenty and not just on clothes. The princess enjoys frequenting the Riviera and beaches of Norway in the summer time and just last year took legal action against a staff of photographers who had snapped her enjoying the summer sunshine with her husband and children. It was called an invasion of privacy, but it caused tension since the princess had been neglecting official duties citing illness, but seemed perfectly healthy as she skipped along the sunny beach. People suspect that the princess was afraid of being seen enjoying yet another holiday instead of enjoying time with her people.
The public did need a lot of reassurance that Mette-Marit would make a good consort for Haakon, since the announcement of his relationship and when marital intentions became clear there was a backlash that had to be subdued and after it was clear that the crown prince would step down and live a private life if denied his chance to marry the single mother and former drug addict, the public and government consented. While the King and Queen acquiesced, it’s believed that they are only tolerant of her at best and were upset that their son had decided upon Mette-Marit. At the time she met Haakon, she was working as a waitress and had long since dropped out of high school. She had had a son out of wedlock and was known to supplement her welfare with strawberry picking during harvest season and was recovering from past drug addiction. All these were major warning signs and the Queen reportedly pleaded with Haakon to break up and move on. Despite this, the prince persevered and Mette-Marit married her prince in a lovely ceremony.
After a while the prince and princess settled into a married life and had several children, with Haakon adapting her son (born out of wedlock) as a secondary father figure and since then Marius has enjoyed the benefit of two father figures (his birth father was convicted for drug dealing and he still does see his biological father frequently) while living in the palace with his mother since she became crown princess. After a settling in period and joint tour, the prince settled back into his normal routine and the princess started showing disturbing signs of itchy feet and a wanderlust that had previously been either undiscovered or disguised. As a way of combining a newly discovered love of travel and to fulfill charitable commitments the princess joined a handful of committees/organizations associated with the United Nations and soon she was often away from the court and attending conferences, greeting delegates, and making speeches. People of the court and country were thrilled, but after a while the princess began to add trips to fashion shows, gala dinners unrelated to her charities, and balls filled with members of the entertainment industry, the type of people the royals in the Scandinavian region do not often socialize with outside of the rare event that involves entertainers.
It wasn’t just galas, but also private events like birthday parties celebrating the birthdays of actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow and various others. Mette-Marit’s eager mingling with the celebrity elite has cheapened the dignity of her title and alienated the court while triggering resentment among the natives of Norway. Unlike the British monarchy the Scandinavian royals have made it a point to involve themselves in more practical schooling and native associations of their country. The princess’ fascination with celebrity has caused her to (in the eyes of the citizenry) ignore the people who would greet her with open arms if she were to dedicate herself to the every day concerns of charity and philanthropy, but her desire to bypass the ordinary duties of a princess send the message that she considers herself, her ambitions, and her desires to be above the ordinary people of Norway. Oddly, despite such ambition, it’s noticed she’s still leading a wandering life undefined by any practical direction that would end up having her be a proper support system for Haakon and enable him to handle the social aspect of royal appearances (though receptions and receiving guests) and something that would promote Norway as more than just one of the low-key Scandinavian nations.
The prince has often been left alone to do his duties by himself, forced to make excuses for the absence of his wife, which has caused awkwardness among the Norwegian courtiers as they see Haakon become more and more of a single father and the royal family has been unsure of how to show support without seeming patronizing or be seen as taking sides against Mette-Marit. Mette-Marit is a modern woman, but the role she has married into requires a substantial amount of old-fashioned restraint and deference to her husband. Haakon isn’t just a man or husband, but a prince as well. To see the future King of Norway being a secondary consideration to his wife has not lowered the respect the people have, but many view it as Mette-Marit showing a lack of respect for the man she is supposed to show respect to as an example to the nation. She’s often dragged her husband along and as a result the prince has been viewed as degrading himself in that he is viewed as tagging along as a chaperone or escort, when it is the princess who is supposed to be following his lead as her wifely duty.
The prince is still in love with his wayward wife and the royal family is afraid of alienating Haakon and jeopardizing their increasingly complicated relationship with him. It’s well known that the Queen and King had disagreed vehemently with Haakon’s desire to Mette-Marit and the prince had to conduct a substantial public relations campaign to end up ensuring the success of his desire to marry Mette-Marit. As a result, the Queen and King and courtiers are delicately picking their way around him and yet are quietly determined to make him see reason that a divorce would be best for him and his future. A divorce between the couple would be the first in Norway’s history and if the rumors of an affair between the princess and an American business executive are true, there is reason to believe that the royal family will be ruthless in making sure that Mette-Marit does not benefit from the marriage by getting a large settlement and it is viewed that Queen Sonja will make sure that Mette-Marit does not receive a home of her own at the expense of the prince and will make sure that the children are primarily raised by Haakon.
“The Queen disliked Mette-Marit from the first and if it is true that Haakon has had to suffer because of infidelity on the part of Mette-Marit, the Queen will make sure Mette-Marit never benefits via a large settlement, courtesy title, and free housing” whispers one source, “The king has had to answer for Mette-Marit’s behavior on more than one occasion and it would be the last straw for the King to have his son cheated on by her.” There has been hostility developing from long held resentment and some are even hoping for a divorce. The courtiers have resented the princess, not just because of her commoner status, but that there was a lot of work required to make her acceptable to the public. It would be one of the biggest slaps in the face if the woman they worked so hard to become acceptable to the people of Norway and the world ended up not just proving them right (in their views about her unsuitability), but also hurting the man who believed in her the most. Titled aristocrats who Haakon bypassed as possible marriage candidates were miffed and resentful (at best, hostile and hateful at worst) in that they are required by protocol to defer to her in many areas and show respect and obedience in public.
If there is a divorce it would be a major letdown; the princess has been considered an example to troubled women that there is always a second chance and her romance and marriage has been considered a major story of redemption, not just sacrifice. The couple has been married for twelve years and a split could traumatize her young son Marius who has had the palace as his home and to go from the royal palace to a different living environment (and lifestyle) would likely cause horrible emotional and psychological damage, along with the regular pain that any divorce brings. Haakon has been a source of great emotional support as a father and since the young boy has entered adolescence a strong father figure is needed. To lose Haakon would be losing the only father he has known, in an in wedlock stable manner.