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Media: Kronprinsesse Mette-Marit, pt. 2

It is time for part II of the documentary about Mette-Marit. A NRK television crew followed her for a year. Part I is here - and was about her personal side. Part II is about her professional side.

It starts with Mette-Marit writing in her office at Skaugum while the kids play outside. As always, as it is a live transcription from a quite talkative documentary – thus some of the translations may be paraphrased to get the gist, if not a literal translation.

A lot of it is in English as it also involves travel abroad.


“It’s been important for me to determine that I’m the one who makes the choices during my life, and others have to adapt.”

In the year they’ve followed her, she’s had 207 official events. She says no to engagements more times than she says yes.

King Harald: “She has very many good ideas, and sees the world from outside.”

Haakon: “She’s a perfectionist”

She came with work experience from the service industry to being the matron of the manor that Crown Prince Olav bought.

She didn’t have a princess school as much as she got involved in learning about the formal organization around the palace. But she points out that those aren’t necessarily those things that one needs to know as a Crown Princess, but that it is okay to be who you are.

“I have such a respect for the role of institutions in society, and I approach my work with humility.” Mette-Marit

“She brings a new dimension into our every day life,” Queen Sonja.

There are pictures from their visit to Germany and with Angela Merkel. Mette-Marit know the art of small talking – apparently evidenced by talking Norwegian metal music with Merkel…

The manor at Skaugum was rebuilt to separate professional and personal life when they moved in, and they’ve also worked on creating their organization – and move away a bit from what is expected from them.

A former manager talked about the brainstorming they had about building their brand – what is important for Haakon and Mette-Marit to do, and select causes that they would go more in-depth on.

They’re showing Mette-Marit in Vienna and the AIDS conference there. “Personally, I hope we can focus on what is important. I am tired of just talking. We have to do things.”

She’s been working with Caitlin Chandler from the US to build a network of young leaders in the fight agains HIV/AIDS. Chandler states that the majority of the work Mette-Marit does is behind the scenes.

“If you don’t to concrete practical things – you’re not getting anywhere. Talking is no use.” Mette-Marit.

“It was the trip to Malawi that changed me. ” “It gave me a responsibility to involve myself.”

She started to further her studies at BI to get more theory in connection with making decisions that she would have to make. She has chosen to write a project on Servant leadership – that the leader is there for the people – “What can I do for them.”

She hadn’t finished her studies when she took the role as CP. She was inspired by her royal predecessor, King Haakon, when he asked for a referendum on whether or not he would take the Norwegian throne or not. And from there what he could do for the people in Norway, and part of his work was creating a Norwegian identity.

“I was very happy to write the paper. I got to learn about King Haakon on a deeper level than I knew before.”

Over to the Swedish royal wedding and the Norwegian royal yacht. They talk over the breakfast table on Ingrid’s role as a bridesmaid for Victoria. To calm Ingrid, the parents are singing with her.

A nanny accompanies Ingrid to her bridesmaid duties. The older generation are meeting and giving each other compliments on how they’re looking.

“She’s very good friends with a lot of our family around Europe. And she’s enjoying it. And it’s not just meeting because they have to, but because they’re enjoying it.” King Harald.

The royal yacht was a gift to King Haakon at his 75th birthday.

“It’s important to remember that this job is something that is supposed to last to the end of life.”

They’re showing a small visit that Haakon and Mette-Marit did in Lillesand. A visit that was meant to take 15 minutes, but the schools had been let out, and there was a decent crowd in the harbor as they were disembarking.

“I feel grateful to be allowed to be represent Norway in that way.” “It is the small steps you take every day that make a life.” Mette-Marit

“What I saw when I fell in love with Mette, was probably a smidgeon of her engagement in causes, and how she gets involved with the positive sides of herself when she gets engaged in causes.” Haakon.

They’re showing clips from the visit to Grimstad.

“She’s very good at connecting with people. I envy her that. I am more restrained.” King Harald.

They’re showing the background planning for the trip to Ghana with the Minister of foreign help/development. It will conflict with Mette-Marit’s AIDS conference in Mali. And they’ve decided that she can’t make both, but at the planning meeting, she’s decided that if there is a flight to Mali working with the time frame, she can make some of the time at the conference too.

“The way to convince the Crown Princess is not with facts, but emotions, and it will take a long time. She will usually get it the way she wants it.”

Her brothers talk of her having a temper and that sometimes it is good.

Her personal assistant is working on her wardrobe and is responsible for packing the luggage for both Ghana and Mali – the Crown Princess has given the message that she is not one of the ones who use a lot of time on her own wardrobe. She wants there to be Norwegian design in there, but apart from that, she’s not spending a lot of time focused on her fashion/clothes.

When Haakon and Mette-Marit are away, Mette-Marit’s mother is the baby sitter. She wants to do it without the help from nannies and staff, so she makes the lunch, and brings the kids to school/kindergarten.

Haakon & MM work as UNAIDS ambassador in Ghana, see culture and clinics. They want to focus on the causes, but it was the yellow purse from Ghana that received a lot of press. Mette-Marit doesn’t talk about her purses.

The grandmother enjoys spending the time with the kids. She has followed them from they were born, both Marius and Ingrid and Magnus.

Mette-Marit is at the conference in Mali. She is meeting the UNAIDS leader, and the young leaders at the conference. “The youths have such drive to get things done.”

An interesting dialogue on how she should be introduced. “However you’d like.”
On being pressed: “If you’re talking about me, Crown Princess. If you’re talking to me, you can call me Mette.”

At the Aids clinic the room is full. She asks if they can remove some of the police officers from the room, so it can work. But then a minister shows up, and the conversation becomes more stilted.

It is emphasized by the head of UNAIDS that she is someone who has the quality of princess but also someone who connects to the people on the street.

Sometimes when there is space in the programme, and if people ask, they’re invited to audiences at the palace.

She talks about how it is important to meet people, to bring with her experiences so she can work for those who need it.

They move to after 22. July, to the first visit outside of the National mourning period. And talk about the time.

“I’ve never hugged so many people that I didn’t know who was.” King Harald.

“I started getting angry. There is different ways to react.” Queen Sonja

“I hope that all four of us feel that we supported each other in this situation. The Crown Prince couple were quite good at focusing on how we should act and do.” King Harald.

“Ingrid had heard things about the events on the radio. She had made a book about it.” Sonja.

The day after the visit in black mourning they celebrated their 10th anniversary and announced that their charitable foundation would start supporting youth who had fallen outside society.

“They’ve too much fight in them at times.” Queen Sonja.

Sometimes Mette-Marit enjoys challenging the King and they debate issues.

Sometimes the King and Queen have to stop some of the things Haakon and Mette-Marit wants to do. Sometimes they don’t.

Mette-Marit’s brother talk about the benefits of getting someone into the royal house with a different viewpoint than the traditional one.

Mette-Marit’s educational project is handed in well before time. She took the course with the leader of the charitable foundation and her former head of staff. Mette-Marit has close friends around in a lot of what she does. And the friends comment that she gives a lot of herself to those around her, and loves to learn new things.

In New York for a UN meeting and with Caitlin Chandler, she has realized that she can’t finished the studies as intended. She’s got top grades for the past two years, and then in the final stretch things didn’t quite worked out. She says she’s worked on realizing that things doesn’t have to be perfect.

A former UNAIDS ambassador says that Mette-Marit’s working on the cause for so long and in such a stable way is beneficial.

Mette-Marit and Sonja appear together at a tea party given by an immigrant, both of them appear to be enjoying themselves. And in the car, Mette-Marit says that it is great to be working with her Mother-in-law.

Commentator: She could have been a building engineer or a waitress, but she chose to be the next queen.

Mette-Marit: “When I face things that I can’t have the time to do or the travels I have to do, I think that I have good time. I don’t have to do everything tomorrow.”

Summa summarum:
I think it has been an interesting documentary. I think it could have been more critical, but at the same time, it has been interesting to see behind the scenes. I think that some of the comments from the family have been rather revealing, and I think none of them are idealizing the image of Mette-Marit, nor do they wish that the media should do it, but that it should be a realistic image. (If they had wished the idealization, I doubt that some of the comments would have come.)

I liked that they’ve split it up in work/private life, but I think that the documentary is jumping around too much at times, and the commentator is talking too much. There could have been more from Ghana, and not just the cars arriving and departing with a short attendance.

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