As she’s about to embark on an Official Visit to Mexico, I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. Her fear of flying is pretty much legendary among royal watchers and Norwegians alike, and spending a long time in an aircraft, even if she’s reportedly been better in these past years.
She developed the fear after the birth of Marius, her first child. Prior to that she had flown to Australia and back, without much being said about a fear of flying.
After she married the Crown Prince, they were unlucky enough to be honeymooning in Montauk, Long Island on September 11. And although they were not in Manhattan, in the aftermath of the tragedy, they were faced with having to spend more time honeymooning because the reluctance of the authorities to let them fly home straight away.
Mette-Marit’s fear of flying allegedly came to the forefront again.
Her brother, who is a pilot with Scandinavian airways, got on the first plane he could, from Oslo to New York, to assist her on the way home.
Another episode came when she was flying to Haugesund in January 2002, and a photographer caught her unaware. The plane ride in itself seemed to go okay, other passengers reported, but the click from the camera was all it took to topple the fear. The Crown Princess was caught on camera, throwing a tantrum where her husband and her assistants ended up as the target when they tried to help her.
She brought along a psychologist , who specializes in fear of flying, when she flew to the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002.
Given the amount of travel a Crown Princess has to partake in, it is necessary to deal with the fear. Mette-Marit has taken courses on it to educate herself. She has used her brother, who is a pilot, as companionship on flights, as well as a psychologist who specialize in it. The Crown Princess has also admitted to listening to hymns, to calm herself down and to focus on something completely different when she is in the air.
Even if she has it mostly under control these days, she still prefers to take the train for shorter distances.
Let’s hope the flight to Mexico goes okay.