Yesterday there was an interview with Crown Prince Haakon in Magasinet. The interview was done while he was in East Timor with UNDP.
Some translated outtakes, as it is a lengthy interview. There is a lot of discussion on the Millennium Development Goals, the UNDP and the trip in general.
“I remember very well that my parents had been in Tanzania and told what they had experienced. I was maybe seven at the time. Besides, my mother was the patron of the first telethon in 1974. Then she worked together with the NRC and visited some of the refugee camps. We talked a lot about that at home. My father has always been keen to preserve nature, and been a champion for our environment.”
The Crown Prince has been on the road for several hours. First the flights, then driving a car. Is the environmental emissions not massive?
He smile is bothered.
“I may not be the best role model for the environment. I fly around the world and is thus perhaps responsible for more emissions than most. Moreover we live in a big house. Nevertheless, we try to do our part. We buy emission allowances on the flights, and we think energy production at home. There we have wood heat and Skaugum has been Eco Certified.”
“I’m not the same today, as the one I was yesterday. Everything that happens in life affects me, and having children is an important dimension to that. I reflect on that a little over when I meet children living in such villages as the one we have visited today. They have quite a different life than what my kids have in Norway.
Q: How do you affect your children, and what do you want them to learn from you?
“Being a parent, is, I think, actually quite difficult. In bringing them up, I feel that I often fall short. I’m no expert, but think that it is important that children get space to be themselves and develop what they are good at. Children are different, they can not be treated equally. There is at least a starting point.”
Q: What have you learned from your children?
“Quite a lot, really. They have certainly taught me to appreciate the moment. Where we are right there and then.”
Q: According crown prince Mette Marit has greater empathy than himself.
“She is very good at meeting new people and to watch people. I certainly have learned a lot from her in that area.”
Q: How were you before you met her?
“Hehe. How I was? I was a little shy. I’ve had to work a bit on that in periods. As to take place, be interested, ask questions.”
Q: In Europe there is a generational shift in royal houses. Both Spain and the Netherlands have conceded to younger forces. Has it perhaps been talked about also in the Norwegian royal family?
“Heh, no. There is no tradition for that in Norway. Besides my father is very vigorous and keeps going.”
The Crown princely family has participated in their children’s school environment, as the other families they have also opened their home for groups of their children’s friends and class parents. It has been that way for all three children.
“Facing the kids I like to focus on the positive, instead of constantly whining about that which does not work. But it is not so easy. I nag and nag, all the time.”