14 OCTOBER 2002
Queen Sonja of Norway has given a revealing interview in a new book in which she admits she “regrets” some of the choices she’s made, and tells how her experiences have led her to take daughter-in-law Princess Mette-Marit under her wing.

In Norway’s First Ladies, the queen – whose commoner status caused national controversy when her engagement to King Harald was announced in 1968 – says her transition to the throne was sometimes sprinkled with doubt. “Of course there have been periods in my life when I thought the task was very difficult,” she says. “There have been moments when I regretted the path I chose in life. When adversity comes, one wishes one had chosen differently, but that is how it is for everyone.”

And when her son Haakon announced he would marry a controversial choice of bride, commoner and single mother Mette-Marit Tjessen-Hoiby, it brought back memories for the popular queen. “It was strange and painful to experience how the past caught up with me when Crown Prince Haakon got engaged,” she says. “It all came back: the insecurity, the long waiting period, the adjustment to a new existence as crown princess.”

Queen Sonja adds that her own experiences have made her even more devoted to aiding her son and daughter-in-law in the adjustment to the royal spotlight. “Being subjected to such pressure for such long periods of time, I think that one suffers from it for the rest of one’s life,” she says. “And that is why it was imperative that Haakon and Mette-Marit should not go through anything like it.”



        

“When adversity comes, one wishes one had chosen differently, but that is how it is for everyone,” says Queen Sonja, who wed King Harald as a commoner in 1968
Photo: © PA
Click on images to enlarge

The queen says the past “caught up” with her when her son Prince Haakon became engaged to now-wife Mette-Marit. “It all came back: the insecurity, the long waiting period, the adjustment to a new existence as crown princess”
Photo: © AFP

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