21 JANUARY 2004
The Norwegian royal family is celebrating today after Princess Mette-Marit gave birth to a baby girl. Both mother and child are said to be doing well after the infant was delivered without complications at 9.14am.
Crown Prince Haakon, who is acting regent while his father King Harald recovers from a recent operation, drove his wife to hospital at 4 o'clock on Wednesday morning. A few hours later, in a swiftly prepared press room at Norway's Rikshospitalet Hospital, the birth was officially announced.
And the new princess has extra-special status, as she is Norway's first ever female heir to the throne. Those eager to know the infant's name will have to wait a while longer, however, because it will not be divulged until a press conference later in the week.
For the meantime, Mette-Marit and Haakon will be enjoying some quality time with their new arrival. Every preparation had been made at the hospital, which says it gained valuable experience from the birth of Princess Martha Louise's baby, Maud Angelica, last April.