Why Crown Princess Mette-Marit was known as modern Cinderella on wedding day

The couple are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary

Nichola Murphy

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and her husband Crown Prince Haakon got married 20 years ago, but the bride was considered a modern-day Cinderella on her wedding day.

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This was because Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby was a former waitress and a single mother to her four-year-old son Marius from a previous relationship.

Despite their different backgrounds, Mette-Marit and Haakon built a strong relationship after being introduced by mutual friends in 1999. They tied the knot on 25 August 2001, eight months after announcing their engagement – and during that time they lived together, which was considered controversial at the time.

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In a break with royal tradition on their big day, the groom was pictured waiting for his future wife outside Oslo cathedral so they could walk down the aisle together.

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This was not the only unconventional part of their nuptials, since Mette-Marit also chose to swap a traditional wedding bouquet for a long garland made up of rosary vine, with pops of purple and white in the form of Vanda orchids and roses.


Mette-Marit with her son Marius

Mette-Marit looked beautiful in her simple wedding dress made from heavy silk crepe. A corseted bodice gave way to a flared skirt with a two-meter train, and her outfit was finished off with a six-meter veil secured by an antique tiara.

It was reported that Haakon's parents, King Harald V and Queen Sonja, were actually some of the biggest supporters of their relationship, and this was perhaps proven by their sweet wedding gift to their soon-to-be daughter-in-law. They gave Mette-Marit the Diamond Daisy Bandeau tiara.


The couple got married on 25 August 2001

The couple's modern ceremony featured music by internationally-acclaimed Norwegian jazz musician Jan Garbarek and text readings by Haakon’s sister, Princess Martha Louise, and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

Mette-Marit's son Marius acted as page boy during the ceremony, before joining his mother and his new stepfather on the balcony of the Royal Palace to wave to the well-wishers ahead of their wedding banquet.

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