Crown Princess Mette-Marit ditched royal tradition at controversial wedding

Mette-Marit discussed her 'wild' past before the royal wedding

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway is celebrating 21 years of marriage with her husband Crown Prince Haakon, but their royal wedding day on 25 August 2001 was unconventional for many reasons.

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Firstly, the bride – formerly known as Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby – was a former waitress and a single mother to her four-year-old son Marius from a previous relationship when the couple were introduced by mutual friends in 1999.  Mette-Marit and Prince Haakon announced their engagement in December 2000, and they lived together until their wedding took place eight months later, which was considered controversial at the time.

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WATCH: Inside Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway's love story

Their different backgrounds caused many royal fans to consider her a modern-day Cinderella, and she even addressed her "wild" past in a press conference held shortly before the royal wedding. "My youth rebellion was much stronger than many others. That resulted in me living quite a wild life," she said, before asking for a fresh start.

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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Mette-Marit with her son Marius

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. She teamed it with a simple wedding dress made from heavy silk crepe, with a corseted bodice, a flared skirt with a two-meter train, and 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.

The royal couple are also now parents to daughter Princess Ingrid Alexandra and son Prince Sverre Magnus, born in 2004 and 2005 respectively. 

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