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Norway's future queen raring to go on her first day at local state school

20 August 2010
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At the school gates, there were no tears or signs of anxiety. Instead, six-year-old Princess Ingrid of Norway was positively beaming with excitement as she embarked on her first day of school. Her parents, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon, have chosen a primary institution near the royal estate of Skaugum in the town of Asker for her education.

This isn't a first for Norway's royal family; Crown Prince Haakon also attended a state school rather than a private one. However, unlike his daughter, he was driven 15 miles daily to Oslo. His father, King Harald, who was present for Ingrid's big day, had a similar schooling experience.

The approach of Mette-Marit and Haakon to their daughter's first day seemed almost textbook-perfect in its confidence and encouragement. At one point, they playfully lifted Ingrid into the air, a gesture of support and cheer.

This isn't Mette-Marit's first experience with school gates; she has been through this with Marius, her son from a previous relationship, who also attended the same school.

Upon entering Janslokka School, Princess Ingrid, who is second in line to the throne, adhered to Norwegian custom by shaking hands with principal Else Beitnes Johansen. The principal expressed her desire for Princess Ingrid Alexandra and all the new first-graders to have a fantastic start, emphasizing the importance of protecting the princess from "unnecessary attention" to ensure "as normal an education as possible."

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