Norway's Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit have taken the unusual step of writing an open letter to a newspaper which claimed their son's use of a photo sharing application posed a security risk.The couple said it was "difficult to see" how Marius Borg Holby – Mette-Marit's teenage son from a previous relationship – had brought danger on the family by uploading pictures and GPS co-ordinates of locations of the family's movements to Instagram.
They called the story, which was published by one of Norway's biggest daily papers, VG, "speculative, over-dimensioned and without substance at the cost of a child of 15 years". They added: "We react strongly that you are exposing our child in this manner. For us, it's very important to shield our children against an undisciplined public spotlight because we believe it can be a heavy burden and damaging. All children have a right to be protected against that." The couple also make the point that their official engagements are announced up to 14 days before they take place, so the public can easily find out where they are going to be. "The programs are often detailed down to the minute and the place," they wrote. “This is a security risk we live with every day, every year, an entire life." And their son's use of social media was modest, they said: "compared to most 15-year-olds," and that information about the family's whereabouts could also be found on kongehuset.no - the official website for Norway’s royal family. "It is often known where we’ll be," they said.
In the paper's original report, terror expert Magnus Ranstorp criticised the police for allowing Marius to upload the information. The youngster, who has no royal title, unlike his siblings Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus, had been uploading the info from his mobile phone for 42 weeks before the paper pointed it out. His account was locked after the paper ran the story and the photos are no longer available to view on the internet.