Picture it: August, 2001, Oslo. The bride has A Past; the groom Is (or is on his way to being) Hot. It’s the first royal wedding in Norway since 1968! Let’s get into it.
a. Dr. Wiki notes, “Because of the background of the bride, the wedding was frequently referred to in publications as ‘unconventional’ and ‘uncommon,’ and Mette-Marit as a modern-day Cinderella.” Said euphemisms are being employed because M-M (a) was a waitress, (b) had a son from a previous relationship, (c) said previous relationship was with a drug kingpin, and (d) “had a ‘well-known past in Oslo’s dance-and-drugs house-party scene,'” AKA, she really used to party. It seems like Norway, after a period of pearl-clutching, evolved to be more-or-less cool about this — which is refreshing!! — and so was Haakon’s family, in party because his own mother was a commoner and apparently it was a real PITA for his father, King Harald V, to talk his parents into letting him marry now-Queen Sonja. (It took nearly 10 years for them to go for it! Harald V told them that he’d NEVER marry and the dynastic line would DIE OUT if they didn’t let him marry her, which is very romantic. He seems, from what I can glean from Professor Wiki, like a very decent dude. He doesn’t even have a “controversies” section of his Wikipedia!)
b. Mette-Marit, on the other hand, might be working her way towards having one. In addition to having a slightly misspent youth, apparently she occasionally took some meetings with Jeffrey Epstein? That guy sure was good at making rich-and-powerful friends! She claims she should have done more research on him and stopped meeting with him because he seemed like a user (I paraphrase); from what I can tell from Google-translated articles in Norwegian media, Norway was not pleased when this news came out and might in fact still be sort of pissed about it.
c. The groom has a BA in political science from Berkeley and doing a little math….was at Cal when my friend Dave was there, which means I am only like twenty or thirty degrees of separation from being Crown Princess of Norway.
d. This wedding was a real festival of Scandinavian royals: Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark was best man, and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden did a reading. I assume they’re all on a Scandi Heir to the Throne Whats-App where they make fun of Prince Charles’s pocket squares.
Let’s look at what everyone wore!