Norwegian Royal Wedding 20 Years On

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit celebrate their 20th anniversary today and as such, we are taking time this week to look back over their 2001 wedding.

Prince Haakon was the second in a line of European crown princes to marry in the early 2000s which, understandably, attracted much attention, as did his choice of fiancé. Thankfully, the intervening twenty years have brought acceptance for Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, whose past involvement in Oslo’s house-party drug culture and four-year old son made her marriage to the crown prince somewhat controversial. In the end, love prevailed and the couple married on  August 25, 2001 at Oslo Cathedral.

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Norwegian Designer Ove Harder Finseth collaborated with Mette-Marit on her bridal gown, its silhouette inspired by the coronation gown Queen Maud wore in 1906.

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The result was a thoroughly modern gown made from custom-dyed ecru silk crepe and 125 meters of silk tulle. The gown’s gently curved open neckline and horizontally draped bodice beautifully softened the minimalist design.

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Full length sleeves and an exquisitely draped skirt that extended to a two meter long train emphasized the gown’s elegant and sweeping line.

King Harald and Queen Sonja gifted an antique bandeau diamond tiara to their their new daughter-in-law. The Edwardian piece, which dates to about 1910 and features a delicate scrolled daisy motif, has since become her signature tiara.

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Mette-Marit’s bridal look was completed with a 6-meter long silk veil tucked into the chignon on the back of her head which, unusually, extended well beyond the train of her gown.  The exquisite combination of train and veil, as one commentator wrote, “creates the effect of a bride floating down the aisle on her own personal cloud.”  The overall bridal look was one of lightness and restraint that suited her, perfectly.

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Crown Prince Haakon, and his best man Crown Prince Frederik, both wore military uniform.

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Adult bridesmaid  Linda Tånevik wore a silver-lilac silk halter necked gown and wrap with silver hair ornaments studded throughout her updo. The young flower girls, Mette-Marit’s nieces and children of Haakon’s maternal cousin, wore delicate woven floral wreaths in the same purple blooms as in the bride’s trailing bouquet.

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What do you think of this bridal look, 20 years on? For tiaras (and uniform caps!) worn by Norwegian royal family members and other royal guests, jump over to these posts:

Norwegian Royal Wedding 20 Years On: Scandinavian Royals

Norwegian Royal Wedding 20 Years On: European Royals


Images from Getty and social media as indicated  

8 thoughts on “Norwegian Royal Wedding 20 Years On

  1. A wonderful dress, especially when seen in motion! The tiara is small, but suits the pared down simplicity of the Bride’s style.

  2. Oh my, do I love this gown! As others have said, it’s so ethereal and just perfect for a modern bride becoming a princess. And it moves so beautifully. I agree with Shanon that the delicate Daisy is perfect for Mette-Marit. JamesB makes a good point about the makeup, and I think the hair could have been more styled as it has been in subsequent appearances. I find the bouquet distracting, but that’s a quibble when the overall impression is this memorable.

  3. Whenever a royal bride goes for such a simple look it’s always quite arresting. It takes some confidence to do it actually, as people expect so much, but with this dress Mette-Marit absolutely shone. The design is so simple, and yet the construction must be quite complex for it to retain its shape so well throughout a long day. I love the colour and the soft flowing material. I even love the bouquet which I know divides opinion. My only tweak would be for stronger make up, like she wears now.

    All in all a classic royal bridal look.

  4. Definitely one of the most beautiful bridal gowns. So simple and ethereal. The Daisy tiara suits Mette-Marit’s minimalist style so well.

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