Today is the fortieth birthday of the Crown Princess. She was born as Mette Marit Høiby (later changed to Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby) at St Joseph’s Hospital in Kristiansand on 19 August 1973. The official celebrations of the anniversary took part yesterday.
Ever since her 28th birthday in 2001, six days before she married the Crown Prince, the Crown Princess, who is rather religious, has celebrated her birthday with a church service for family and friends in the Palace Chapel. This year this was moved outdoors and took place in the Queen’s Park yesterday.
Like in previous years the former Bishop of Oslo, Gunnar Stålsett, who married the crown princely couple in 2001, officiated at the service. It is traditionally the Bishop of Oslo who serves as the royal family’s chaplain, but the Crown Princess, who belongs to the liberal part of the Church of Norway, obviously has much less in common with the current Bishop of Oslo, the staunchly conservative Ole Christian Kvarme, than with his liberal predecessor.