Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway (née Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby) celebrates her 40th birthday today. Perhaps the most controversial of the current Crown Princesses in Europe, Mette-Marit was a single mother with a party-heavy past before marrying Prince Haakon in 2001. These days, she has settled into her royal role and become an advocate of humanitarian, youth development and arts projects in Norway and around the world. As she celebrates her 40th birthday today, I thought it would be interesting to take a trip back through time and look at how her her hat style has evolved since entering royal life.
Mette-Marit’s hats were initially quite simple and with minimal embellishment. The only statements we see here are the overly rounded or square shapes on the hat crown.
At the May 2001 and February 2002 weddings of Prince Constantijn and Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands; celebrating Norwegian National Day, May 17, 2002; and attending the funeral of Prince Carl Bernadotte, July 10, 2003 in Stockholm.
A few years into royal life, Mette-Marit discovered Philip Treacy and his picture hats. The stronger shapes, larger brims and signature Treacy looped bow became a millinery staple for her.
Celebrating Norwegian National Day in 20003, 2004 and 2008
By 2006, Mette-Marit’s confidence in her royal role was displayed by a series of more bold and daring hats than she had previously worn.
Celebrations for: The Centennial Anniversary (of King Haakon VII and Queen Maude’s Coronation), June 21, 2006; National Day, May 17, 2006; The King of Sweden’s 60th birthday on April 30, 2006; The Centennial Anniversary, June 19, 2006
Mette-Marit contrasted this trend toward more and more dramatic hats with the inclusion of a number of classic pillboxes. There is something magical about her in a pillbox- the overall look is much more formal but I think this is a hat shape she carries extremely well.
Welcoming the Italian President on State Visit, September 21, 2004; Attending the Nobel Peace Prize Award, December 10, 2006; and welcoming the Russian and Lithuanian Presidents on State Visits on April 26, 2010 and April 5, 2011
While Mette-Marit’s pillboxes are one of her signature looks, another is her fascinators. She has long favoured fascinators and carries them exceptionally well.
At a Memorial Service to mark the 100th Birthday of the late King Olav, July 2, 2003; at the Spanish Royal wedding on May 22, 2004; at the baptism of Princess Ingrid Alexandra on April 17, 2004; and at Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles, April 9, 2005
Attending Leah Behn’s baptism, June 9, 2005; The Opening of Svinesund Bridge, June 10, 2005; The Spanish Royal visit, June 6, 2006; and the Diamond Jubilee of the King of Thailand, June 6, 2011
Attending the Centennial Anniversary (of King Haakon VII and Queen Maude’s Coronation), June 20, 2006; reopening of Oslo Cathedral on April 18, 2010, The South African State Visit to Norway, August 31, 2011; and the Monaco Royal Wedding, July 2, 2011
After all these glorious hats and fascinators, Mette-Marit now seems to be taking a “hat break”. Since December 2011, her hats have been very low key – even at the very grandest of royal events.
Attending The December 10, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Awards; Norwegian National Day, May 17, 2012; The Luxembourg Royal Wedding, October 20, 2012; The Enthronement of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, April 30, 2013 and Norwegian National Day, May 17, 2013
I have mixed feelings about Mette-Marit’s recent millinery choices- rumours are that the princess suffers from chronic headaches and if this is indeed the case, hat wearing might not be a comfortable option for her. If her departure from hat wearing is not for medical reasons, I would love to see her return to more substantial millinery pieces (fancy headbands don’t cut it for me at major royal events). Crown Princess Mette-Marit wears hats beautifully and I, for one, would love to see her wear them more.
Photos from: (Row 1) Julian Parker/Mark Cuthbert; Antony Jones/Julian Parker/Mark Cuthbert; Julian Parker; Mark Cuthbert, and Antony Jones, all via Getty (Row 2) Julian Parker via Getty; Monarchy Press; and Julian Parker via Getty (Row 3) Antony Jones; Mark Cuthbert; Chris Jackson and Anthony Jones all via Getty (Row 4) Antony Jones via Getty; Bauer Griffin via Zimbio; Ringnar Singsaas and Ringnar Singsaas via Getty (Row 5) Mark Cuthbert, UK Press, James Whatlig and Pool/Tim Graham, all via Getty (Row 6) VG.no; Julian Parker via Getty Radio Latin America; and Julian Parker via Getty (Row 7) Antony Jones via Getty; Svenskdam; Ringnar Singsaas via Getty; and Sylvain Lefevre via Corbis (Row 8) Ringnar Singsaas via Getty; Svenskdam; Mark Cuthbert/Julian Parker and Pool via Getty; and Dutch Photo Press