After her husband Crown Prince Haakon (50), Mette-Marit from Norway can now celebrate her milestone birthday. This Saturday (August 19), however, will only happen in private circles. The big party isn’t scheduled to take place until August 25 – the couple’s 22nd wedding anniversary. Then the couple celebrate a “backyard party in the palace” together, as the palace announced. Guests should come from all over the country.

With their double birthday celebration, Haakon and Mette-Marit show once again that they are a unit – despite all resistance. First they had to convince many critics of their love, now they fight together against Mette-Marit’s illness. At the beginning, many Norwegians were not very enthusiastic about the blonde with a wild party past and illegitimate child (son Marius, 26). Nevertheless, both held on to their relationship and their future together.

It was said to be love at first sight when they first met at a music festival in 1999. They got engaged just six months later. The crown prince was determined: “I have never been so weak and never so strong. Mette-Marit, I love you!” And they have long since proved that this decision was spot on. They lead a scandal-free marriage and always seem very happy when they perform. On Haakon’s birthday in July, the royal family posted a photo showing the crown prince couple snuggled together and connected.

They have already suffered a number of misfortunes. In the summer of 2011, Mette-Marit’s 51-year-old stepbrother Trond Berntsen was shot dead in the terrorist attack on the island of Ut√łya. Haakon gave her support – as well as with her health problems. In October 2018, the royal family announced that the crown princess was suffering from chronic pulmonary fibrosis. This can lead to shortness of breath and rapid exhaustion. Mette-Marit has therefore repeatedly had to cancel appointments in recent years. Her husband recently told the Aftenposten newspaper: “It’s a serious diagnosis and a chronic illness.” Mette-Marit’s condition varies: “What is difficult one day can be good the next day.”

But overall, the Crown Princess seems to be doing better than a few years ago. In the past few months, she has often been in a very good mood in public, celebrated the graduation of her daughter Ingrid Alexandra (19) and beamed relaxed at the Instagram summer greeting from the crown prince family, which also includes son Sverre Magnus (17).

In the past few decades, the crown princess has not only impressed with her sympathetic nature and the obviously happy marriage to Haakon, but also with her diligent commitment to the monarchy and charitable institutions. She is Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS, and Patron of various organizations such as the Norwegian Red Cross. She is also involved in art, culture and music. And so most Norwegians no longer want to imagine their crown princess 22 years after the once controversial wedding.