Six-year-old Princess Ingrid Alexandra started at the local public school close to the royal residence in Asker on Thursday, the same day that her mother, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, was celebrating her 37th birthday.
Just as the canons at the Akershus Fortress in Oslo were firing at noontime, in honor of the royal birthday, Princess Ingrid Alexandra’s name was being called out in the schoolyard at Jansløkka School in Asker.
It’s the same school that her older half-brother Marius attended. He has no royal title, though, and the little princess is the first heir to the throne to go to the local public school. Both her father, Crown Prince Haakon, and her grandfather, King Harald, were driven to the Smestad Elementary School in Oslo.
They were among those walking with Ingrid Alexandra as she set off for her first day at school, along with her mother and grandmother Marit Tjessem. Her other grandmother, Queen Sonja, was making an official appearance in Florø on Norway’s west coast on Thursday, to mark the city’s 150th anniversary.
School officials claimed that Princess Ingrid Alexandra will be treated just like all the other children in the first grade. Her name was called first, however, as the traditional Norwegian first-day-of-school ceremony of shaking hands with the school principal began.
After all the other children’s names were called out, and all had formally greeted the principal, they were given advice on what to have in the lunchboxes, and told that use of mobile phones during school hours was not permitted.
“There’s quite a bit of pressure on the first day, but we’re cooperating well with the Palace,” principal Else Beitnes Johansen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “We want Princess Ingrid Alexandra and all the other new first-graders to have a fantastic first day.”
She said it was important to shield the princess from “unnecessary attention” so that she will have “as normal an education as possible.”
Princess Ingrid Alexandra has already begun making some official public appearances, like waving from the balcony of the Royal Palace on Norway’s Constitution Day and attending the Holmenkollen Ski Festival. In her free time, she reportedly likes to draw, read books, listen to music and play with the family dog Milly Kakao.
Her family’s official web site also reports that she likes to go skiing in the wintertime and swimming in the summer, and enjoys playing with both her older brother Marius and her younger brother, Prince Sverre Magnus.