Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit think they need a break from official duties. They plan to pull their children out of school and take off on a two-month holiday this winter, defying warnings from school officials who don’t like to see families take off in the middle of the school year.
Princess Ingrid Alexandra, age six, just started school at Jansløkka in Asker this fall, and now will be taken out of classes from late November and into January. Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s son Marius Borg Høiby, age 13, is a student at Solvang Intermediate School in Asker. Prince Sverre Magnus, age four, attends a local day care center.
The crown princess, however, told Norwegian Broacasting (NRK) that she and her husband were cooperating with their children’s schools. She claimed the couple has “great respect” for the work done at the schools, and therefore they thought long and hard about taking off in the middle of the school year. She insisted the children would follow an educational program (pensum) from afar.
“We want to be together as a family, and use time as a family,” Crown Prince Haakon told NRK. “We want to show our children a bit of the world, that there are many different cultures and many ways of living.”
The crown prince said they chose late-autumn, early-winter because the pace of official duties slackens off at this time of year. It seems likely they will miss this year’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and banquet on December 10 and the Nobel Concert on December 11, though, along with many traditional activities associated with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
The couple has maintained an active schedule involving lots of travel this year and clearly feel they’ve been away from their children too much. The couple just returned from several days in New York and the crown prince is due to travel to Indonesia next week as part of his work with the United Nations Development Program.
The couple wouldn’t say where the family will travel, and it wasn’t clear whether the family’s trip might begin with Haakon’s tour to Indonesia. Neither the crown prince nor crown princess is included on the Royal Palace’s list of official duties after November 10.
“We hope we can experience exciting things together,” said Crown Prince Haakon, calling the two-month break “an educational trip.”
The trip means his father, 73-year-old King Harald, will be without back-up for the next two months “but we hope there won’t be too much for the king and queen while we’re away,” the crown prince said. “Luckily we have parents who are positively inclined (to the trip).”