Church to carry Mette-Marit’s name

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A new Norwegian Seamen’s Church under construction in the US will carry the name of Crown Princess Mette-Marit, who has developed and promoted her religious side in recent years.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit, barefoot inside the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, after a pilgrims' hike with her husband, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and others last summer. PHOTO: Regjeringen.no

Mette-Marit, a former party girl and single mother, has since blossomed into a popular defender of the faith in Norway. She publicly denounced drugs and her house party past just before she married Crown Prince Haakon nearly a decade ago and since has promoted her favorite hymns, gone on pilgrim hikes and supported various state church events.

Now the new Seamen’s Church in Miami, Florida will formally be called Sjømannskirken Kronsprinsesse Mette-Marits kirke – Scandinavian Church and Center.

Audun Myhre, secretary general of Sjømannskirken (which operates the Norwegian Seamen’s Churches around the world), told news bureau NTB that Crown Princess Mette-Marit “shows a commitment in church and social affairs that coincide with the values of Sjømannskirken.”

He said the church in Miami “will therefore get a royal name” as part of a “positive” commitment on both sides.

It will be the sixth Seamen’s Church to receive a royal name. The others are located in Stockholm, Paris, New York, Torrevieja in Spain and Copenhagen.

The new church in Miami is due to open this fall, when King Harald and Queen Sonja also will be making an official visit to the US.

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