Mette-Marit’s son ‘seeks publicity’

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Five months after the Royal Palace scolded an Oslo-based magazine for reporting on what it called “the private life” of Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s son, Marius Borg Høiby has willingly posed for and revealed his private life to an international magazine. The palace had no immediate comment.

Marius Borg Høiby and Juliane Snekkestad willingly exposed their private life to Vogue, five months after Høiby’s mother complained that a Norwegian article about the couple had invaded their privacy. FACSIMILE: Vogue

Høiby and his Norwegian girlfriend Juliane Snekkestad are featured in the latest US edition of the French fashion magazine Vogue, wandering around the Norwegian capital and offering their tips for a “romantic, relaxed day in Oslo.” Accompanied by no less than eight photos of themselves, the couple is described as being “young and in love,” with Høiby clearly identified as the 21-year-old son of Norway’s crown princess. The article notes that they currently live in London but “are drawn home by their families and the city’s natural surroundings.”

The couple posed in a variety of locations around the city, promoting some of their “favourite” places like a vintage clothing shop and a waterfront restaurant. The article also refers to Høiby’s “painting skills” that he is now applying to motorcycle jackets. Snekkestad, described as a model who studied fashion in high school, is quoted as saying that “our dream … is to make our own brand.” Høiby is said to be working as a “style editor” for “a luxury lifestyle magazine.” He has grown up with luxury as part of Norway’s royal family, while the family has always tried to maintain an image as being “folksey” and down to earth.

Sharp reaction
The article in Vogue has unleashed sharp reaction from both Norwegian magazine Se og Hør (See and Hear) and Norway’s national editors’ association (Redaktørforening). That’s because it was just last spring when Se og Hør was publicly chastised by palace officials after it reported that Høiby had entered into a new romatic relationship with Snekkestad, and for noting that she has modelled for Playboy magazine.

The Palace issued a statement that “Marius Borg Høiby has on several occasions expressed that he does not want media attention around his private life.” Given the article in Vogue, he seems to have changed his mind. The palace statement in early April went on to express that “the crown couple” (Høiby’s mother and step-father Crown Prince Haakon) thinks “the presentation of Juliane Snekkestad in last week’s Se og Hør is unfortunate.” The article was described as “a violation of the peace of private life.”

Less than half-a-year later, Høiby himself is revealing his private life to a magazine with a much larger circulation than Se og Hør, and the crown couple’s criticism grates on Se og Hør’s editor Ulf André Andersen.

Marius Borg Høiby (second from left behind Queen Sonja) often posed with Norway’s royal family, like here during a Christmas  photo session in 2014. He has no royal title, like his half-siblings Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus, but the royals themselves made a point that he was part of the royal family. At far left, Norway’s King Harald V and at far right, Crown Prince Haakon and his wife, the former Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby. PHOTO: kongehuset.no

“This builds up our argument to report on Marius Borg Høiby and his sweetheart,” Andersen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Thursday. “The article and photos in Vogue show that they are seeking publicity, the opposite of what the Royal Palace says. We were in our full right to write about the relationship between the two last spring.”

Andersen and most other Norwegian editors also view Høiby, who’s always been described by the royals themselves as a full-fledged member of the royal family, as a public person. He has no royal title, since he was born before Mette-Marit married the crown prince in 2001, but he is included in many public events and listed on the royals’ website. Andersen believes Høiby thus must reckon with media coverage.

Andersen urged the Royal Palace and/or the crown couple themselves to file a formal complaint with Norway’s national press federation, but they never did. He’s convinced they’d lose their case.

Se og Hør also received support on Thursday from the national editors’ association. Its deputy leader, Reidun Kjelling Nybø, said the Vogue article is a new example that Høiby actively seeks attention around himself and his private life. Both he and Snekkestad are also active on social media, which Høiby himself confirms in the Vogue article. The magazine for which he works in London has also referred to him as a “prince,” but later corrected the error, according to NRK.

“He must of course expect attention in the media, both as a result of his choice to have a visible role and as son of the future Norwegian queen,” Nybø told NRK, which was unable to obtain comment from the palace.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund