Norway's crown princess more popular

Dec. 31, 2004 at 3:28 PM
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OSLO, Norway, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- A poll finds that Norwegians are warming to their future queen, a single mother whose 2001 marriage to Crown Prince Haakon was controversial.

Almost half of those surveyed for the newspaper Aftenposten said that Crown Princess Mette-Marit has performed better than expected, while 34 percent said the princess has met their expectations. Only 1 percent said that Mette-Marit's performance of her official duties has been disappointing.

Marriage has improved the crown prince's popularity, with 45 percent saying he is doing very well and 43 percent giving him a satisfactory rating. Only a handful of people, well under 1 percent, said his performance is very poor.

If he outlives his father, King Harold V, Haakon will be Norway's fourth king since the country regained its independence in 1907. The prince, now 31, broke with family tradition by attending the University of California and then, on his return to Norway, living with Mette-Marit and her son for several years before their marriage.

The couple's daughter, Princess Ingrid, was born in 2003.

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