When the corona measures took their toll, the Crown Prince’s family had to do as everyone else did. It was home school, “71 degrees north” on TV and the grandparents on video link.
– You get very close to each other, right. So then it can be… things peak a bit. It went pretty well for the most part, that is. But it is clear that it is a long time to just be with the family, says Crown Prince Haakon in an interview with NTB.
In recent weeks, he has been out on a trip to Norway to hear how people have felt during the corona pandemic.
– My impression is that people around Norway have been incredibly good at finding solutions, he says.
The Crown Prince’s family also had to throw themselves around when society closed down on 12 March.
– Everyday life was completely different. We got our kids home. They should have homeschooling like everyone else in Norway. At the same time, we stopped meeting in the office. We sat in the home office instead.
The family spent more time on activities such as going for a walk and jumping on the trampoline, says the Crown Prince. They also had a “thing” about seeing “71 degrees north” together.
– As such a nuclear family, we were very intense together over a couple of months. There was not much choice.
He sums up that it “worked quite well”.
– But it is clear, we have two young people aged 16 and 14. After a while, it was probably nice for them to be able to meet some friends as well. And not just be with her mom and dad.
– Have to persevere
On Tuesday this week, the royal ship Norway sailed calmly into the harbor in Kristiansund. On board were the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, and together they strolled around the streets and talked to ordinary people, politicians, school children, cultural actors and health professionals about how they have coped with the challenges of the corona pandemic.
Askim, Rygge, Stokke, Flekkefjord and Florø have received similar visits from the Crown Prince in the last two weeks, and on Friday Stavanger’s turn.
– People say that it has been challenging and that there has been a higher stress level than normal. But that they have largely managed to find solutions. At the same time, we also know that a good number have had a very difficult period, says the Crown Prince.
He understands well that many are starting to get tired of the measures.
– Then it is the case that we have to persevere.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit is one of those in a risk group. She has been open about living with the disease chronic pulmonary fibrosis.
– She is fine and relates to the advice from FHI like most others, says the Crown Prince.
The precautions mean that Mette-Marit participates in fewer events than she would otherwise have been. But on Tuesday she was out on a public assignment again, and she smiled and laughed in a meeting with, among other things, school children.
– It was very nice, says the Crown Prince.
– An exceptional situation
The royal couple must also take precautions like everyone else. Thus, the contact with children and grandchildren has also been different.
– In the “worst” period, we talked at a video conference, and we called on the phone and met each other outside. Eventually when it became more normal, we met each other inside as well, says the Crown Prince.
– What was it like not being able to meet?
– It’s very strange. It felt like a very exceptional situation.
All in all, the Crown Prince feels that Norway has handled the crisis well. He believes it is an advantage that we have a high level of trust, both in each other and in the authorities.
– When there are such intrusive measures, it is important that we also get to present our counter-perceptions and discuss this. I think we have done quite well too
He believes the key to the future will be to be generous with each other.
– When we now enter the autumn and many of us may start to get a little bored, we must be able to bring out some of the best in us and continue to maintain kindness.