Royalty and statesmen

While its rocky coastline plunges straight into the crystal clear waters of the Norwegian Sea, Flatholmen features a small sandy area which would make a perfect play place for the couple's three children, Marius, 11, four-year-old Ingrid and Sverre Magnus, three
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Photo: PA

The couple, who have three young children, had originally wanted to build a summer home known as a 'hytte' on an island close to Mette-Marit's home town, but ran into planning difficulties
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Although the rocky outcrop offers privacy, the property would need extensive remodelling to be suitable for the royal couple, leading to speculation that the crown prince and princess may choose to knock it down and start from scratch
Photo: PA

Haakon and Mette-Marit buy holiday home on private island

23 MAY 2008
They've apparently been looking for a summer retreat for several years, and now it seems Norway's crown prince Haakon and his wife Mette-Marit have found the perfect holiday home. The couple have bought a small private islet off the country's south western coast.

The rocky, pocket handkerchief-sized property of Flatholmen which lies just a short boat ride away from the nearby town of Risor, an exclusive resort on what's known as the Norwegian Riviera - consists of a small summer house, a boathouse and a private sandy beach.

While its location offers a level of privacy guaranteed to seduce a couple who spend much of their life in the spotlight, the house itself is small and in need of significant updating. A single storey, 600-square-foot bungalow-style building, it features a tiny kitchen dating from the Sixties and solar panel lighting.

According to reports, however, the royal couple, who have three young children, may extend the property or even replace it completely.

Royal officials have declined to say how much the pair paid for the island, which was originally on the market for just under 900,000.

The acquisition of Flatholmen means Haakon and Mette-Marit now have both summer and winter breaks covered, as they're also building a winter cabin in Buskerud, a mountainous, heavily forested plateau in the south of the country.