16 DECEMBER 2008 With the grounds of their Skaugum residence in Oslo shimmering under a layer of powder snow, there was only one thing for the outdoor-loving Norwegian royal family to do - get out there and enjoy it. It was hard to tell who was having the most fun as three generations of the family crouched down to toast sausages over the glowing coals of a fire pit.
It was the perfect way to warm up for Crown Prince Haakon, his wife Mette-Marit and royal grandparents Queen Sonja and King Harald, after they'd helped four-year-old Ingrid, Sverre, two, and their 11-year-old half brother Marius build a snowman. And there was more snowy action on the cards for the three youngsters later, when they hit a nearby slope on a wooden toboggan.
The royal family will be spending Christmas in traditional Norwegian style at Kongssetern, a log cabin-style lodge nestled in the forested hills to the north east of Oslo, with the main event taking place on the 24th, Christmas Eve. This year it's Mette-Marit and Haakon's turn to spend the holiday with the king and queen, who alternate between the families of their son and daughter Princess Martha Louise.