Princess Mette-Marit and her husband Prince Haakon of Norway are preparing to celebrate their 40th birthdays in style. The royal couple, who will both turn 40 this summer, have decided to mark the special occasion with a lavish party.
The couple have already acknowledged their landmark birthdays and released a series of special photgraphs a month before Prince Haakon turns 40 on 20 July and two months before Mette-Marit's birthday on 19 August, but now the couple plan to celebrate with their friends and family.
From 20 July roughly 220 guests from around the world will arrive at the couple's offiical residence, Skaugum Palace, for a two day birthday celebration that Mette-Marit and her children have arranged for Prince Haakon.
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Prince Haakon's parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja, will stay in their summer residence, Bygdo Kongsgård, to be close to the celebrations and in keeping with the party's festival theme, the guests will stay in tents that have been set up in the palace's grounds.
Music and live performances will be the party's main event although details about which artists will take to the stage are a closely guarded secret.
A month later, mum-of-three Mette-Marit will officially celebrate her 40th birthday. An outdoor church service will take place and will be attended by 350 guests ranging from friends of the princess, to those she has worked with as part of her involvement with numerous welfare charities.
Gunnar Stålsett, the former Bishop of Oslo, will conduct the service which will also be open to the public.
As they near their 40th birthdays, Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit have recently welcomed a new addition to their family.
The family, which includes Norway's heir Princess Ingrid, Prince Marius and Mette-Marit's son, Sverre Magnus, expanded in June when their dog, Milly Kakao, gave birth to nine puppies.
The adorable pets then featured in a series of professional photographs released on the Norwegian royal family's official website.
The intimate pictures, taken by Norwegian photographer Veronica Melå at the Crown Prince and Crown Princess' holiday home at Dvergsøya, show Mette-Marit giving one of the pups a kiss.
The latest photos of the family were taken in the lounge and other areas of their holiday cottage show that even their pet has a royal title.
"The Crown family dog, Milly Kakao, had nine puppies 15 June. This series of photos of the Royal Family and the puppies are taken at Dvergsøya in the second week in July."
"I think it's called love...... " tweeted Princess Mette-Marit recently, with a photograph of her daughter Ingrid Alexandra and one of the beautiful black fluffy puppies resting on her tummy, the two nose to nose in a sweet pose.
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