Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Princess Comes to Visit

It isn't everyday that a teacher has a princess come to visit in the classroom, but that is exactly what happened when Princess Mette-Marit of Norway dropped into my class on Thursday.  Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary by flying to Zurich in order to attend the four day One Youth World conference, together with the likes of Desmond Tutu, Bob Geldof and keynote speaker Jamie Oliver. The Norwegian Royal couple decided to visit my school, in order to lead a workshop on Global Dignity.  I don't know how exactly it came about, but this Irish republican was landed with the job of playing host to the princess. 

We discovered that we had something in common, both being fans of the Australian rocker Nick Cave and his band, the Bad Seeds. Her Highness, a veteran of the Oslo rave scene and a well known rock fan, attended high school in Australia for one year. The most famous graduate of the school was Nick Cave.  The princess became quite animated when she told me that she had managed to track down some of Cave's old school English essays. These days Cave, former punk and heroine addict, is almost a type of royalty himself.  He lives in upper-class Hove, just outside Brighton; his albums are reviewed in the Financial Times, his novels are reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement, his films play at international film festivals. But he still rocks, especially when he appears with his pared down foursome, Grinderman.

I'll admit that having a princess in the classroom, being a bit out of the ordinary, did make the day a tad more interesting. But I wasn't overexcited.  Now if Nick Cave should come to visit...


  1. Hello:
    Nick Cave lives just down the road from us in Brighton, so if we should bump into him when next in the UK we shall pass on your kind regards!! He recently created quite a stir in a local charity shop after donating many of his clothes and a near stampede erupted by his keen fans wishing to make a purchase.

    Still, it is not every day that a Princess drops by....!!!

  2. I had wondered to myself if you were neighbours. I can imagine it would have caused a stampede. They should have auctioned them

  3. What is the definition of a princess these days...not sure anymore...

  4. Hi DeeBee,
    She is married to the Crown Prince and upon the death of the present monarch she will become Queen of Norway. I guess that defines her.

  5. "this Irish republican was landed with the job of playing host to the princess". Not a problem really. She is just like a politician who has been asked to look into education or youth issues or mental health. Politeness and helpfulness are all that is needed during the hour she was there.

    However the big issue remains. Many of our countries are still constitutional monarchies. And although the royals have no power, we still have to find a way of living with a system that makes one family almost god-like and almost above the law.

  6. Your are right of course Hels. Politeness is all that is needed or, as another monarch, the Dalai Lama, once said: "Respect is the way".

  7. A comment left on Buzz:
    Steve Weatherell - That would make a nice series. My top celebrity in the classroom was Suzanne Mubarak who came to a Maths lesson when I was in Cairo. We did not discover a mutual interest in the early years of punk.12:01 am