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Sunday, 12 May, 2002, 22:04 GMT 23:04 UK
Norwegian princess suffers sunburn
The wedding ceremony
Princess Mette-Marit at her wedding to Prince Haakon
Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit has been forced to pull out of an official trip to Germany after she was severely sunburnt during a television interview.

Both she and her husband, Crown Prince Haakon, suffered first and second degree burns on the face during an interview conducted by N-TV German television station outside at the couple's Skaugum estate near Oslo.

Norway Crown Prince Haakon
The Prince will continue his visit to Germany despite his burns
A combination of what the Norwegian Royal Palace called "strong spring sun" and reflection from powerful television lights also inflicted slight damage to the Princess' corneas, in a condition similar to snow blindness.

The Princess, who married Prince Haakon in a glittering ceremony last year, was ordered by doctors to cancel the trip.

Controversial marriage

The Prince, who arrived in Munich on Sunday, will continue his trip, visiting Dusseldorf, Bonn, Cologne and Hamburg, the Associated Press news agency reported.

(I'm) very unhappy that she might have kept the beautiful Norwegian princess from travelling to Germany

German journalist Sandra Maischberger
Ironically, the interview was supposed to introduce the couple to an eager German public.

Their relationship had caused controversy in Europe, with the Princess, a single mother and former part-time waitress, attracting much scrutiny for her alleged wild past.

However Norwegian, and European, public opinion has since largely gone in the couple's favour.


Sandra Maischberger, the German journalist who conducted the interview, has apologised to the couple during an interview with a German newspaper.

"I'm terribly sorry, I had asked the royal couple if they wanted to do the interview inside the residence," she said.

"But they both said the spring-time atmosphere in the garden would be a better setting."

She said she was "very unhappy" that she might have kept "the beautiful Norwegian princess from travelling to Germany."

See also:

07 Feb 02 | Health
Sunlight poses skin dangers
25 Aug 01 | Europe
Norwegian prince ties the knot
30 May 01 | Europe
Courting controversy in Norway
09 Apr 01 | Europe
Norwegians start monarchy debate
21 May 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Norway
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