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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 January, 2004, 15:17 GMT
Baby girl for Norway royal couple
Crown Princess Mette-Marit and her husband Crown Prince Haakon
The name will not be released until the Council of State knows
Norwegian Crown Princess Mette-Marit has given birth to a baby girl - who could become the country's first queen to be head of state in 600 years.

The baby, whose name will be released later, was born on Wednesday at 0813 GMT, five hours after Crown Prince Haakon drove his wife to the hospital.

The prince, son of King Harald V and next in line to the throne, said the princess and baby were fine.

"We are very happy. It was a wonderful and strong experience," he said.

"She is the nicest most beautiful baby girl in the whole world."

The baby, who will be second in line to the throne after her father, weighed just over 3.8 kilograms (8.5 pounds).

The birth is a historic event, as this is the first time a daughter of Norway's crown prince and crown princess is born to inherit the throne
Kjell Magne Bondevik
Norwegian Prime Minister

The baby's name will be made public by the prime minister only after the father has first told Norway's Council of State. A meeting is expected to take place on Thursday.

In relation to other European royals, the baby is a great, great, great, great granddaughter of Britain's Queen Victoria.

An amendment to the Norwegian constitution in 1990 means the succession to the throne must go to the first born child of the ruling monarch, regardless of the child's sex.

The Crown Princess, 30, already has a son from a previous relationship, but the boy has no rights to the throne.

Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik sent a congratulatory note to the baby's parents.

It said: "The birth is a historic event, as this is the first time a daughter of Norway's crown prince and crown princess is born to inherit the throne."

Celebrations to mark the birth will include flying flags from all public buildings and cannon salutes from military fortresses.

Norway's last female monarch was Queen Margrete who ruled until 1412.

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24 May 02  |  Europe
Country profile: Norway
21 May 01  |  Country profiles

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