by Scott Mehl
Located in Asker, the Skaugum Estate is the home of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and their family and has been the official residence of the heir to the Norwegian throne since 1929. It is privately owned. The estate encompasses approximately 242 acres, of which 118 are farmed and 124 are forests. In addition to the main house, there are numerous other buildings and structures, many of which are lodgings for current and former employees of the estate.
The property had once been a monastery and was affiliated with the Church of Mary in Oslo. After changing hands several times, it was purchased by Fritz Wedel Jarlsberg, a Minister in the Norwegian government, in 1909. When Crown Prince Olav (later King Olav V) married Princess Märtha of Sweden in 1929, it was necessary for them to have their own home. Jarlsberg arranged to sell the property to Olav, and the newly married couple took up residency after their marriage.
The original building was destroyed by fire in 1930, and a new structure was built on the foundations of the old one. The new building was completed in 1932.
In 1968, upon the marriage of Crown Prince Harald (later King Harald V) to Sonja Haraldsen, King Olav transferred ownership of the property to his son. In turn, King Harald gave the property to Crown Prince Haakon in 2001, upon his marriage to Mette-Marit Høiby. Following extensive renovations, partially funded by the Norwegian government, the couple took up residence just before Christmas 2003.
The L-shaped building includes several representation rooms on the main floor, with the private living quarters upstairs. It is designed to be, first and foremost, a family home, while also being able to accommodate official functions and events for the couple.
Learn more about the other Norwegian Royal Residences here!