For the past two years, journalist and author Kjetil S. Østli has spent a lot of time with H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon. The result is a book where the heir to the Norwegian throne himself tells the stories of his childhood, the freedom of studying in California, when he met his wife Mette-Marit, about life as a father, his burning wish to change the world, and about growing older. We accompany him to his secluded family home at Skaugum and to the Royal Palace, to his cabin in the Norwegian Mountains, and on road trips with the Crown Prince himself behind the wheel. We travel to a NATO exercise, to Oslo's east side, and to Windsor Castle. Haakon - Stories from an Heir is an unusually frank, modern, funny and multifaceted portrait of a coming king.
«After grandfather died, we drove from Kongsseter to the Royal Palace. That's when I saw all the candles outside. First a few candles, then more and more, they grew to an ocean. (...) We stood in the windows and watched it. We saw people slowly approach. Everything was very quiet. We saw them light candle after candle. It moved me to stand there in the palace window and see the palace square shining.»
Will be known as a masterpiece in the genre of royal biographies
Although the two have become well-acquainted through this long process, where Østli also has followed the Crown Prince to work and to the cabin and into the mountains, they’ve held the distance that’s completely necessary for this to be a critical, yet close portrait. Østli has simply placed himself at Champions League-levels when it comes to this rare literary genre.
NETTAVISEN, six/six stars
... one of the best royal portraits I’ve read.
DAGBLADET, six/six stars
The book offers interesting insights into both the person and the institution. […] The result of the collaboration between Østli and Crown Prince Haakon is an original biography worth reading.
NRK, five/six stars
Reflected, knowledgeable, self-assured and sensible. The Crown Prince makes an almost unreasonably good impression in the new biography of him. […] It’s become a vividly written book, where author Østli often shifts between fascination and wonder.
VG, five/six stars
A playful and close portrait
By capturing and putting into words the strange, yet also freeing connection between responsibility, gravity, duty and play, Kjetil Østli has created a strikingly good and likeable portrait of Crown Prince Haakon. One that rightfully places him at eye-level with the people he is born to one day reign over.
Østli is an unusually good observer. He really manages to create a sense of who the reserved heir is, despite the book containing few revelations or unknown information.