Sven O. Høiby

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sven Olaf Bjarte Høiby
Sven O. Høiby-vvsm-cr.jpg
Sven O. Høiby
Born (1936-11-14)14 November 1936
Died 21 March 2007(2007-03-21) (aged 70)
Occupation journalist
Known for Father-in-law of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
Spouse(s) Marit Tjessem (divorced 1984)
Renate Barsgård
Children Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway
Parent(s) Bjarne Høiby
Ingrid Andrea Tvedt

Sven Olaf Bjarte Høiby (14 November 1936 – 21 March 2007) was the father of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. After his daughter married the Crown Prince, he became a national celebrity due to a number of articles in the yellow press, especially Se og Hør.

Early life[edit]

He and Mette-Marit's mother, Marit Tjessem, divorced in 1984. After the divorce, Mette-Marit grew up with her mother, stepfather, and siblings, while visiting her father regularly on weekends.[1] Høiby worked for several years as a journalist in a local newspaper and as a small-scale advertiser and publisher in his hometown. By the time his daughter's relationship to the Crown Prince was publicly known, he had retired from working and was receiving a disability pension.

In his younger days, he participated in athletics. Among others, he achieved a time of 58.0 seconds in the 400 metres hurdles in 1959. He represented the club Kristiansands IF.[2]


Sven O. Høiby became something of a controversial figure following his daughter's marriage to the Crown Prince. The national tabloids and especially the gossip magazine Se og Hør printed several stories where he gave interviews and was presented in less-than-flattering situations.

"En helt vanlig dag på jobben" ("Just another day at the office"), a book published by former Se og Hør journalist Håvard Melnæs, who knew Høiby personally, reveals that Høiby was being paid up to 400,000 Norwegian krone a year by the magazine to appear in articles, and for sharing private pictures and information about his daughter's childhood. The magazine even purchased a mobile phone for him (he couldn't afford one himself) and paid his phone bills as a bonus for his "services".

During this period he made several outspoken comments, and he announced that he was writing a book about Mette-Marit's young son, Marius, her child from a previous relationship. The book never materialised, but the relationship between father and daughter had been strained by this, and Høiby giving information about her to the tabloids. Høiby further estranged himself from his daughter by marrying Renate Barsgård, a former stripper half his age. The couple divorced after three months. At their wedding, folk singer Sputnik was best man.

The magazine and other tabloids have been criticized for taking advantage of a man who seemed to have a less than sound judgment on what kind of articles to participate in. In his book Melnæs reveals that as Høiby had financial problems, he could not afford to say "no" to any suggestions from Se og Hør.[3]

Father and daughter had reportedly reconciled some time before his death and he was, among other events, invited to attend the baptism of Princess Ingrid Alexandra in 2004.


On 25 August 2006 Høiby told Se og Hør that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and he died on 21 March 2007, aged 70.[4] Høiby is buried at Kristiansand cemetery together with his parents.[5]


  1. ^ "Mette-Marit på plass i Kristiansand". 2007-03-21. Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ Johansen, Tore (22 March 1987). "Norge / Norway 1959 – Men" (PDF). Norwegian Athletics Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sven O. Høiby er død - VG Nett om Kronprinsparet". Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  4. ^ "Sven O. Høiby er død". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.