Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Norwegian prince in scandal over unsafe rental apartments

Latest controversy comes shortly after revelations public money intended for official duties had been used to maintain the royal estate

Charlotte England
Monday 24 October 2016 09:32 BST
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway (Getty Images)

The heir to the Norwegian throne secretly rented flats on his official estate without permission and despite some being unsafe to live in.

Crown Prince Haakon let out 11 properties in defiance of the Scandinavian country's property laws. Five of the dwellings were found to be endangering their inhabitants.

The royal was ordered to remove petrol stored in the basement of the buildings at Skaugum, a 1,280-acre country property 12 miles southwest of Oslo. His tenants were moved to hotels while fire alarms were installed.

The 43-year-old had also had some of the buildings redecorated to make them suitable for renting, without seeking permission from the local authority, Norwegian media alleged.

The future king has lived in the main house on the estate with his wife Mette-Marit and their children since the land was gifted to him by his father King Harald V after his marriage in 2001.

Last year the prince is thought to have made £140,000 from renting the properties, which are said to offer magnificent views of the Oslo Fjord.

The controversy surrounding the apartments is the latest in a series of scandals to hit the Norwegian monarchy.

Last September Prince Haakon and his wife were embarrassed by revelations they had spent their holidays on a luxury private yacht costing over £200,000 per week.

Frustration with royal spending habits also dominated the headlines in June, after accusations that public money intended for official duties had been used to maintain the royal estate.

The bills included cleaning and gardening staff at Skaugum and King Harald’s ski lodge, which should have been paid for out of the royals’ salary. This has more than doubled since 2002 to £2 million. The Dagbladet newspaper said the royals’ price tag had risen 37 per cent since 2010.

Crown Prince Haakon admitted via the Norwegian castle's communication manager Marianne Hagen that the renting process had not been carried out in accordance with regulations.

The Sunday Times reported the royal has now been granted a temporary letting permit and his tenants were able to return on Friday.

The royal is expected to eventually be granted a permanent licence to rent the properties.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in