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Norway’s Future King, Crown Prince Haakon, Reveals the Surprising Non-Royal Career He Would Have Pursued



If he wasn’t the heir to Norway’s throne, Crown Prince Haakon would have chosen a very different job.

The son of Norway’s King Harald and Queen Sonja turned 50 this month, and he marked the milestone with an interview with NRK. During the chat, he revealed the sporty endeavor he may have pursued outside royal life.

“I often get asked what I would have done if I wasn’t the Crown Prince,” Haakon said. “Then I would have been a professional surfer on world tour. Maybe an ex-professional by the way, because now I’m almost 50.”

According to his bio on the Norwegian royal family’s website, “Crown Prince Haakon is among those who take advantage of the opportunities to participate in sports and outdoor activities offered by Norway’s natural environment.”

Crown Prince Haakon surfing in 2017.

The Royal Court

“In the summer, he is especially interested in various types of water sports. The Crown Prince is a skilled surfer, and he also takes part in kiteboarding and windsurfing. In the winter he often goes skiing,” it adds.

Fittingly, the royal has a “special interest in marine and polar issues” when it comes to the environment.

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Crown Prince Haakon surfing in 2016.

The Royal Court

The rest of Crown Prince Haakon’s family — wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit, daughter Princess Ingrid Alexandra and son Prince Sverre Mangus — are also surfers.

The royal family’s website features a photo album of the family participating in the sport in Hoddevik off Stad, released in honor of Eurosurf. The surfing championship was held in 2017 and 2018 in southwest Norway, and Haakon sat on the committee for the European championship.

Crown Prince Haakon’s family surfing in 2017.

The Royal Court

Princess Ingrid Alexandra, 19, has followed in her father’s wake. In 2020, she won the national junior championship with her family cheering her on.

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Athleticism clearly runs in the family: King Harald competed as a sailor in the Olympics in 1964, 1968 and 1972.

In his recent interview, Crown Prince Haakon also spoke about coming into his royal role as heir upon the death of his grandfather King Olav when he was a teenager.

“The first big milestone in my life that I can think of is when my grandfather died. Then I was 17 years old, and then there was such an incredible sea of light and flowers. It was winter and very cold, but then lots of people came and lit candles. It made a big impression on me. Then, of course, there was a change in my life too, where I got a new role, and my father too.”

The royal added that King Harald has “been very good at bringing me and the Crown Princess into things. Both my mother and father are involved in that way. It makes things a lot easier, and we learn a lot.”

He continued, “One of the things that he has been concerned with is saying that you have to do things your way. That we should not be a copy of the way he does it. That I have to find my way of doing things. I think that is a good lesson that I want to take with me further.”

Crown Prince Haakon and King Harald.
Rune Hellestad/ Getty

Crown Prince Haakon has stepped in for his father as regent on several occasions when King Harald, 86, was too ill to perform his duties. Instances included when the King underwent surgery for a heart condition in 2005 and was successfully treated for bladder cancer in 2003.

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