[Complaint to German Press council]
Palace reacts to lies about Marius
May 26, 2005
The scandal press in Germany may finally have gone too far in their efforts to boost sales by spinning wild tales about Norway's royal family, and now action is being weighed after inventions were printed about Marius Borg H°iby, Crown Princess Mette-Marit's son from a previous relationship.
Norway's royal family have tended to ignore the German gossip weeklies despite occasionally offensive fictions, but are not likely to tolerate stories that focus on children, newspaper VG reports.
Three of these magazines feature stories about eight-year-old Marius, something which has upset Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon. One claims that Marius is depressed because the royal family has not accepted him, another that his life is in danger from the threats of kidnappers.
"They (the royal couple) react to the clear focus on children, in this case Marius," palace information chief Astrid Versto told VG. "They will now assess what they will do about these stories."
The Norwegian Crown Prince and Princess are enormously popular in Germany, and they have regularly featured in the fantasies of the glossy weeklies since 2001.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit's imaginary pregnancies, abortions and illnesses have been common ingredients, and high-profile German lawyer Matthias Prinz has recommended that the Norwegian palace take legal action.
The Swedish royal family took a similar matter to court in Germany, resulting in the near total halt of stories written about Princesses Victoria and Madeleine.
Peter Viktor Kulig, editor of German weekly 7 Tage (7 Days) told VG that "it is no secret that there is an element of fantasy in the articles we write".
Kulig said that Germans wanted to read these tales, and that it should not be a problem for young Marius.
"He doesn't read German and he can't get our magazines. They aren't sold in Norway," Kulig said.
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