Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Mensch of a Princess

Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon
Mensch.  That’s the Yiddish word for it.  I’m sure there’s a Norwegian word, but Mensch will do.  A “Mensch” is a person who shows himself or herself to be a decent person by performing a caring act.

The Queen-to-be of Norway is a Mensch.  Her name is Mette-Marit and she is married to Crown Prince Haakon, who is next in line for the Norwegian throne.   One of the employees in the royal household of Norway, whose name has not been published, is a gay man who wanted a baby, but he and his husband couldn't get one in Norway, where surrogacy is illegal.  They solved that problem by going to India for a surrogate.

Unfortunately, that was not the last of their problems.  When the baby was born they found they could not get a visa to India, and there was nobody around to care for the baby.  News reports I’ve read do not go into the reasons the mother was not up for doing that until the fathers could get there.

A real dilemma.  You could beat yourselves up for not getting all your ducks in a row, guys, before the baby is born.  Or, who knows what kind of mix-ups there might have been with visas to foil your plans at the last minute.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit to the rescue.  The guys may not be able to get a visa, but she can.  She’s a Princess and she has a diplomatic passport, so off she goes.  When she gets to India she apparently tells nobody what she’s up to, but simply shows up at the Manav Medicare Center in New Delhi and somehow gets them to release the baby to her as its nanny.  Would love to be a fly on the wall and find out what she had to say and do to get that subterfuge going.  In any case, she was allowed to care for the baby until relatives of the daddies were able to get into the country and take over.

There’s several lessons to be learned here.  One is if you’re going to have a surrogate mother give birth to your baby in a foreign land, make sure you do your homework and get your ass over there for the birth.  Two, have a back-up plan.  Three, if possible, have your back-up plan be a princess.

Four – if at all possible, be a Norwegian, because in addition to having a Mensch for a Crown Princess married to a Mensch of a husband (he agreed to the whole business) you also have members of the press who catch wind of what is going on but withhold publication until the affair is resolved, because the baby and the others involved are not public figures and because all sorts of different people might have stepped in and stopped the process mid-way.  The birth happened in October, the gay married couple finally got a visa in November, and the story went public only days ago after they returned home to Norway.  One hopes that they will all be allowed to get on with their lives, although chances are somebody will sneak in from some tabloid somewhere for a story or two.

There are lots or worse things in the world, obviously, than being from Norway, where somebody in your royal family can become good friends with their employees.   And not be afraid to show it.

P.S.  Not part of this story is the fact that Princess Mette-Marit was a commoner.  Not only that, but a single mother, when she met and married Prince Haakon.  In case you had any thoughts that Norwegians were, as a whole, an up-tight lot.  She was also the child of divorced parents and had a step-brother named Trond Bernsten.  Bernsten was a policeman.  One of the 77 people massacred on the island of Utoya when Anders Breivik went on his killing spree in July 2011. 

picture credit

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Not much more need be said.