Crown Prince Mette-Marit of Norway "officially" opened her own Twitter account on Wednesday 18 January 2012, and she has already got more than 7.100 followers. According to VG Nett today the account (@CrownPrincessMM) was registered on 28 November 2011, but only on Wednesday did she write her first tweet. The account has been verified by the Crown Prince couple's common Twitter account @Kronprinsparet and by Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen at the Royal Palace in an e-mail today (I contacted the Palace before I had read the verification at @Kronprinsparet).
As Gjeruldsen was not willing to give any further comments other than confirming that the Crown Princess had opened her own account, I gather that there is no media strategy behind the creation. I take it that while @Kronprinsparet will continue to publish news etc. about their public activities, Crown Princess Mette-Marit will use her own account to get a more direct contact with friends, acquaintances, organisations she is involved with through her work etc.
Many royal courts have their own Twitter account. Examples besides the Crown Prince couple are @ClarenceHouse and @palaisprinciermonaco. Royals with their own more or less private Twitter account is of course nothing new. Queen Noor (@QueenNoor) and Queen Rania (@QueenRania) of Jordan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (@HHShkMohd) have been on Twitter for quite some time.
It will surely be interesting to follow the Crown Princess. She is excellent in communicating with people, but on the other hand I some times miss the "royal distance" that for instance Queen Margrethe II has. This is not intended as criticism towards the Crown Princess, just an observation that we don't really need to know everything about the royals 24 hours a day, regardless of what view one has on the monarchical institution. I am sure that the Crown Princess will not tell or comment "on everything", but she has to be careful with what she writes and who she decides to follow. Some times people can be too impulsive when tweeting and it can lead into more trouble and controversy than one could wish for. I will not be surprised if the media some times will make more out of her tweets than she might have intended, so I really hope she knows what she is getting into. She has to keep a clear line between her public role and private sphere, and she has to remember the difference between being private and being personal.
Whether Crown Prince Haakon will follow up with his own account remains to be seen. As already mentioned Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen at the information departement of the Royal Palace was not willing to comment on that particular question. Time will show.
Updated on Friday 20 January 2012 at 19.25 (link added).