Prince William and Kate Middleton's four-day Scandinavian royal tour is coming to a close!
On the final day of the tour on Friday, the royal couple learned about Norwegian pop culture when they visited with some of the country’s most popular teen stars from the hit drama series, Skam.
Will and Kate traveled to Hartvig Nissen School, which was where the series filmed, and were joined by Prince Haakon and Princess Mertens-Marit on Norway. Each season of this popular show, which ended after its fourth season in 2017, focused on topics ranging from relationship difficulties, identity, eating disorders, sexual assault, homosexuality and mental health issues.
The royals met students to learn about the effect Skam had on bringing challenges teenagers face out into the open, and the role played by social media.
Kate wore a purple Dolce & Gabbana coat when she arrived, and chatted with students as she made her way inside. During one exchange, Kate talked with a female student about science classes she took in school before heading to university.
“I went to a school called Marlborough College and then onto university which is where I met William,” she said. “St. Andrews University in Scotland. Miles away, freezing cold. But I can’t complain about that being here. It’s much colder here.”
She also spoke with 19-year-old Shaun Ondo and his friend Alfred Strande, 18. “I told her that her coat was burgundy and she said I had very good English,” Ondo says. “It was nice to see them in real life and nice to see they are such friendly people.”
Strands adds, “We don’t know much about the royal people from England. It was good that they took the time to say hello and shake hands.”
Inside the school, the two royal couples met with actors in Skam and discussed how the show had changed perceptions of young people’s problems.
Tarjei Sandvik Moe, who plays a character who comes out as gay and also has a mother suffering from mental problems, told William: “People from China, South Korea, France and Spain come to visit this school.”
William, who was taking part in a group discussion with students and actors accompanied by Princess Mette-Marit, asked them, “Does it feel that a lot of young people are afraid of the issues, and what you’ve done is brought it to life?”
Tarjei replied: “The issues are hard for people to take. We live in a society where people expect you to deal with problems on your own.”
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Meanwhile, Kate, who took part in another discussion with Prince Haakon, asked how the series — which was broadcast in real time, with school scenes streamed during the day, and party scenes released at night — had changed the school.
The students told her it had had a big effect on the school, with teachers picking up on the slang used by pupils in the show and incorporating it into Norwegian language lessons.
Prince Haakon added that the series, which was originally aimed at the teenage audience, had changed the way the different generations interacted with each other, with parents and teachers watching the show, sometimes with their children.
Later, Will and Kate further cemented their burgeoning friendship with Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit when they were invited for lunch at the couple’s official home, Skaugum. The royal couples hadn’t met before William and Kate stepped off their plane in snowy Oslo on Thursday.
But by the afternoon, when they strolled through the sculpture park and visited some young entrepreneurs, it was clear they were getting along royally.
Later on Friday, they will take a short tour of the Holmenkollen ski museum before ascending to the top of ski jump to talk with and observe junior ski jumpers from Norway’s national team.
Kate and William will treasure their first official visit to the Scandinavian country. In his speech at a dinner at the Royal Palace on Thursday, William warmly praised their hosts.
“Thousands of people cross the North Sea in each direction every year,” he said. “Friendship is the hallmark of what prompts them to make this journey. Catherine and I are delighted that, now, we too have made that journey; we too have experienced the warmth of that friendship on this very special visit.”