On a cold afternoon on December 21, 2001, Felipe de Borbón appeared by surprise in a small room in the palace of La Zarzuela where a group of journalists, including a representative of this newspaper, celebrated Christmas to talk about Eva Sannum. It was an open secret that the then Prince of Asturias was dating the Norwegian model, a relationship that was not accepted in some of the most conservative circles of society. "I knew you were here and I came to greet you and tell you that Eva and I have decided to end our relationship, we will continue to be friends." In this way, the now King of Spain confirmed the existence of a never-recognized courtship and at the same time the rupture. Eva Sannum from that moment has been silent, only broken on a rare occasion to complain about the harassment of the press. Now, however, he has decided to give an interview to the Norwegian newspaper Aftenpostes in which for the first time he speaks openly about Felipe de Borbón and those years when he dreamed of being the queen of Spain.
The one who was a model now works for that people understand how the press works. He does it at the Sannum & Bergestuen agency, which deals with communication and knowledge of the media. In addition, together with his partner Svein Tore Bergestuen and consultant Christian Lyder Marstrander, he also directs the podcast Tut & mediekjør . That is why he decides to talk about his love story and comment on the interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex . “I identify with Meghan Markle, with coming from something completely different, with being part of such a special family. As many have pointed out, perhaps Enrique should have informed him about that, ”reflects Sannum. Then, when asked if he received any training in the time when he was related to royalty, he responds with a resounding “no.”
Eva Sannum and then-Prince Philip at the wedding of the Norwegian heir. THE COUNTRY
Eva Sannum could have She made her life profitable by telling what it was like to be Prince Philip's girlfriend for five years. He says he had many offers, but turned them down: “I've been avoiding using this old story of mine from Spain for many years. It may seem a bit arrogant, but I don't want anyone to think that I talk about my past with the press and the prince, or that I give an interview because I miss being the center of attention ”
Sannum currently lives in Oslo with his partner, Torgeir Vierdal. Together they have two boys ages 10 and 13. For the memory there is already that image of the wedding of Mette-Marit and the crown prince Haakon of Norway in 2001 , one of the few in which Eva Sannum appears with the now King of Spain. The blue dress with a generous neckline, which she organized so much fuss, now hangs in a closet of a friend who borrowed it for a party in Istanbul. Sannum says that he has read many falsehoods about her, such as that Haakon played a central role in their relationship and that he was the person who introduced them at a party in 1997: “When you choose never to comment on something, as I did, many times they settle down in the press some truths that do not correspond to reality. That a statement is repeated frequently does not mean that it is true ”. And then he explains: “Felipe and I met completely by chance when I was living in Madrid. And it happened in 1996 ″. At the time Sannum was 21 years old and established in the Spanish capital for her modeling work.
In 2000, a photo of the Norwegian prince and his girlfriend was published in front of the Taj Mahal in India. Some media thought that the image had been leaked on purpose to prepare the Spanish for a royal engagement. “The truth is that the photos were stolen from a private photo album. Many, including myself, were suspected of having leaked them. The person who stole them wrote me a letter many years later to ease his bad conscience, ”says Sannum.
After the images of the Taj Mahal, the search for what many thought would be the next queen of Spain intensified. Norwegian and foreign journalists took turns outside the St. Hanshaugen block in Oslo , where he rented a room in a friend's third-floor apartment. “We had a routine every morning where my friend would scan how many people were there. Cars idling, people walking. We quickly learned who was what, ”he recalls. There are countless photos from those years. Many are from Sannum who, with her hair in a ponytail, runs on her way to school. He never smiles, his gaze is often fixed on the ground. “I decided from the beginning never to look at the paparazzi camera. I didn't want anyone to think that I liked being photographed. For a while, I considered wearing the same clothes every day. ”
She went from that animosity towards the press to working with the media. "In many ways it was a cleaning process," he reflects. “I understood better that they have a job to do, that they are not necessarily stupid people. It was the opportunity to be able to contribute after having experienced the influence of the press like few others ”. She is now seen as a critical voice in the debate on how the media defines “public figures.”
As a copywriter at the advertising agency Try she won several awards, before becoming creative director and partner at the communication agency Geelmuyden Kiese. Now he has his own business. When she finished with the then prince, she thought it was wrong to comment on the breakup of a relationship she had never talked about: “Maybe I was a bit stubborn, maybe I should have made a statement. People probably think I missed a life with yachts and champagne. But they don't realize that it is exhausting. It is a life full of limitations. ”
After those years with Felipe de Borbón, he has traveled to Spain on occasion. “When I worked in Try we went to shoot an advertisement in Mallorca, there were many precautions so that my name was not on any production list. But then we got to an apartment where we were going to shoot and it was full of photos of the royal family. The owner of the apartment recognized me and the paparazzi returned on the motorcycles ”. She says that her partner does not give importance to her past with royalty and she does not seem to either: "I am very happy that I did not become queen."