Kristen Birkeland was born in Wikiborg, Inselöarna to a Norwegian father and an Insel mother; she was their only child. At a young age the family moved to Björnby (Leonore would become a big fan of local club Björnby SK with her father and she has a cousin playing for the club). Birkeland studied journalism at the Royal University of Koningstad in Brunant from 1987-1991 while hosting the show Celebrity Gossip.
Birkeland met Brunanter Prince Wilhelm in 1988 for an interview with Celebrity Gossip. The two began seeing each other more often and in 1990 the couple were married. In 1990 they had their first child, Prince Karl. They would have two more kids, Princess Stephanie (in 1995) and Princess Brigitte (in 2005).