Princess Giving Up Royal Duties Over Shaman Fiance

Princess Martha Louise will no longer represent Norwegian Royal House
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 8, 2022 1:10 PM CST
Princess Giving Up Royal Duties Over Shaman Fiance
Princess Martha Louise of Norway leaves church after a funeral service in Bad Berleburg, Germany, on March 21, 2017.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)

Princess Martha Louise, the daughter of Norway's King Harald, said Tuesday she no longer will officially represent the Norwegian Royal House following "many questions relating to me and my fiance's role." The 51-year-old princess, who's fourth in line to the Norwegian throne, got engaged in June to Durek Verrett, an American who describes himself as a shaman and a healer on his website. At least one foundation for which Martha Louise served as a patron subsequently ended its connection with the princess, reports the AP. In a statement issued by the palace, she said the decision was made in coordination with her parents "to create peace around the royal household."

The princess will retain her title, but the palace said she informed the organizations where she still served as patron that she was relinquishing the role. The palace statement said the couple would "clarify the distinction between their own activities and the royal household" and will not use the title of "princess" or refer to royals in social media or commercial activity. Norwegian media have accused Martha Louise and Verrett of allegedly using her royal title for commercial gain, along with promoting alternative health-care methods. On Instagram, Martha Louise said, "I believe that alternative methods can be an important supplement to the established medicine." AFP reports Verrett, a "sixth-generation shaman," has written that cancer is a choice and says a medallion helped him beat COVID.

Verrett, 47, will not have a title or represent Norway's Royal House when he and Martha Louise marry, according to the statement. The pair have been together since May 2019. Martha Louise has three daughters from her first marriage, and according to Norwegian media, she plans to relocate to California with them. Alongside her royal duties, the princess has written books in which she claimed to have contact with angels.

"I am sorry that the princess will no longer represent the Royal House," Harald said during a press conference about the issue. The 85-year-old king said that "we agree to disagree." Harald said Verrett "probably thought he could do anything without it affecting us." "He must also take into account what we stand for," Queen Sonja added. As for what they stand for, the statement stressed the royal family's "great confidence in the Norwegian health service and the Norwegian health authorities" and emphasized the importance of "established medical knowledge and scientific research." (Martha Louise's ex died by suicide on Christmas Day.)

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