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Why Norway's Princess Martha Louise is stepping down from royal duties

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Why Norway's Princess Martha Louise is stepping down from royal duties
Princess Martha Louise is ending all her royal assignments and patronage activities. Photo by Cathrine Wessel / The Royal Court

Norwegian Princess Martha Louise will retain the title of a princess but will no longer officially represent the royal family, she announced on Tuesday.

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Princess Martha Louise says she made the decision after consulting her parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja.

"After a period during which many questions were raised relating to me and my fiancé's role, I have decided that – at present – I will no longer carry out official duties for the Royal House. I make this decision in consultation with my parents, the King and Queen, in order to create peace around the Royal House," Martha Louise said in a statement.

In June this year, Princess Martha got engaged to controversial American shaman Durek Verrett.

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READ MORE: Norway princess announces engagement to US shaman partner

The controversy surrounding Martha Louise and Durek Verrek caused several organisations to end their cooperation with Martha Louise as their high patron.

Among other things, Princess Martha was exposed to criticism for using her royal position to promote her commercial and business interests in connection with the lecture tour "The Princess and the Shaman" that she carried out along with her fiancé.

A royal patron no more

Now, Princess Martha is ending all her royal assignments and patronage activities.

"It is with a heavy heart and great love for the organisations that I have been a patron of for many decades that I today announce that I am ending the patronage. Working with these organisations, which look after groups in the population I care about greatly, has done a lot for me. I also hope that my contribution has been to the satisfaction and benefit of these organisations," she stated.

"I will also, together with my fiancé Durek Verrett, continue to contribute to creating a clear distinction between our activities and the Royal House when necessary by avoiding that we make the connection to the Royal Family visible. This means that we shall not use my title or refer to other members of the Royal House in our social media channels, media productions, or in connection with other commercial activity," Princess Märtha explained.

A series of controversies

Both Marta Louise and Durek Verrek have attracted a lot of criticism and controversy in Norway in recent years.

READ MORE: Why are Norwegians falling out of love with the monarchy?

For his part, Verrek suggested cancer was a choice in his book "Spirit Hacking."

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He has also recommended exercises to remove "imprints" from women's vaginas left by previous sexual partners, and, as AFP reported, he sells a medallion for 222 US dollars on his website, dubbed a "Spirit Optimizer", which he claims helped him overcome Covid-19.

As for Martha Louise, she has attracted media scrutiny due to her fascination with alternative therapies. She says she is able to speak with angels and has commercially profited from this "gift" via books and courses.

She lost her honorific "Her Royal Highness" in 2002 when she withdrew from royal duties to be a clairvoyant. In 2019, she agreed not to use her title in her business-related endeavours.

A poll in September found 17 percent of Norwegians now have a lower opinion of the generally popular royal family, nearly all citing the princess and the shaman as the reason.

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