Princess Märtha Louise stepping down as patron for organisations
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Princess Martha Louise’s fiancé Durek Verrett said it was “never my intention” to have his work and words perceived as a “problem for the monarchy”. The couple filmed a video statement shared on the official account of Princess Martha on Tuesday after the Norwegian Royal House announced she was relinquishing her official duties to create a clearer divide between her business enterprise and the Royal Family.
In the video address, Mr Verrett spoke after his fianceé and mentioned the discussions held with senior royals, his take on alternative medicine and the criticism he has faced due to some of his claims and work.
He said: “I have always wanted to support my fianceé Martha Louise and I want her to be happy.
“If her life has become difficult because of some of the things that I have done, then that was never my intention.
“The same goes for her parents, the King and Queen. I want them to be successful in the important roles that they have. I have through the conversations with the family learned a lot and I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the work of the Royal Family in Norway and I respect their constitutional role.
“I know that some of the things I have said and done have been seen as controversial in Norway. Some have even argued that this has become a problem for the monarchy.
“I want to make it clear that this was never my intention. I wish Martha’s family well and I want to do my part in supporting them in their roles.
“At the same time, it is important for me to maintain my own integrity and to be true to myself.
“I, like everyone else, have a right to autonomy, to determine what I believe in and to speak up about it.
“I hope what Martha and I and the Royal Family have agreed on will create the space necessary for this balance to work and to be more robust.”
Mr Verrett, an American citizen who has made a name for himself as a businessman, celebrity guru and self-proclaimed shaman, also touched upon his belief in alternative medicine, saying he has been “saved” by it on several occasions during his life and has “great respect” for the institution and the people in the healthcare system.
Nevertheless, he added, people should use “all available resources” and believes alternative medicine should be adopted “not instead of, but in addition to” traditional healthcare.
Some of the work and beliefs of Mr Verrett – including his suggestion in his book titled Spirit Hacking that cancer is a choice – have sparked criticism in Norway.
On his official website, Princess Martha’s fiancé also sells a £190 “Spirit Optimizer” described as “advanced spiritual technology for spirit hacking and optimization”.
In a video featured on his website, the shaman said this object can be used to “balance the energy in your home” as well as to clear negative energy in the body.
The entrepreneur also offers one-to-one sessions and “wokeshops”.
Princess Martha and Mr Verrett started dating in 2019 after meeting through a mutual friend.
In that same year, they embarked together on a spiritual tour called The Princess and The Shaman, a move which raised eyebrows in Norway.
A few months later, Martha announced she would no longer use her title on business ventures.
In her most recent video, Martha stressed that, while she was breaking her links with royal patronages and would no longer carry out official duties, “there has been no discord in the Royal Family through this process”.
She added: “We have embraced each other’s opinions and views in an amicable fashion with respect and love for one another.”
The same was expressed during a press conference held by her parents, King Harald V and Queen Sonja, on Tuesday.
The Norwegian Queen said: “Even though we disagree on some things, we love each other. And that’s the most important thing. So I have the feeling that the family is now very close to each other in a new, nice way.”
The Royal House’s lengthy statement explained that, to “distinguish more clearly between [Martha and Mr Verrett’s] activities and the Royal House of Norway”, the Princess “will not employ the title of Princess or refer to members of the Royal House in their social media channels, in media productions or in connection with other commercial activities (with the exception of @PrincessMarthaLouise on Instagram)”.
However, the fourth-in-line to the Norwegian throne will retain her title.
The statement also read: “His Majesty The King has decided that the Princess is to keep her title. The King and Queen wish to thank Princess Märtha Louise for the important work she has carried out in her official capacity for several decades. She has performed her duties with warmth, care and deep commitment.”
Martha and her fiancé are expected to continue to be present at family-related gatherings, such as birthday celebrations, as well as certain major sporting events that the Royal Family traditionally attends together.
Following their marriage, Mr Verrett won’t be given a title, similar to what happened to Martha’s first husband, the late Ari Behn.
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