Royal family to take part in bold new documentary TV series after tragedy

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Princess Martha of Norway, the eldest child of King Harald V and fourth-in-line to the throne, has confirmed she will be the protagonist of a documentary series focused on her life and work. The show will be aired by Norwegian broadcaster TV2 and promises to provide a “unique encounter with a warm person like you have never seen her before”. 

Princess Martha said she wanted to show herself under a new light.

She said in a statement: “I am a public figure and the press writes a lot about me.

“This series is an opportunity to show my life in a different and new way.

“I can open up in front of the camera, but I am also concerned with honesty, and that one does not contribute to speculation about me and my life.” 

Upon announcing the show, the royal also spoke about her family’s personal tragedy following the death of her former husband Ari Behn.

Mr Behn took his own life on Christmas Day last year, leaving behind his and Martha’s three daughter Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora and Emma Tallulah.

This experience profoundly marked the family-of-four which, Princess Martha said, is still in grief.

Princess Martha continued: “The most important thing I do is to be present for my daughters.

“We are a family in grief, and in addition we have become very isolated, like most others in Norway.

“We have therefore just started with the recording of the series”.

The princess will feature in the TV show, named Martha, alongside with her three daughters as well as her boyfriend Shaman Durek Verrett.

The pair started dating in May 2019 but, much like other couples who don’t share the same house, have been lived apart for most of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Princess Martha opened up on the impact Mr Verrett has had on her life and understanding of racism in a lengthy Instagram post published in June.

As Black Lives Matter protests were taking place across Europe and the US, Princess Martha spoke about how dating a black man has opened her eyes on the unconscious bias and micro-aggressions her boyfriend often suffers.

She wrote on her personal Instagram account: “Being @shamandurek‘s girlfriend has given me a crash course in how white supremacy is at play and the way I have consciously and subconsciously thought of and acted towards black people.

“How I have taken my rights for granted – never looked properly at what racism really is, because it has been comfortable for me that the system is in place. 

“I am not proud of it, but I realise I need to grow into understanding this deeply rooted system to be able to be part of the dismantling of it.

“I, as a white person, need to grow, educate myself and become better and move from being against racism to being anti-racist.”

Speaking about the forms of micro-aggressions she has seen Mr Verrett experiencing, Princess Martha said: “Racism is not just the obvious (which I thought it was), of the openly discrimination, mistreating and killing of black people which is easy and obvious to take a stand against.

“It is in the details (which I had no idea still existed).

“It is in the way people shy away from Durek.  

“How friends assume he lies about everything. That he is evil for being kind.

“The words muttered under their breath, making it perfectly clear to him that he does not have a natural place at the table.”

The royal added both herself and Mr Verrett have received death threats after their relationship came to light.

She added: “We have both received death threats for being together and have weekly been told that we shame our people and families for choosing each other.

“The reality of it all is that I love how he holds space for me as a woman, listens to my wisdom and shows up for me and my girls.”     

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