OSLO: Norway’s Princess Martha Louise on Tuesday relinquished her royal duties in order to focus on her alternative medicine business with her fiance, a self-proclaimed shaman.
The 51-year-old princess’ relationship with Durek Verrett, a popular Hollywood spiritual guru, caused waves in Norway after the African-American “sixth-generation shaman” suggested in his book “Spirit Hacking” that cancer was a choice.
He also sells a $222 medallion on his website dubbed a “Spirit Optimiser”, which he claims helped him overcome Covid-19. 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.
In a video posted to Instagram on Tuesday, the princess said she was stepping down “in order to bring calm to the Royal House”. The palace said the princess was “relinquishing the role as royal patron and will not be representing the royal house at the present time”. However, “in accordance with the king’s wishes, the princess will keep her title”.
King Harald, speaking to the press later with Queen Sonja by his side, said he was “sorry” the princess would no longer represent the royal family. “She’s very good at it,” he said.
Martha Louise, who claims to be able to speak with angels, lost her honorific “Her Royal Highness” title in 2002 when she chose to work as a clairvoyant.
In 2019, the divorced mother of three agreed not to use her title as princess in her commercial endeavours. But since becoming engaged to Verrett in June, the couple’s belief in alternative therapies, often featured on their social media channels, has raised eyebrows in no-nonsense Norway.
Several groups of healthcare professionals had already dropped the princess as a patron because of her fiance’s penchant for alternative medicine. “He’s an imposter, a charlatan and a quack,” columnist and humourist Dagfinn Nordbo has said.
According to the agreement announced Tuesday, the couple will refrain from any association with the royal family in their social media channels, media productions and commercial activities.