Princess gives up royal duties amid fiancé questions

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Princess Martha Louise, daughter of Norway’s King Harald, said Tuesday that she will no longer officially represent the Norwegian royal family after “many issues related to my role and that of my fiancé.” .

The 51-year-old princess, fourth in line to the Norwegian throne, became engaged in June to American Durek Verrett, who describes herself as a shaman and healer on her website.

At least one foundation, sponsored by Märtha Louise, subsequently ended ties to the princess.

“I have decided that at this time I will no longer perform official duties for the royal family,” she said in a statement issued by the palace, adding that the decision was made in coordination with her parents “in order to create Peace.” Royal Family. “

The princess will retain her title, but the palace said she had informed the organisation she was still patron of that she would relinquish the role.

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Her younger brother, Crown Prince Haakon, 49, is the heir to the throne.

“I’m sorry that the princess will no longer represent the royal family,” Harald said of the issue at a news conference. “We agree to disagree,” the 82-year-old king said.

“We looked at the process from all sides,” added his wife Queen Sonia. “It was a unanimous decision.”

Harald said Verret “may think he can do anything without affecting us.”

“He also has to take our position into account,” Sonia said.

The palace statement said the couple would “clarify the distinction between their own activities and the royal family” and would not use the princess’ title or refer to members of the royal family on social media or in business.

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Bo Gleditsch, secretary general of the Norwegian Rheumatology Association, told Norwegian news agency NTB that it was “an orderly and sensible decision by our patron”.

“She took the initiative to address the issue, which is good,” Gladitch told NTB.

Norwegian media have accused Märtha Louise and Verrett of allegedly using her royal title for commercial gain while promoting alternative healthcare methods.

On Instagram, Märtha Louise said: “I believe that alternative approaches can be a great addition to existing medicines.”

Verrett, 47, and Märtha Louise will marry without a title or represent the Norwegian royal family, the statement said. According to Norwegian media reports, the couple, who have been together since May 2019, will attend family-related occasions and traditional royal functions.

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Märtha Louise’s first marriage ended in 2016 and they have three daughters. According to Norwegian media, she plans to move to California with them. The court did not say whether Martha Louise’s changes would have any effect on her daughters.

In addition to fulfilling her royal duties, the princess has also written books that she claims to have had contact with angels.

In a poll published last month by the Norwegian daily, 68 percent of respondents said they wanted to keep the monarchy. When Norwegian broadcaster NRK asked the same question in 2017, approval for the royal family was 81 percent.

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This story corrects Martha Louise’s age to 51 and corrects that Crown Prince Haakon is her younger brother, not older brother.

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