In 2002, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway put in a special request to the country’s king—aka her father—to remove the words “Royal Highness” from her title. Now, 17 years later, she’s given herself another downgrade—though not exactly by choice. While still fourth in line to the Norwegian throne—and first in line when it comes to breaking royal rules—Märtha Louise will cease to use the title of “Princess.” (Technically, she’ll only cease to do so in “a commercial context,” but in the case of the noted royal-slash-tax-paying entrepreneur, that’s essentially all of the time.)
A certified physiotherapist, Märtha Louise has long been, shall we say, spiritually inclined. But recently, she’s taken things up a notch. In May, the princess took to Instagram to officially announce that she’s dating Shaman Durek Verrett, a self-proclaimed “spiritual guide” who’s advised the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow since he began practicing as a shaman at 12 years old. Since then, Paltrow herself has also made it onto Märtha Louise’s Instagram feed; the princess made waves this past July when she shared a selfie with the actress with her 128,000 followers, while on vacation in the Hamptons.
Hanging with Paltrow may have ruffled some feathers, but it’s hanging with Durek that’s really gotten Märtha Louise into trouble, at least ever since they embarked on a speaking tour called “The Princess and the Shaman.” “It was a mistake and I understand that it provokes when the princess title is used this way,” the princess captioned a selfie that she posted on Wednesday, which served as both her latest title change announcement and an apology.
“The discussions are something I have taken seriously, and in collaboration with my family we have found that it is best that we make some changes. We have therefore jointly come to the conclusion that I use the title princess when I represent the Royal House, do my official assignments at home and abroad and in private contexts. From now on I will not use my princess title in a commercial context. That is, in all commercial contexts, I only use Märtha Louise,” Märtha Louise continued. “I find this to be a good solution where there is a clear distinction between my business activities and my role as representative of the Royal House, and that I have thus created room for greater freedom in my business activities.”
To further ameliorate the situation, Märtha Louise has also created a new Instagram account for her aforementioned “business activities,” @martha.louise.intuitive. So far, she’s only made two posts—one once again promoting her webinar, using the geotag “Planet Earth,” and the other laying it out for those who didn’t catch her previous statement in Norwegian. “This is my new page for my work related projects where I use my name without my title,” she captioned the latter. “I am simply Märtha Louise. Let’s explore life and go on adventures together.”
If Märtha Louise is searching for a new title, Durek might be able to help. In his Instagram bio, he describes himself as an “Evolutionary innovator, Spirit Hacker, Women supporter, Wellness leader”—and, most impressively, “Ambassador of all things Lit ?.” For the time being, however, she and her boyfriend appear to be hanging on to their website domain name, theprincessandtheshaman.com. With any luck, they’ll continue to be able to do so, seeing as the princess appears to be the only Norwegian royal who’s logged on.