Princess Märtha Louise may be fourth in line for the Norwegian throne, but she is first when it comes to breaking royal rules.
As the oldest child and only daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, the princess has a bit of a history of rebelling against her royal duties. She requested that the king remove the “Royal Highness” from her title, founded two startups (a commercial entertainment business and an alternative therapy program called Astarte), and moved to the United States with her now ex-husband to write a children’s book about the Norwegian royal family 15 years ago.
But Princess Märtha Louise of Norway has made her way into the headlines once again, this time for telling the world via Instagram that she has found a new man and has no plans to hide him.
Three years after her divorce from the Norwegian author Ari Behn, the princess has publicly announced that she is in a relationship with Shaman Durek Verrett, a spiritual guide from California. “When you meet your twin flame, you know. I have been lucky enough to have met mine,” she wrote in the caption of her Instagram decree. She later added that she feels “so happy and blessed that he is my boyfriend.”
Of course, the announcement of this new royal relationship did not come without some backlash in her Instagram comments. (Her father, on the other hand, is reportedly happy to see she’s got a new man in her life.)
However, the Norwegian princess is no stranger to controversy. In the past, she has reportedly claimed to have clairvoyant powers and the ability to communicate with animals, and was criticized for her friendship with a British medium named Lisa Williams who claims to be able to contact the dead (which earned her the nickname “Princess of the Paranormal”). It kind of makes sense, then, that Princess Märtha Louise would find love with a spiritual healer.
Princess Märtha Louise addressed the haters in an addendum to her Instagram post about their relationship, writing, “To those of you who feel the need to criticize: Hold your horses. It is not up to you to choose for me or to judge me. I don’t choose my man to satisfy any of you or the norms or boxes you have chosen in your mind for me to be in. I don’t thrive there, nor do I exist in your illusion about me. I choose from love. And that’s it.”
Shaman Durek has also had his own brushes with the spotlight. He’s a friend of Selma Blair and Nina Dobrev and has served as one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s spiritual advisers. His author page on the Goop site claims that “he acts as a mediator or ‘bridge’ between the spiritual and physical planes, applies ancient spiritual wisdom, coupled with decades of devoted study and practice, to help bring success, happiness, and healing into people’s lives,” that he “comes from a long lineage of spiritual practitioners,” and that he has been practicing as a shaman since he was 12 years old.
According to social media, it appears that the couple has been together at least since February of this year, when Shaman Durek shared an anecdote in an Instagram caption about how his mother once told him that a princess in Norway would find him one day and make him happy.
Together, the couple might even be poised to create the royal equivalent of Goop. The couple has already purchased the website domain theprincessandtheshaman.com and plan to tour Scandinavia by leading talks and workshops together this month. The tour also doubles as an introduction to the country of Norway for Shaman Durek, who, despite being half-Norwegian, has never visited before. According to the site, their “Activating Divinity” workshop is a course created by the princess and the shaman, who promise to “take you on a self discovery into wisdoms to reveal to you your divine self activated” with a focus on “sharing shamanic tools and meditations.”
“The Princess and the Shaman” has a nice enough ring to it that, given Märtha Louise’s children’s-book-author past, perhaps this new relationship might also be a good entry point into writing her next fairy tale.