Norway’s Princess Martha Gives Up Her Royal Duties After Being Accused Of Using Her Title To Promote Her Healer Fiancé’s Alternative Beliefs
Move over the UK, there’s a new Megxit in town! Princess Märtha Louise is stepping down from her royal duties after being accused of using her title to promote alternative healthcare methods and the teachings of Durek Verrett, her “spiritual hacker” fiancé of five months. You remember Durek (birth name Derek)! He’s a self-proclaimed shaman who’s besties with Gwyneth Paltrow, called cancer a “choice,” and has a medallion for sale on his website, which he says helps heal COVID. 51-year-old Märtha has also done some wild shit, even before she got with Durek in 2019: in one of her books, she wrote that she had made contact with angels, and, back in 2002, she was stripped of her honorific “Her Royal Highness” title after choosing to pursue a career as a clairvoyant. So I guess she saw this latest drama coming from a mile away.
The big news was shared in a press conference with Märtha’s parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja. 82-year-old Harald says he’s sorry that his daughter, who is fourth in line to the throne (her younger brother, Crown Prince Haakon, is heir), will no longer represent the royal house, but “we agree to disagree.” via ABC News:
“We have looked at this process from all sides,” his wife, Queen Sonja added. “This has been a unanimous decision.” Harald said Verret “probably thought he could do anything without it affecting us.” “He must also take into account what we stand for,” Sonja said.
The palace statement said the couple would “clarify the distinction between their own activities and the royal household” and will not use the title of princess or refer to royals in social media or commercial activity.
Bo Gleditsch, secretary-general of the Norwegian Rheumatism Association, told Norwegian news agency NTB it was “an orderly and wise decision from our patron.” “She has resolved this on her own initiative, and that’s good,” Gleditsch told NTB.
According to Norwegian media, Märtha and Durek will continue to attend family-related occasions and traditional royal events, but their focus will be on their alternative medicine business. There are also reports that Märtha and her three daughters will relocate to California to live with Durek.
Märtha explained her decision to leave royal duties in a video on Instagram. It was in Norwegian. Then she posted another video in English with 47-year-old Durek. A smiling Märtha explains that the royals had “landed on some adjustments.” She clarifies that, like her late ex-husband, Ari Behn, Durek will not receive a royal title when they get married. Durek says that he never intended for his fiancée’s life to become difficult “because of some of the things that I have done,” and the same goes for her parents: “I want them to be successful in the important roles that they have.”
But Durek says that it’s important for him to “maintain my own integrity and be true to myself.” He claims that, contrary to popular belief, he supports the traditional “school of medicine” (real science), because he’s been saved by it several times. He says the hippy-dippy alternative shit he and Märtha subscribe to should come “not instead of, but in addition to” regular healthcare. Märtha adds:
I am of a background from the healthcare system as a physiotherapist, and know the importance of scientifically proven healthcare. In addition to that, I think alternative medicine can be an important supplement to the school of medicine for many people. Acupuncture, yoga, meditations, crystals, and nature medicine can be a supplement in addition to the health care system, for better mental and physical health.
And it is in the bridging of the two, like having acupuncture in maternity wards in hospitals, as many parts of the country has as an asset. Or using horses as part of psychiatric treatments, like at the hospital here in Oslo.
Listen, I don’t know why this hospital in Oslo is hiring horses as psychiatrists, but Scandinavians have always been ahead of the curve. I’m sure we’ll catch up in a few years. Here’s Märtha and Durek’s statement:
Some people in Norway have compared Durek to Rasputin, the creep who wormed his way into the Russian royal family after convincing Empress Alexandra he could cure her only son’s hemophilia with his mystical powers. Rasputin was assassinated in 1916 (poisoned, shot, and thrown in the river), and, a few months later, the royals were overthrown. The entire Romanov family was executed by the Bolsheviks the following year. Historians often say Rasputin discredited the royals and led to their downfall.
Durek’s involvement with Märtha proooooooobably won’t lead to a communist revolution/regicide, but he’s definitely not helping things. A recent poll published by Norway’s Dagbladet newspaper had 68% of respondents saying they want to keep the monarchy, but that number was 81% back in 2017. Welp, let’s check in with Norwegians in another five years. By then, we’ll probably have a The Vow-style HBO docuseries about Durek’s shady ass. Or a crappy 90-minute Netflix documentary that glosses over all the good parts. I, for one, am hoping for the former.