Norway: Princess gives up royal duties amid fiancé questions

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Princess Märtha Louise, the daughter of Norway’s King Harald, said Tuesday she no longer will officially represent the Norwegian royal house following “many questions relating to me and my fiancé's role.”

The 50-year-old princess, who is fourth in line to the Norwegian throne, got engaged in June to Durek Verrett, an American who describes himself as a shaman and a healer on his website.

At least one foundation for which Märtha Louise served as a patron subsequently ended its connection with the princess.

“I have decided that at the present time I will no longer carry out official duties for the royal household,” she said in a statement issued by the palace, adding that the decision was made in coordination with her parents “to create peace around the royal household.”

The princess will retain her title, but the palace said she informed the organizations where she still served as patron that she was relinquishing the role, which provided a framework for her official duties.

Norwegian media have accused Märtha Louise and Verrett of allegedly using her royal title for commercial gain along with promoting alternative health care methods.

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.

Verrett will not have a title or represent Norway’s royal house when he and Märtha Louise marry, according to the statement. The pair, who have been together since May 2019, according to Norwegian media, will attend family-related occasions and events where it is a tradition for royals to participate.

Märtha Louise has three daughters from her first marriage, which ended in 2016. According to Norwegian media, she plans to relocate to California with them.

Alongside her royal duties, the princess has written books in which she claimed to have contact with angels.

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

A poll published by Norway’s Dagbladet newspaper last month had 68% of respondents saying they wanted to keep the monarchy. When Norwegian broadcaster NRK asked the same question in 2017, support for the royal house stood at 81%.

The Associated Press