Norway's Princess Martha Louise debuts relationship with American shaman on Instagram
Norway's Princess Martha Louise has debuted her new relationship through the very modern medium of Instagram.
The 47-year-old royal has been single for the last three years since divorcing husband Ari Mikael Behn in 2016, but made a formal announcement of her love with American shaman Durek Verrett. Due to the fact that her brother Crown Prince Haakon is next in line to the Norwegian throne, she, like other European royals, has more options when it comes to where she lives.
She and her ex-husband divided their time between Norway and London and now she has set her ambitions further afield to the US, in the same vein as Sweden's Princess Madeleine, who moved to Florida with her family last year and Britain's Princess Beatrice, who lives in New York.
Martha Louise organised a photoshoot with Mr Verrett, who describes himself as a "spirit hacker" and counts Gwyneth Paltrow among his celebrity fans, to announce the relationship. It was set up specifically for the Norwegian press and she released the images via her Instagram with a gushing statement about their burgeoning romance.
“When you meet your twin flame, you know. I have been lucky enough to have met mine,” she captioned the pictures. “@shamandurek has changed my life, like he does with so many. He has made me realize that unconditional love actually exists here on this planet. He embraces all of me without question or fear.
"He makes me laugh more than anyone, has the most profound wisdom to share and all the bits in between from the diversity of his being.”
She continued: "I feel so happy and blessed that he is my boyfriend. Thank you my love, for including me so generously into your family. I love you from this eternity to the next."
Martha Louise anticipated criticism and urged naysayers to consider their words, explaining that they are head over heels in love and that's all that matters.
“It is not up to you to choose for me or to judge me,” she wrote. “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 is merely a man I love spending my time with and who fulfills me. So thank you for respecting my actions and my choice of partner. All I know at this moment is that we love each other and I am super happy.”
Durek went on his to praise his girlfriend on his own Instagram account, writing, "A strong woman who lets me be me without judgement or confinement.”
Martha Louise has three children from her marriage, the first to end in divorce in modern Norwegian royal history. She has been keeping a determinedly low profile in recent years, focusing on her family and forging a new path for herself balancing her royal obligations and personal passions.
At the time of the divorce, she and Ari released a statement their marriage had been over for years but they endured in order to parent their daughters Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora and Emma Tallulah.
"We have tried everything for a long time and we still cannot be where we were before, making it impossible for us to continue," the statement read. "We feel guilty because we are no longer able to create the safe harbour that our children deserve. But we hope and believe that we will manage to hold on to friendship through what lies ahead."