Thursday 23 May 2019

Norway's Princess Martha Louise debuts relationship with American shaman on Instagram

Princess Martha Louise with her ex-husband Ari Mikael Behn, left, and with new boyfriend Shaman Durek, right
Princess Martha Louise with her ex-husband Ari Mikael Behn, left, and with new boyfriend Shaman Durek, right
Norway's Princess Martha Louise with boyfriend Shaman Durek. Picture: Instagram
Norway's Princess Martha Louise with boyfriend Shaman Durek. Picture: Instagram
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C) pose with (L-R) Princess Martha Louise of Norway, Harald V of Norway, Queen Sonja of Norway, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Crown Princess Mette Marit of Norway and Princess Astrid of Norway ahead of a dinner at the Royal Palace on day 3 of their visit to Sweden and Norway on February 1, 2018 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Sonja of Norway, King Harald of Norway and Princess Martha Louise of Norway attend the unveiling of Norwegian Trekking Association gift for The Queen of Norway 80th birthday on July 04, 2017 in Oslo, Norway (Photo by Nigel Waldron/ Getty Images)
Princess Martha Louise of Norway attends a celebratory church service in the Nidaros Cathedral during the Royal Silver Jubilee Tour on June 23, 2016 in Trondheim, Norway. (Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images)
(L-R) Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Princess Martha Louise of Norway, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway depart for the banquet after the wedding ceremony of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O'Neill hosted by King Carl Gustaf XIV and Queen Silvia at The Royal Palace on June 8, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Princess Martha Louise of Norway and Ari Mikael Behn attend the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O'Neill hosted by King Carl Gustaf XIV and Queen Silvia at The Royal Palace on June 8, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Princess Martha Louise of Norway and Ari Mikael Behn attend the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O'Neill hosted by King Carl Gustaf XIV and Queen Silvia at The Royal Palace on June 8, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway (R) and Princess Martha Louise of Norway attend an official dinner at the Norwegian Royal Palace on March 20, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are on a Diamond Jubilee tour of Scandinavia that takes in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway attends the AMPAS Los Angeles screening of 'The 12th Man' hosted by Princess Märtha Louise of Norway at Cinepolis Pacific Palisades on December 06, 2018 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

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.

Norway's Princess Martha Louise with boyfriend Shaman Durek. Picture: Instagram
Norway's Princess Martha Louise with boyfriend Shaman Durek. Picture: Instagram

“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.”

(L-R) Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Princess Martha Louise of Norway, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway depart for the banquet after the wedding ceremony of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O'Neill hosted by King Carl Gustaf XIV and Queen Silvia at The Royal Palace on June 8, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
(L-R) Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Princess Martha Louise of Norway, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway depart for the banquet after the wedding ceremony of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O'Neill hosted by King Carl Gustaf XIV and Queen Silvia at The Royal Palace on June 8, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

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."

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