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Princess Märtha Louise
Princess of Norway

Born 22 September 1971 (age 48)
Oslo, Norway
Spouse Ari Behn (m. 2002, div. 2017)
Issue
Maud Angelica Behn
Leah Isadora Behn
Emma Tallulah Behn
House Glücksburg
Father Harald V of Norway
Mother Sonja Haraldsen
Religion Church of Norway
Norwegian Royal Family
Royal Arms of Norway.svg

HM The King*
HM The Queen*


HH Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner


*Member of the Norwegian Royal House

v · d · e

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway (born 22 September 1971 in Oslo) is the only daughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja. She is fourth in the line of succession to the Norwegian throne, after her brother and his two children.

Early lifeEdit

Princess Märtha Louise was born on 22 September 1971 at The National Hospital the Oslo University Hospital in Oslo, to the then Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja. She was named after her late grandmother and her paternal great-great grandmother. At birth, she was not in line to the throne, because until 1990, only males could inherit the Norwegian throne.

She was christened on 19 October 1971, at the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace in Oslo. Her godparents are King Olav V of Norway (her paternal grandfather), Princess Margaretha of Sweden (her maternal great-aunt), Count Flemming of Rosenborg (her father’s maternal first cousin), Princess Ragnhild of Norway (her paternal aunt), Dagny Haraldsen (her maternal grandmother), Haakon Haraldsen (her maternal uncle), Nils Jørgen Astrup (her father’s friend), Ilmi Riddervold (her mother’s friend).[1]

In 1973, Märtha Louise was joined by a younger brother Haakon Magnus. In 1990 the Norwegian constitution was altered, granting full cognatic primogeniture to the Norwegian throne, meaning that the eldest child, regardless of gender, takes precedence in the line of succession. This change only affects those born in 1990 or later. Females born between 1971 and 1990 (i.e. only Märtha Louise), were given succession rights, but their brothers would be before them in the line of succession, meaning that Prince Haakon still took precedence over Märtha Louise in the line of succession.

After the births of her brother's two children, Ingrid Alexandra and Sverre Magnus, Märtha Louise was relegated to fourth in line. The princess is also in the line of succession to the throne of each of the sixteen Commonwealth Realms, as a great-great-granddaughter of King Edward VII.

Education and career Edit

The Princess attended Smestad school in Oslo. She completed her upper secondary education at Kristelig Gymnasium in Oslo in 1990, with an emphasis on languages. That same autumn the Princess moved to England to train at Waterstock House Training Centre and to study literature at the University of Oxford. She later trained at Arena UK to perfect her skills as a show jumper.[2]

In autumn 1992 Princess Märtha Louise began attending Bjørknes Privatskole in Oslo. She subsequently pursued a physiotherapy education programme at Oslo University College. After finishing the programme, the Princess completed her practical training in Maastricht, the Netherlands. In December 1997 she was awarded her formal qualification as a physiotherapist, and in 2000 she qualified as a Rosen practitioner. She also concentrated on her career as a show jumper, and was a member of the national equestrian team for several years. She retired from show jumping in 2000.[2].

She has not practiced her profession, however, choosing instead, from her fascination in traditional Norwegian folk tales as well as a love of music, to establish her own commercial entertainment business based on giving public and televised performances reciting folk tales and singing with well-known Norwegian choirs.[3] In December 2003, she took part in Oslo Gospel Choir's Christmas concert with a solo performance, included on the companion CD album.

On 1 January 2002, after Princess Märtha Louise started her own business, in order to work with more freedom from her constitutional role as a princess, she began paying income tax, and the King, after consulting her, issued a royal edict which removed Princess Märtha Louise's style of Royal Highness (she is entitled to the style Highness when abroad).[3] However, she retains her place in the line of succession, and, though her activities were reduced, she still carries out some public duties on behalf of the King.

After several postponements due to family births and her father's illness, during which the princess took on some representation duties, Princess Märtha Louise and her husband moved to New York City in October 2004. In 2004, her first book, a children's story about the first royal family of Norway was released – Why Kings and Queens Don't Wear Crowns. Accompanying the book is a CD version of the Princess reading her story aloud.

Princess Märtha Louise has studied physiotherapy, trained as a Rosen therapist and studied at an academy for holistic medicine.[3] She claims she can communicate with animals and angels and has started her own alternative medical school named Astarte Education, after one of the oldest goddesses in the Middle East.[4][5] The princess drew criticism in Norway after the announcement that she would start Astarte Education. The newspaper Bergens Tidende, called for her to give up her royal titles.[6] Norwegian state director of Health Lars E. Hanssen, Norwegian alternative medicine advocate Dr. Bernt Rognlien, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), religious historian Asbjørn Dyrendal and University of Oslo theology professor Inge Lønning all expressed misgivings about the princess's plans.[7] On 11 August 2007, Märtha Louise defended the school on NRK, the Norwegian public service television network.

On 2 October 2007, Princess Märtha Louise became the first member of the Norwegian Royal Family to ever appear in a court of law as she wanted to halt sales of a book entitled Martha's angels.[8]

In 2007 the Princess was editor of the book "Prinsesse Märtha Louises eventyrlige verden, Eventyr fra jordens hjerte, Rodinia" containing 67 fairy tales from 50 countries.

Controversy Edit

In 2014, Princess Märtha Louise faced some criticism due to her association with British clairvoyant, Lisa Williams. Williams was in Oslo on 14 September 2014 and gave a seminar for Soulspring, formerly known as the Angel School, which Princess Märtha Louise co-founded. Williams is known for her claims she can communicate with the deceased. The Soulspring website carried the following message: “We in Soulspring do not communicate with dead souls in our work. And here is where our work is separate from Lisa’s. To be completely honest, we don't see the point of contacting the dead. They passed over to the other side for a reason and should be allowed to stay there."No one representing the royal family commented.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Engagement Edit

On December 13, 2001, an engagement of Princess Märtha Louise and author Ari Behn (born 1972 as Ari Bjørshol; he later took his grandmother's name) was announced by the Norwegian Royal Court.[10] The same day they held a press conference and a photo session at the Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway.

Marriage Edit

See Wedding of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn

The couple married on 24 May 2002 at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.[11][2] Liv Mildrid Gjernes designed the Norwegian government's gift for the couple, two cupboards entitled "Ikons for the Hearts". In each cupboard there were seven exclusive pieces of handicraft, from different regions of Norway, produced by other Norwegian artisans.

On 5 August 2016, the Royal Court announced that Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn were separating and starting divorce proceedings but would have joint custody of their three daughters.[12] The couple were divorced in 2017.[2] The divorce is the first in the modern history of the Norwegian Royal Family.

Children Edit

On 21 October 2002, the Royal Court announced that Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn were expecting their first child, due April/May 2003.[13] On 29 April 2003, she gave birth to their first daughter, Maud Angelica Behn, at The National Hospital in Oslo.[14]

On 20 September 2004, the Royal Court announced that Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn were expecting their second child, due April 2005.[15] On 8 April 2005, she gave birth to their second daughter, Leah Isadora Behn, in family home in Fredrikstad. Queen Sonja received the news of her granddaughter's birth on her cellphone during the Pope's funeral.[16]

On 13 April 2008, the Royal Court announced that Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn were expecting their third child, due October 2008.[17] On 29 September 2008, she gave birth to her third daughter, Emma Tallulah Behn, in family home in Lommedalen.[18]

The family has lived in Islington, London and Lommedalen, Bærum.[19][20]

Post divorce Edit

On May 12, 2019, the princess announced that she is in a relationship with an American citizen, a shaman named Durek Verrett (born on 17 November 1974).[21][22][23] His father was from Haiti and his mother is of Norwegian-Indian heritage. He describes himself on his Instagram profile as an “evolutionary innovator, spirit hacker, women’s empowerment leader, human rights activist.”[24]

She also addressed those who have had negative things to say about her interracial relationship, “And to those of you who feel the need to criticise: 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 is merely a man I love spending my time with and who fulfils 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. Have a wonderful, loving Sunday and Mother’s Day (for the USA).”[25]

Royal lifeEdit

Princess Märtha Louise's FundEdit

Her Royal Highness Princess Märtha Louise's Fund was founded on 15 September 1972 and awards funds to projects carried out by non-governmental organisations in order to provide assistance to disabled children under the age of 16 in Norway. Princess Märtha Louise is the fund's chairperson. The total allocation each year is approximately 475.000 NOK.[26]

PatronagesEdit

Princess Märtha Louise is patron of:[27]

  • Norway Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • The Norwegian Association for the Hard of Hearing
  • The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted
  • The Norwegian Association of the Deaf
  • Ridderrennet (“The Knights’ Race”, a Norwegian skiing event for the blind and mobility impaired)
  • The Norwegian Epilepsy Association
  • The Norwegian Rheumatism Association
  • The VIVIL Games

Titles, styles, honors, and arms Edit

Titles and styles Edit

  • 22 September 1971 – 1 January 2002: Her Royal Highness Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
  • 1 January 2002 – present: Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise of Norway

In 2002, the King (with Princess Märtha Louise's consent) removed Princess Märtha Louise's style of Her Royal Highness and instead styled her as Her Highness (this title is not used in Norway). This was meant to loosen connections with the Royal Family and her business life. However, she retains her title as a Norwegian princess and her place in the line of succession and still carries out royal duties on behalf of the King (though they are reduced).

Honors Edit

National Edit

  • Norway: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Saint Olav[28]
  • Norway: Dame of the Royal Family Decoration of King Olav V of Norway[28]
  • Norway: Dame of the Royal Family Decoration of King Harald V of Norway[28]
  • Norway: Recipient of the Medal of the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of King Haakon VII[28]
  • Norway: Recipient of the King Olav V Silver Jubilee Medal[28]
  • Norway: Recipient of the King Olav V Commemorative Medal[28]
  • Norway: Recipient of the Medal of the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of King Olav V[28]
  • Norway: Recipient of the Royal House Centenary Medal[28]
  • Norway: Recipient of the King Harald V Silver Jubilee Medal[28]

Foreign Edit

  • Denmark: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Elephant[28]
  • Finland: Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose[28]
  • Iceland: Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon[28]
  • Jordan: Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the Star of Jordan[28]
  • Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange[28]
  • Netherlands: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown (not a state decoration but a personal gift from Queen Beatrix)[29]
  • Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau[28]
  • Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry[28]
  • Spain: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit[28]
  • Sweden: Member Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Polar Star[28]
  • Sweden: Recipient of the 50th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf[28]
  • Sweden: Recipient of the 70th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf[28]

References Edit

  1. Norwegian Royal Christenings. Unofficial royalty
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise. The Royal Court
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 La princesa renuncia al título. Hola!
  4. Princess claims clairvoyant powers, aims to share them. Aftenposten
  5. Norway princess 'talks to angels'. BBC News
  6. Dropp prinsessetittelen, Märtha. Bergens Tidende
  7. Princess draws more flak. Aftenposten
  8. Princess Martha Louise takes the witness stand. Aftenposten
  9. Norway's Princess of the Paranormal under fire. The Local
  10. norwegianroyalfamily On this day, 17 years ago, Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn announced their engagement
  11. Iconic royal wedding gowns. Harpers Bazaar
  12. Prinsesse Märtha Louise og Ari Behn har bestemt seg for å gå fra hverandre. The Royal Court
  13. Prinsesse Märtha Louise venter barn. Royal Court of Norway
  14. Märtha og Ari fikk en datter. VG.no
  15. Märtha gravid igjen. VG.no
  16. Dronningen fikk fødselsmeldingen under pavens begravelse: Märtha fødte hjemme. VG.no
  17. Prinsesse Märtha Louise venter barn. Royal Court of Norway
  18. Prinsesse Märtha Louise og Ari Behn har fått en datter. Royal Court of Norway
  19. Flytter til London om noen dager. Se og Hør
  20. Royal Oops! Norway's Princess Martha Louise Forgets to Turn off Oven: 'I Am Glad the House Didn't Burn Down'. PEOPLE.com
  21. Norway’s Princess Martha Louise reveals relationship with American shaman. The Star (Malaysia). Princess Martha Louise of Norway opened up about her romantic partner, an American shaman, last May 13. The daughter of Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja introduced her boyfriend Shaman Durek (real name: Durek Verrett) with portraits of them in a lengthy Instagram post last week.
  22. Princess Martha Louise of Norway Shares First Photos with Her New American Boyfriend. PEOPLE.com
  23. Royal SHOCK: Divorced Princess reveals new boyfriend on INSTAGRAM Hello Magazine
  24. shamandurek. Instagram
  25. When you meet your twin flame, you know. Princess Märtha Louise's Instagram
  26. Princess Märtha Louise's Fund. The Royal Court
  27. Organisations under the patronage of Princess Märtha Louise. Norwegian Royal Court
  28. 28.00 28.01 28.02 28.03 28.04 28.05 28.06 28.07 28.08 28.09 28.10 28.11 28.12 28.13 28.14 28.15 28.16 28.17 28.18 28.19 The Decorations of HH Princess Märtha Louise. The Royal Court
  29. Photo. Alarmy

External linksEdit

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