Princess Märtha Louise of Norway looks back on a ‘difficult year’ after stepping down from royal duties

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway is embarking on a new life – but the journey hasn’t been smooth sailing.

On New Years Day, the 51-year-old took to Instagram and uploaded a smiling selfie of herself wearing a red dress. In the caption, the daughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja spoke of 2022, a year when she got engaged but also gave up her royal duties.

The mother-of-three, fourth in line to the Norwegian throne, got engaged in June to Durek Verrett, an American who describes himself as a shaman and healer. The 48-year-old, who is based in Los Angeles, has a celebrity clientele that includes Selma Blair, Nina Dobrev and ex-Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, The New York Times reported.

“2022 has been a difficult year for me in many ways. It has also been a year filled with joy, happiness and love”, began Märtha Louise. “Life has its challenges. No one can escape them, but it is up to each of us to meet these challenges. When we manage to face everything with the love of our heart, we manage to overcome fear, disturbance, anger, grief and all the rest.But the times when we cannot live from our heart, from love, we descend into despair, loneliness, anger, judgment and the challenges of life. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs as have everyone I know.”


“I sincerely hope that 2023 expands our deep love for each other,” she shared. “We all need to build a world where we can all breathe freely, be who we are meant to be, grow and develop into our true selves from love. When we build our lives from our hearts of love, we begin to respect ourselves and ourselves and others in a new and deeper way. Without judgment.”

“May 2023 be the year we step into love and shower ourselves doing things that make us happy,” concluded Märtha Louise.

Her fiancé commented on the candid caption.

“Oh my God my love! You light up the room like 10,000 diamonds,” Verrett wrote. “You keep it killing fire!”


Princess Märtha Louise of Norway is the daughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja.
(Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/WireImage)

“Your words speak the truth. Love is all above everything, let us ride this wave all the way baby,” he continued in a second comment. “Let’s keep it hot and always keep it real. No one can stop us.”

In November, Märtha Louise announced that she would no longer officially represent the royal household following “many questions regarding me and the role of my fiancé”.

“I have decided that at this time I will no longer perform official duties for the Royal Household,” Märtha Louise said in a statement released by the palace. She added that the decision was made in coordination with her parents “to create peace around the royal household”. The move would allow her to freely pursue other interests without the restrictions of being affiliated with the crown.

While the princess will retain her title, the palace said she has informed organizations where she still serves as godmother that she is relinquishing the role. The palace statement also revealed that the couple would “clarify the distinction between their own activities and the royal household”. Verrett will not have a title or represent the royal house of Norway when he and Märtha Louise marry. The couple, who have been together since May 2019, will attend family occasions and traditional royal events.


Shaman Durek Verrett and Princess Märtha Louise of Norway announced their engagement in June.

Shaman Durek Verrett and Princess Märtha Louise of Norway announced their engagement in June.
(Photo by Daniel Perez/Getty Images)

Verrett previously told People magazine that he got advice from his friend Gwyneth Paltrow about an engagement ring before proposing.

According to Norwegian reports, Märtha Louise plans to move to California with her children to be with Verrett. The palace did not say whether Märtha Louise’s change would have an effect on her children.

At the time, Märtha Louise was talking about her goals for the future.

“I’m concerned about health and research and have a background in health myself as a physiotherapist and respect school medicine,” she said. “I see alternative medicine as an important complement to school medicine.”

His younger brother, Crown Prince Haakon, 49, is heir to the throne.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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