Princess Märtha Louise Gives Up Her Royal Duties

martha louise shaman durek
Princess Märtha Louise Gives Up Her Royal DutiesLISE ASERUD - Getty Images

The Norwegian Royal House announced today that Princess Märtha Louise, the eldest child of King Harald V and Queen Sonja, will be relinquishing her official duties.

In a statement, they said, "Princess Märtha Louise wishes to differentiate more clearly between her own activities and her relationship to the Royal House of Norway. The Princess has therefore decided, in consultation with His Majesty The King and other close family members, that she will not carry out official duties for the Royal House at the present time."

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Princess Märtha Louise in Norway, 2018.Rune Hellestad - Corbis - Getty Images

Princess Märtha Louise will also give up her various patronages, with other members of the Norwegian royal family picking them up. "The process with the family has been amicable and loving," she wrote on Instagram.

In addition, the statement shared, "The Princess and her fiancé, Durek Verrett, are seeking to distinguish more clearly between their activities and the Royal House of Norway. This means, among other things, that they will not employ the title of Princess or refer to members of the Royal House in their social media channels, in media productions or in connection with other commercial activities." The one exception will be Princess Märtha Louise's Instagram, which will remain @PrincessMarthaLouise.

In addition, King Harald has decided that Princess Märtha Louise will keep her title of "Princess." (She gave up "Her Royal Highness" styling two decades ago, in 2002.) "The King and Queen wish to thank Princess Märtha Louise for the important work she has carried out in her official capacity for several decades. She has performed her duties with warmth, care and deep commitment," the statement added.

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Shaman Durek and Princess Märtha Louise, 2022.Momodu Mansaray - Getty Images

When the Princess marries Durek Verrett, known professionally as Shaman Durek, he will become part of the Royal Family, but "in accordance with tradition he will not have a title or represent the Royal House of Norway." The two will still attend family-related gatherings with the royal family, such as birthdays.

"It’s a bit challenging for people to see something new, to evolve past their comfort zones. We try to understand where people are and find ways to bring about more education so people can start to see things differently and be comfortable with change," Verrett told Town & Country about the public perception of their relationship. "It requires a lot of compassion. It requires a lot of love, a lot of patience. Märtha once said something really beautiful: ‘Just because people have their judgments and their beliefs, that just shows where they’re at in their capacity for love. It doesn’t mean we should change our capacity for love because we see differently."

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