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It was on June 7 that Märtha shared the good news on her Instagram account. “I am so happy to announce that I am engaged to Shaman Durek, the one who makes my heart beat, the one who sees me and recognizes my greatest potential, who makes me laugh and with whom I can be vulnerable. Love us transcends and makes us grow. And I’m so happy to continue to grow with this beautiful man.”
The couple’s official debut in royal family engagements took place on Thursday when Durek Verrett joined his future sons-in-law at dinner for the 18th birthday of Princess Ingrid Alexandra, second in line to the throne, after her father, Haakon (a big party postponed for a few months because of the pandemic). The day after the celebration, hosted by the Norwegian government, the spiritual guide took to Instagram to pay tribute to his fiancée’s niece, Princess Märtha Louise.
Behind, there are about three years of a relationship marked by a lot of turbulence. After all, on one side is the eldest daughter of Kings Harald and Sonia of Norway, and on the other, an American spiritual guru, in an apparent contrast of worlds that, after all, may be closer than you think. imagine it at first sight.
The controversy is nothing new for the princess, who faced a strong backlash when she described having scrying abilities. In 2019, the Norwegian court even said that Märtha would not be allowed to use her royal title for “commercial purposes”. . The Los Angeles guru works with Big names like Gwyneth Paltrow, Selma Blair, Nina Dobrev and Rosario Dawson, among other celebrities. “I think his appeal is that he’s very human,” Paltrow said of Verrett through a New York Times spokesperson. “He hugs and receives hugs with the openness of a child; he has this purity of heart.
It should also be remembered that Märtha Louise was previously married to author Ari Behn, who committed suicide in 2019, a case that shook the country and the clan. The couple, who have three children, Maud Angelica, 19, Leah Isadora, 17, and Emma Tallulah, 13, divorced in 2017.
The noise doesn’t stop there, having this love affair at many times has prompted comparisons to the case of Harry and Meghan. Days after surprising the world with plans to walk down the aisle, the couple opened the book to the adversities they’ve felt since beginning the union and the permanent shadow of racism that has shrouded the relationship. “I think a lot about our relationship and why people have such a hard time with it, and they they have this hatred so much that they even send us death threats, it’s because they don’t want to see a black man in the royal family because there has never been one in the history of European royal houses and it’s huge.“, shot Durek in a video shared meanwhile, with the bride-to-be agreeing.
Verett goes further when he estimates that the craze for the most popular of fictions is still far from the degree of acceptance in real life. “It’s different when a man chooses a black woman because he’s a man…but for a princess to choose a black man, it’s never been done in history, so it’s very difficult for people to get by. They don’t want the Bridgertons, they want to see each other, but they I don’t want the real Bridgertons, which is us. They get very angry and say horrible things“.
It was still June 2020 when, in a post that raised a cry, the princess had already fanned herself on the threats received and also on the way in which the newspapers had treated the case. “The press presents him as a liar, violent and a threat to my family and me.” Two years later, following the engagement news, at Vanity Fair, maintained the belief that their relationship continues to divide and provoke strong criticism, especially from within. “To be honest, I can’t say much about it. It’s very contradictory. In Norway, our dating is very, very controversial. I should be with a high level CEO or lord or someone like that. Being with a shaman is extremely out of the ordinary. It’s crazy.”
To Billed Bladet, the groom explained how he went through the steps of proposing the fourth hand to the throne of Norway. “I’m very old-fashioned in the way I do things. So I sat down with King Harald and Queen Sonia and asked for their daughter’s hand in marriage. If they had said no, I wouldn’t have done it. I do things in an honorable and respectful way.
Märtha Louise announced her relationship with “Shaman Durek” in May 2019, after once again taking to social media to share the latest news: “We know when we find our soul mate. I was lucky to have met my @shamandurek, it changed my life, as it does so many others. In the first television interview with the two, in the United States, on the Tamron Hall Show, he recalled how they met through a mutual friend and explained why he preferred to make the revelation through it. “To be able to own our story, because my whole life has been in the press since I was zero. Often the press has decided how to tell my story instead of me choosing how I want to present it. Even if it was a bit shocking, I think,” he admits.
In a press release sent to the Norwegian press, the princess and her future husband also announced that after the wedding they would continue to live on different continents, she in Norway and he in California. The engagement date and wedding details are yet to be confirmed.
Skin color is far from the only point of contention. In 2020, Hank Greenberg, who had an eight-year relationship with Durek, before the latter resumed the relationship with the princess, accuses him of being “violent” and admits to being ready to say everything about the shaman, accusations that led the new couple to hire the law firm Gora LLC, to avoid defamation of Hank, according to information provided by Norwegian magazine Se og Hor.