Princess Märtha Louise of Norway is giving up her royal duties to pursue a new passion — alternative medicine.
Her controversial fiancé, Durek Verrett, is a self-styled shaman who has endorsed unfounded medical practices and has previously suggested cancer is a choice, according to the BBC. Her guru-lover even claims to have influenced Hollywood A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Nina Dobrev.
Now, the couple will work together in a joint alterna-med business.
The 51-year-old princess will keep her royal title — but is abdicating her official duties to “create a clearer dividing line” between her roles.
“The Princess is relinquishing the role as royal patron that has set the framework of her official duties for the Royal House, and will not be representing the Royal House at the present time,” the palace announced in a statement. “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.”
“In accordance with The King’s wishes, the Princess will keep her title. The Princess will continue to serve as chair of the board of Princess Märtha Louise’s Fund,” the statement continued.
Princess Märtha Louise released her own statement on her views on alternative medicine and science-based medicine, saying that she is “aware of the importance of research-based knowledge in advances in the health-related professions,” but also believes “that there are components of a good life and sound physical and mental health that may not be so easy to sum up in a research report.”
“I think for many people alternative methods can be an important supplement to help from the conventional medical establishment,” Märtha Louise said in the statement. “A warm hand, an acupuncture needle, a crystal, natural remedies, yoga, meditation or therapeutic conversation can, I believe, help to make life better for many individuals. Not instead of, but in addition to, the treatment provided by the health-care system.”
The princess acknowledged that her royal title gives her a “certain responsibility” and that “many people follow what I do and say very closely,” which is why she ultimately decided to give up her title.
“It is therefore important to me, including in my business activity, to distinguish between myself as a private person on the one hand and as a member of the royal family on the other,” she said.
The princess has been a point of controversy in Norway for many years due to her promotion of alternative medicine. Verrett has also faced criticism, and was described as a conman by Vantrú, the Icelandic society of skeptics. He has claimed to have risen from the dead, according to UPI, and to have predicted the 9/11 attacks two years in advance.