Princess Martha Louise of Norway will tie the knot to her American businessman partner in her home country next August, it has been announced.
The royal, 51, who describes herself as ‘spiritual’ and claims to be a clairvoyant, will wed Durek Verrett, who calls himself a ‘shaman’ at the Union Hotel in Geiranger on August 31, the couple announced on Instagram.
Posting an identical professional snap of themselves on their social media accounts, the couple said they were ‘extremely happy’ to have found their wedding venue – while Verrett referred to the princess as his ‘goddess’.
The announcement comes after several years of difficulty for the Norwegian royals which culminated in Princess Martha’s decision to step down as a working member of the family – which she revealed has been filled with ‘turmoil’.
Eyebrows were raised when the Princess first began dating Verrett, who holds some controversial and pseudoscientific views, including that cancer in children can be caused by ‘being unhappy’.
Princess Martha Louise of Norway and her fiancé, American businessman Durek Verrett, will marry next August in her home country, they have announced
Announcing the wedding venue for next year’s ceremony on Instagram, Verrett posted a professional photo in which the couple look loved-up, with himself dressed in a pink tuxedo with a sparkling button, while Martha opted for a flowing white, Grecian-style dress.
He wrote: ‘My beloved Princess Märtha Louise and I are happy to announce our upcoming wedding at the Union Hotel in Geiranger in Norway on August 31st 2024. ‘
Verrett went on to explain the hotel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which ‘represents Norway’s rich culture and striking nature’.
He continued: ‘Märtha and I are extremely happy to celebrate our love in Geiranger’s beautiful surroundings.
‘It means a lot to us to gather family and friends in a place so rich in Norwegian history and with such a spectacular nature surrounding our big moment. Geiranger is the perfect place to embrace our love.’
Princess Martha posted a near-identical announcement on her Instagram profile which accompanied the same photo.
The couple (pictured in June 2022) have had a tumultuous few years after the princess, who claims to be a clairvoyant, stepped down from royal duties over Verrett’s pseudoscientific views
The royal praised her parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, for always keeping channels of communication open and encouraging conversation, even in difficult times
As the couple plan their big day, the dust appears to have settled among the Norwegian Royal Family following Princess Martha’s decision to step down (in a move labelled ‘Norway’s Megxit’).
In an interview with the BBC earlier this year, she praised her parents, King Harald an Queen Sonja, for keeping the dialogue open while she made her decision and they worked out the details about how the arrangements would work.
When asked about her decision in comparison with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who also stepped down as senior royals, she spoke about her ‘amazing’ family, including King Harald and Queen Sonja, and how the dialogue between them has always remained open.
‘What I think has been amazing through this whole cycle has been the conversations we have had through it all,’ she said.
‘From a very young age I remember my mum and dad saying (the King and Queen saying) that we always have to stick together. We always have to talk things through even if it’s hard, we have to put all the cards on the table because we are family and we have to work things through.’
The Norwegian royal also discussed how her fiancé’s controversial ‘views’ had contributed to how the public viewed her position in the royal family.
She said: ‘The Norwegian people I guess… have decided it’s best for me to step down because of his views about things.’
Durek, who describes himself as a ‘Shaman’, was dropped by his publisher shortly after the couple announced their engagement in June 2022 over pseudoscientific claims he made in his book ‘Spirit Hacking’.
Among the claims were that children ‘can get cancer from being unhappy’.
Durek has also claimed he once came back from the dead, recovering from a month-long coma, by letting his soul ‘burn’ and he has also spoken of having to undergo a kidney transplant from his sister as a child.
It is unclear why he needed the kidney or how he became wheelchair bound, as he has described. The illness which sent him into a coma is also undisclosed.
Elsewhere in the interview, Martha Louise claimed she first began to experience psychic premonitions as a child.
She said: ‘When I was little I would see things in you. If you were sad or if you were happy… if you had a pain in your shoulder I would get a pain in my shoulder.
‘And I understood that that’s a talent and, you know, I could help other people. And that’s when the whole ball started rolling.’
The Princess said she decided she wanted to ‘earn my own money’ which she could only do by giving up her ‘money from the state’ and paying taxes for the first time in her life.
After giving up her position in the royal family, the Princess revealed she has had to deal with ‘lots of scrutiny’ – particularly when she takes on new roles.
‘Everything you do that’s a first, that goes out of the box that you’re put in,’ she said, adding that press scrutiny has ‘continued’.
She added that, in Norway, spiritual beliefs like the ones she holds are ‘taboo’.
Her comments echoed an interview she gave on Swedish TV in March, in which she claimed she had ‘received the most criticism of anyone in Norway’ for her beliefs.
As she sat down with Anna Hedenmo on Min Sanning – which translates to My Truth – the royal said she felt she needed to step back because of public image.
She said: ‘I am probably the one in Norway who has received the most criticism of all, I think.’
Elsewhere in the television special, the mother touched on how her ex-husband Ari Behn – who took his own life in December 2019 – handled being in the spotlight.
Following their wedding in 2002, the royal said the father of her three children – who made a name for himself as an author -said he didn’t receive good reviews of his work.
She added: ‘His mental health depended a lot on him getting criticism in the media.
‘But I am not saying it was anyone’s fault. It is always how you handle criticism. The press took self-criticism after he died, that they were perhaps a little harsh towards him, and that he only received criticism and was actually a very nice person.’
In June 2022, the newly-engaged couple appeared in a video together on Durek’s Instagram account where the American spiritual guide – whose celebrity clients have included Gwyneth Paltrow, Nina Dobrev and James Van Der Beek – hit back at online trolling they’ve faced.
He said: ‘One, they don’t want to see a black man in the Royal Family because there’s never been one in the history of the European royal family.
‘Second, she’s a female – it’s different when a royal prince chooses a woman of colour because it’s like, “oh he’s a man, he can choose whoever he wants”.
‘But for a princess to choose a man of colour, has never been done in history. So it’s really though for a lot of people to be able to handle that.’