25 June 2022

Norway: Statement by King Harald on the occasion of the shooting tragedy in central Oslo

Following the shootings outside Per på Hjørnet and London Pub in central Oslo last night, where two people were killed and 21 people were injured, King Harald of Norway issued the following statement:

Skytetragedien i Oslo sentrum

Uttalelse fra Hans Majestet Kong Harald i anledning skytetragedien i Oslo sentrum.


Familien min og jeg er forferdet over nattens skytetragedie i Oslo sentrum, der to mennesker ble drept og mange skadet. Vi føler med alle pårørende og berørte og sender varme tanker til alle som nå er redde, urolige og i sorg.

Vi må stå sammen om å forsvare verdiene våre: Frihet, mangfold og respekt for hverandre. Vi må fortsette å stå opp for at alle mennesker skal føle seg trygge.

Nå må vi ta godt vare på hverandre.

Harald R

In English:

The shooting tragedy in central Oslo

Statement from His Majesty King Harald on the occasion of the shooting tragedy in central Oslo.


My family and I are horrified by the night's shooting tragedy in central Oslo, where two people were killed and many injured. We sympathize with all the relatives and affected and send warm thoughts to all who are now scared, restless and in grief.

We must stand together to defend our values: Freedom, diversity and respect for each other. We must continue to stand up for all people to feel safe.

Now we have to take good care of each other.

Harald R

On Saturday early afternoon the Crown Prince couple and Prince Sverre Magnus together with among other Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and the governing mayor (city government leader) of Oslo Raymond Johansen visited the scene of the shootings and laid down flowers outside London Pub.

The Crown Prince couple will attend the mourning service in Oslo Cathedral on Sunday 26 June.

The London Pub in central Oslo is a popular place in the gay community. The perpetrator has been charged with murder, attempted murder and carrying out a terrorist act. While the motive is yet to be known, the prosecutor has stated that "There is reason to believe this [terrorist act] involves hate crime [directed against gay people]" in addition to psychiatric issues. On advice by the police today's Pride parade and other Pride events were cancelled.

Postscript Monday 27 June 2022 at 22.55: The Royal Court revealed on Sunday morning that the Crown Prince had tested positive for Covid, which meantg that the Crown Princess attended the mourning service alone.

Updated last time on Monday 27 June 2022 at 22.55 (postscript added).

16 June 2022

Norway: Princess Ingrid Alexandra's 18th birthday celebrations

Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, who celebrated her 18th birthday on 21 January this year and thus reached the age of majority, had to postpone the official celebrations due to the pandemic and the restrictions which applied at the time.

The official celebreations will take place on Thursday 16 June and Friday 17 June. On Thursday 16 June the Norwegian government is hosting a dinner at the Deichman Library in Oslo. The guest list covers 202 people from all over the country – among others 25 young people representing all the 11 counties. There will also be representatives from the Storting and the Supreme Court. The government has made a point of inviting young people from different sectors, like sports, culture, politics and various organisations. Several cultural features will be included during the evening.

On Friday 17 June the King and Queen will host a gala dinner at the Royal Palace. On Wednesday 15 June The Royal Court released a list of the official guests at the dinner:


  • Crown Prince Haakon
  • Crown Princess Mette-Marit
  • Princess Ingrid Alexandra
  • Prince Sverre Magnus
  • Marius Borg Høiby
  • Princess Märtha Louise
  • Durek Verrett (fiancé of the former)
  • Maud Angelica Behn
  • Leah Isadora Behn
  • Emma Tallulah Behn
  • Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner
  • Marit Tjessem (mother of Crown Princess Mette-Marit)


  • Crown Prince Frederik
  • Crown Princess Mary
  • Crown Princess Victoria
  • Prince Daniel
  • Princess Estelle
  • Prince Oscar

The Netherlands

  • King Willem-Alexander
  • Queen Máxima
  • Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange


  • Queen Mathilde
  • Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant


  • King Felipe


  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume
  • Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie
  • Prince Charles

Other royals

  • Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece
  • Crown Princess Marie-Chantal
  • Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece
  • Prince Aristidis-Stavros of Greece
  • Prince Kyril of Bulgaria
  • Katharine Jibba Butler (partner of the former)
  • Princess Mafalda-Cecilia of Bulgaria
  • Princess Olimpia of Bulgaria
  • Prince Tassilo of Bulgaria
  • Rosario Nadal (former wife of Prince Kyril)

The official Norway

  • President of the Storting, Masud Gharahkhani
  • Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre
  • Chief of the Supreme Court Toril Marie Øie
  • Finance minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum
  • Foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt
  • Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim
  • Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram
  • Minister of Children and Families Kjersti Toppe
  • Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Sigbjørn Gjelsvik
  • Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion Marte Mjøs Persen
  • Minister of Agriculture and Food Sandra Borch
  • Minister of Justice and Public Security Emilie Enger Mehl
  • Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland
  • Parliamentary leader Rigmor Aasrud, The Labour Party
  • Parliamentary leader Erna Solberg, The Conservative Party
  • Paliamentary leader Sylvi Listhaug, The Progress Party
  • Parliamentary leader Marit Arnstad, The Centre Party
  • Parliamentary leader Guri Melby, The Liberarl Party
  • Parliamentary leader Une Bastholm, The Green Party
  • Member of Parliament Irene Ojala, Patient Focus
  • Plenary session leader of the Sameting (Samediggi), Tom Sottinen
  • Director General, Office of the Prime Minister, Tormod C. Endresen
  • Governor of Vestfold and Telemark county, Per Arne Olsen
  • Mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen
  • Mayor of Sokndal Jonas Andersen Sayed
  • Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen
  • Director of Police Benedicte Bjørnland
  • Bishop and Preses of the Bishops' Conference, The Church of Norway Olav Fykse Tveit
  • Leader of The Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities in Norway, Trond Enger
  • Committee chairperson of The Islamic Council Norway Abdirahman Diriye
  • Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry, Tore Hattrem

Norwegian organisations

  • Committee chairperson of The Norwegian Children and Youth Council Margrete Bjørge Katanasho
  • Committee chairperson of Miljøagentene (The Eco-agents) Ingvild Melvær Hanssen
  • President of The Norwegian Board Sports Federation Ola Keul
  • Freestyle skier Hedvig Wessel, The Norwegian Ski Federation
  • Chairperson of The School Student Union of Norway Edvard Botterli Udnæs
  • Chairperson of Norsk Målungdom Frida Pernille Mikkelsen
  • General Secretary of The Norwegian Association of Youth with Disabilities Ingvild Østli
  • Chairperson of Skeiv Ungdom (The Norwegian Gay Youth Association) Jane-Victorius G. Bonsaksen
  • Editor of Feminist/FETT Sumaya Jirde Ali
  • Artist Sandra Mujinga
  • Chairperson of the National Council of the Norwegian Red Cross Youths, Solveig Ugland
  • General Secretary of WWF Karoline Andaur
  • Chairperson of Changemaker Norway Naja Amanda Lynge Møretrø
  • Chairperson of The National Council of The Norwegian Trekking Association Youths Anna Nes
  • Chairperson of the Sameting's Youth Political Committee Elle Rávdná Näkkäläjärvi 

Corps diplomatique

  • Amabassador of Myanmar, Daw Daw Maw (doyen)
  • Ambassador of Sweden, Ulla Cecilia Björner
  • Ambassador of Denmark, Louise Bang Jespersen
  • Ambassador of Luxembourg, Henri Schumacher

Other guests are family and friends.

The sponsors at Princess Ingrid Alexandra's christening in 2004 were King Harald, King Felipe VI of Spain (then Prince of Asturias), Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Marit Tjessem. They are all present for the 18th birthday celebrations as seen above.

Unfortunately work obligations will make it difficult for me to follow much of the events during the celebrations. I might write a few words later on, but will not make any promises as of now.

7 June 2022

Norway: Princess Märtha Louise engaged to marry Durek Verrett

The Norwegian Royal Court announced today the engagement between Princess Märtha Louise and Durek Verrett:

Congratulations on their engagement

Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise and Mr. Durek Verrett announced their engagement today. Their Majesties The King and Queen and Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess congratulate.

Congratulations from The King and Queen

His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen extend their heartiest congratulations to Princess Märtha Louise and Durek Verrett on the occasion of their engagement, and wish the couple all the best for their future together.

Congratulations from The Crown Prince and Crown Princess

Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess and their family extend their warmest congratulations to Princess Märtha Louise and Durek Verrett on the occasion of their engagement. They send their best wishes to the whole family for a happy future.
Princess Märtha Louise published the following statement on her Instagram account earlier today:
I am so happy to announce that I am engaged to Shaman Durek, the one who makes my heart skip, the one who sees me and acknowledges me from my highest potential, who makes me laugh and who I can be vulnerable with. Love transcends and makes us grow. And I am so happy to continue to grow with this beautiful man.

Thank you to all my friends and family who have stood steadfast by our side [...]
The so-called Shaman Durek has also written about the engagement on Instagram:
When you know you know. There is nothing better than having clarity as a man that the woman that stands in front of you is the one. I'm overjoyed with tears that I get to spend the rest of my life with the most pure hearted, angelic, wise, powerhouse woman who represents all levels of a goddess in my eyes. Together as a soulful spiritual couple, we will use our power to support the people to create a world based in love and acceptance. Changing the world through our love. Love expands beyond all barriers and conditions. Love is free and transparent. It invites growth and foundation. It shows human beings we are more than our fears, our hate or social conditioning. Princess Märtha Louise is the love of my life. She sees all aspects of me, and I see all of her. I am a guy who loves a girl who loves me back. I get to show and demonstrate to this divine woman how much I love her for the rest of my life. I am the happiest I ever been.
Thank you to my beloved family and friends. I love you!
The date of the wedding has yet to be set.


The Norwegian Constitution Article 36 first sentence says that «A Prince or Princess entitled to succeed to the Crown of Norway may not marry without the consent of the King.»

Other than the congratulations referred to above we have so far not received any information whether the king has given his consent to the marriage or not. Details will follow in the near future. There is no doubt that the king (and queen), given their own experiences prior to their engagement and marriage in 1968, support their children's choices and that they don't want them to go through a similar situation. Princess Märtha Louise and Durek Verrett have their parents' and their family's blessings, but if the support also extends to a constitutional consent remains to be seen.

The headlines and the controversies surrounding Durek Verrett and his role as a self-professed shaman has followed the couple ever since their relationship became public in 2019. Given that the princess, who is no. 4 in the line of succession to the Norwegian throne, has scaled down her activities as a member of the royal family and has no central role in the future of the monarchy, the question of consent might not be that important, although a decision to not seek the king's consent and thereby lose succession rights might be looked favourably on in some quarters. Princess Märtha Louise has stated that she some time in the future wants to move to the United States, but it seems this will wait until her 3 childen have left the nest. Although Durek Verrett will become a member of the royal family following the wedding, he will have no role besides escorting his wife at some events. Most people will probably wish the couple all the best for their future together. It remains to be seen how the engagement and marriage will affect the popularity of the royal family and the monarchy. As of now the monarchy stays strong and the possibility of a republican government some time in the future will certainly be down to other reasons.

The Storting not informed

The President of the Norwegian Storting, Masud Gharahkhani has said today that he has not been informed by the Royal Palace about the engagement before the news was known. «– Given her formal status this is not something we would expect», he has been quoted as saying, besides wishing the princess and her fiancé all the best and congratulating them on the engagement. Traditionally the Storting is formally notified by letter, which will then be entered in the record of its proceedings, but the king is not required to send such a letter. I am not sure what the Storting president means when mentioning the formal status of Princess Märtha Louise. Could it be that because she ceased to be a member of the royal house in 2002 when she gave up her style of royal highness, a formal notification to the Storting has not ben deemed necessary?

Princess Märtha Louise and Durek Verrett

Princess Märtha Louise, b. 1971, is the eldest child and only daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja, née Haraldsen. She married Ari Behn (1972–2019) in 2002 and had three daughters by him before the marriage was dissolved in 2017.

Durek David Verrett, formerly Derek David Verrett (name change in 2014), was born in Sacramento, California on 17 November 1974 as the son of David Benjamin Verrett (1929–2017) and Sheila G. Farmer, b. 1943 (also called Veruschka Urquhart (Farmer was her mother's name, Urquhart her father's adoped name). Durek's ancestry has been discussed in the Norwegian Digital Archives' users' forum.from 2019 to 2021. The claim that Durek has Norwegian ancestry on his mother's side has been disputed.

Durek Verrett was previously married to the Czech woman Zaneta Marszalkova (b. around 1984). They were married in Los Angeles, California on 2 June 2005 and were divorced on 26 February 2009 (cf. the bi-weekly magazine Se og Hør No. 22, 2022, which refers to various court documents). Ms. Marszalkova has later remarried. Durek was some time later in a relationship with a man named Hank Greenberg. Durek has a sister, Angelina, born in 1973.

Updated on Wednesday 8 June 2022 at 09.40 (corrected "self-processed" to "self-professed" in the Consent? section.