The Norwegian Royal Court announced today the engagement between Princess Märtha Louise and Durek Verrett:
Congratulations on their engagementHer 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 PrincessTheir 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.The so-called Shaman Durek has also written about the engagement on Instagram:
Thank you to all my friends and family who have stood steadfast by our side [...]
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.
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