Princess Märtha Louise of Norway ‘delays wedding’ to Shaman Durek Verrett as her American fiancé ‘battles severe kidney disease’

  • Princess Martha, 51,  announced her engagement to Durek Verrett last June
  • Norwegian media has reported the couple have postponed wedding plans
  • The LA-based shaman, 48, is said to be struggling with ‘severe kidney disease’
  • The celebrity spiritual healer was first diagnosed with the condition 28 years ago
  • Read More: Feeling blue! Queen Letizia of Spain stuns in £70 aqua blouse and leather skirt as she attends meeting at Royal Spanish Academy

Princess Märtha of Norway has reportedly delayed her wedding to Durek Verrett amid his ongoing battle with kidney disease.

The European royal, 51, announced her engagement to the Los Angeles-based ‘spiritual guide and gifted healer’, 48, last year.

Although the couple had not publicly announced any wedding plans, a Norwegian media outlet has reported that Märtha and Durek have put the nuptials on hold.

According to Se og Hør, Durek is struggling with ‘severe kidney disease’ – a condition he’s been battling for almost three decades. 

Princess Martha Louise of Norway and her fiance Durek Verrett in Oslo Norway in June 2022. The royal’s partner is reportedly struggling with ‘severe kidney disease’

Speaking on his podcast The Moments That Made Me, Durek previously claimed that the condition caused him to go into cardiac arrest – but did not reveal when the incident took place.

He said: ‘I had high blood pressure, just like my father and grandfather, but I never took it seriously. So, it destroyed my kidneys, and I went into cardiac arrest. 

‘It was one of the most defining moments of my life. I was dead for about four and a half minutes. And when I had been revived, I had suffered a brain injury. I was in a wheelchair for almost two years and needed dialysis for eight years.’ 

According to the Norwegian publication, the shaman – whose celebrity following includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Nina Dobrev and James Van Der Beek – is having to go into a US facility up to five times a week for dialysis.

The couple have reportedly put their wedding plans on hold while Durek is going into a US treatent centre for dialysis five times a week

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway has renounced her official duties in November. King Harald V, 85, announced that his his daughter, 51, will no longer represent the Royal household in any form

Femail has contacted Princess Martha and Durek Verrett for comment.

In November 2022, Princess Martha’s father King Harald V, 85, announced that his daughter would no longer be representing the Royal household in any form – after the mother-of-three initially stepped back as a working royal in 2019.

Although the monarch has allowed Princess Märtha Louise, to keep her royal title, her father re-iterated that she will not be allowed to use it in any future commercial partnerships with her partner Durek Verrett.

The Queen took a similar approach with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when quit their public duties and relocated to Montecito, California in 2020.

The King and Queen of Norway thanked their daughter for the ‘care, warmth and great commitment’ Princess Märtha Louise had displayed over the years. The trio pictured in July 2017 at the unveiling of Norwegian Trekking Association gift for The Queen of Norway 80th birthday

Princess Märtha Louise will keep her royal title, despite no longer being a working royal. Pictured with her fiance Durek Verrett, who she has been dating since 2019

Speaking to 2News at the time, King Harald of Norway explained discussions had taking place over the course of four or five months.

‘We have arrived at a solution which I believe will give greater distance between the princess’s activities and the royal house,’ he said. ‘I am sorry that the princess will no longer represent the royal house.’

He stressed that his daughter has remained a princess at his request, saying: ‘She is our daughter, and she will continue to be. So she is Princess Märtha Louise.’

He also paid tribute to his daughter’s partner as ‘a really great guy, and really fun to be with’.

Prince Haakon of Norway, who is heir-to-the-throne, 49, told local press that he feels ‘responsible’ for the future of the Norwegian monarchy, Norwegian media NRK reported

Crown Prince Haakon and his wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit with King Harald V and Queen Sonja in 2004

‘He has a lot of humor and we laugh a lot, even in this difficult time,’ he said. ‘I think both we and he have gained a greater understanding of what this is about, and we agree to disagree, so to speak.

The royal admitted that Shaman Durek had struggled to understand why his daughter’s royal status could not be used to promote commercial projects.

‘The Americans don’t understand the significance of this, they have no idea what a royal house is,’ he explained. ‘He thought he could do whatever he wanted without it affecting us at all.’

A statement from Norway’s Royal Family read: ‘Princess Märtha Louise wants to contribute to a clearer distinction between her own activities and the connection to the Royal Household.

‘Therefore, the Princess renounces her official duties and will not represent the Royal Household.

Durek Verrett (pictured while holding a lecture in Stavanger, Norway) shares his interest in spirituality with the Norwegian princess

Princess Martha Louise of Norway announced her engagement to Durek in June.  The princess was previously married to Ari Behn, who she wed in 2002 and had three children together Maud Angelica, 19, Leah Isadora, 17, and Emma Tallulah, 14. They split in 2016, and Ari took his own life on Christmas Day in 2019.

Shaman Durek Verrett claims Princess Martha was able to foresee his plans for proposing thanks to her ‘spiritual powers’ 

 

‘The King has decided that the Princess will retain her title, but Princess Märtha Louise and her fiance Durek Verrett will not use the title in their commercial activities.

‘The King and Queen wish to thank Princess Märtha Louise for the important efforts she has made through her official work for decades. She has carried out her work with care, warmth and great commitment.’

In October 2022, Prince Haakon, 49, told local press that he feels ‘responsible’ for the future of the Norwegian monarchy and admitted that some of his future brother-in-law’s views had caused controversy in Norway.

Shortly after the mother-of-three announced her engagement, a Norweigan publishing house dropped Durek’s book ‘Spirit Hacking’ over pseudoscientific claims, including ‘children can get cancer from being unhappy’

Among his other claims, Durek says 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. 

Haakon told local press NRK that he would like to ‘welcome’ Durek into the ‘family’ and that he had met the Shaman on ‘a number of occasions.’

However, he then went on to touch on Durek’s recent controversial comments.

‘We have of course noticed that some of what has been said and done has caused quite a bit of discussion.’ Haakon said. ‘Some of it has also been controversial.’

Publishing Manager Knut Ola Ulvestad also told a Norwegian newspaper at the time that he wasn’t aware of the cancer claims in the book until after the US release. 

‘When I read through the Norwegian translation and found the parties dealing with the causes of cancer and treatment, it became impossible to publish this book,’ he said in 2019. ‘If this is read literally, it can simply be harmful.’

The shaman is known as a ‘healer and spiritualist’ and has celebrity followers such as Gwyneth Paltrow

‘We all have friends and colleagues affected by cancer, who have children affected by cancer. 

‘And what Durek writes about, for example, is that when children have cancer, it’s because they’re unhappy and thinking about it, so yeah, I just don’t have an adequate comment on this.’

According to the Times, a recent poll revealed that 17 per cent of the public now views the Norwegian monarchy more negatively than they did a year ago, with ‘Martha Louise’s relationship with Verrett, 47, cited by many as the reason’. 

The same year Princess Märtha Louise started dating Durek, the Norwegian royal house announced in 2019 that she would no longer use the title of princess in commercial contexts. 

The princess was previously married to Ari Behn, who she wed in 2002 and had three children together Maud Angelica, 19, Leah Isadora, 17, and Emma Tallulah, 14. They split in 2016, and Ari took his own life on Christmas Day in 2019. 

With a huge celebrity following, the belief he can talk to the spiritual world and very colourful history, Shaman Durek is hardly your typical royal groom.

But the couple’s shared interest in all things spiritual suggests the couple are well-suited, and indeed, and he has previously said of the royals ‘over years we’ve built such a lovely relationship. I love them’. 

Born Durek Verrett in Sacramento in November 1974, the groom-to-be claims he first became ‘aware’ of his shamanic abilities when he was five but that he didn’t start training until age 11.

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