Inside Princess Martha Louise Of Norway's Relationship With Shaman Durek

Princess Märtha Louise and Shaman Durek announced their engagement in 2022 after several years of dating. The two have weathered a lot in their years together, including the unexpected death of Märtha's ex-husband and an extended period of time apart due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, the pair has bonded over their shared interest in the spiritual world (per Reuters). Durek is a sixth-generation shaman and commoner, and Märtha is fourth in line for the Norwegian throne as the daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja.

The two have endured quite a lot of discrimination and negativity while together. In June 2022, they opened up about some of those experiences on Instagram, admitting to their followers that they've had to weather racist comments. Despite that, Durek and Märtha are clear about one thing: They belong together. As Durek told Tamron Hall, he knew when he met Märtha they were meant to be. As he said, "What happened was when she walked in the door, I just looked into her eyes and I saw an image of another lifetime that we were together."

Princess Märtha Louise and Shaman Durek began dating in 2018

Princess Märtha Louise and Shaman Durek met through their mutual friend, Millana Snow, as the couple detailed to Tamron Hall. After Märtha and Snow took an energy healing class together, Millana paved the way for Märtha to meet the shaman. "So we came to his house for lunch and I walked in the door and I looked at him and I saw into his eyes and I was like, 'I know you already,'" Märtha recalled.

Photos of the two together first surfaced back in November 2018, as noted by the Daily Mail. A source reportedly told the outlet that while Durek didn't plan to fall in love with Märtha, his client, their mutual interest in one another was "inevitable." 'They both believe they have known each other for many lifetimes, and that in this lifetime they are supposed to help heal the world together with their tribe, their followers," the source added. The shaman also reportedly believes he has past life experience as a royal himself, and that he and Märtha have met again and again in different lifetimes (per Daily Mail).

Millana Snow had a vision that the princess would meet Shaman Durek

Princess Märtha Louise and her friend, Millana Snow, an energy healer, teacher, and wellness entrepreneur in Los Angeles, made a deal — they would trade healing sessions to help each other with the work.

Snow told The List exclusively that it was when she was guiding Märtha through a session that she was hit with a powerful vision. "In my session with her, I got the vision that Durek and [Märtha] HAD to meet! ... After I guided her through breathwork and energy healing this is what came up and it was, to my surprise, one of the most meaningful connections of her life."

Snow shared that being able to play a role in connecting Märtha and Durek was "an honor" — and one that she does not take for granted. And even had that healing session not happened, Snow believes the two were still meant to enter each other's lives. As Snow put it, "I am certain that at one point or another they would've certainly met."

They announced their relationship to the public in 2019

In May 2019, Princess Märtha Louise and Shaman Durek confirmed their relationship publicly. Märtha chose to turn to Instagram to share the new that she was in a relationship two years after divorcing her ex-husband (via People). Märtha shared the news alongside three photos of the two and a lengthy caption. She wrote, in part, "When you meet your twin flame, you know. I have been lucky enough to have met mine. [Shaman Durek] has changed my life, like he does with so many. He has made me realize that unconditional love actually exists here on this planet."

Märtha went on to praise her boyfriend's ability to make her laugh and defended the relationship to detractors who might not believe that Durek is the man Märtha should be with. She explained, "I choose from love" and noted that despite the wishes of some that she live her life differently, she was happy with her relationship. Durek also shared the news on his own Instagram account and added two additional photos of the pair.

Princess Märtha Louise's ex-husband died months after she announced her new relationship

Princess Märtha Louise's ex-husband Ari Behn died by suicide on Christmas 2019. The loss was devastating for the three daughters that Behn and Märtha share, as well as for his immediate family members and the royal family of Norway. Märtha's parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja, issued a statement that in part explained that Behn was "an important part of our family for many years, and we carry warm, fond memories of him" (via People).

The news impacted Märtha and Durek in several ways — one of which was that some people blamed the two and their relationship for Behn's death. As Märtha later explained to Vanity Fair, her ex-husband had been open about his mental health struggles. Additionally, their divorce occurred three years prior, and Behn was in a relationship himself. Nevertheless, Märtha told the publication, "They were saying that it was my fault and Durek's fault — that if it hadn't been for Durek, this wouldn't have happened."

On top of that, Märtha asserted in the interview that Behn was happy for her and Durek and that he wasn't surprised that she was in a relationship with someone so spiritual. Navigating his death was a challenge, she said. "Suddenly I was a single parent," she explained, "which is a very different horse, and of course the grief, the anger, the self-pity, the sadness over never seeing him again ... it's devastating."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Shaman Durek and Princess Märtha Louise announced their engagement in 2022

Princess Märtha and Shaman Durek announced their engagement on June 7, 2022 after three years of dating. The pair yet again turned to Instagram to share the news with their fans and followers. Märtha shared a photo of the two arm in arm, with her engagement ring prominently displayed, alongside a caption that read, in part, "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."

Durek spent half a year designing his fiancée's engagement ring, and People reported that the shaman opted to go with an emerald in tribute to Märtha's mother, who loves the gem. As the publication shared, the ring features an ethically sourced stone from Brazil that is surrounded by 19 diamonds. The ring is said to represent the four elements (earth, wind, water, and air).

The couple has received death threats

Princess Märtha Louise and Shaman Durek have been able to enjoy a lot of happiness and support for their relationship, but they have also found themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to defend their love to others over and over again. In June 2022, the pair turned to Instagram to explain that there has been a strong, and unfortunately negative, reaction to their relationship from some.

Märtha first explained in the video that she has noticed racism in a new way since being in a relationship with Durek. As she put it, "I've seen people talking to me really nicely then turning around to Durek and being really horrible, like not touching his hand or not saying hello or saying horrible things to him from being totally nice with me." That kind of behavior opened up her eyes to the realities that many Black people and people of color face around the world.

On top of that, the pair have had to contend with actual death threats. Durek explained in the video that he believes the two deal with so much negativity for two reasons: "They don't want to see a black man in the royal family" and "for a princess to choose a man of color, it has never been done in history."

Princess Märtha Louise and Shaman Durek are in a long-distance relationship

Princess Märtha Louise and Shaman Durek are truly an international couple. Her home base is, of course, in Norway, while Durek lives and works in Los Angeles, California. While Märtha currently lives outside Oslo with her three daughters, her long-term plans include moving to the United States' west coast with her kids.

In April 2021, Märtha spoke with the Norwegian newspaper VG and shared that she hopes to move her family to Los Angeles permanently. She went on to explain that the move was delayed due to complications surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and clarified that she would never leave Norway permanently. As she put it, "We will keep the home in Lommedalen anyway. We must have a home in Norway. We'll still be here a lot. We can not leave beautiful Norway completely" (via People).

Shaman Durek considers Princess Märtha Louise's children his family

Princess Märtha Louise is a mom to three daughters, Maud, Emma, and Leah. She's made it clear by way of social media that she and Shaman Durek are building a family that includes her three girls. In March 2022, Märtha took to Instagram and shared a photo of the smiling bunch. Durek commented on the post using glowing terms to describe the group: "I love our family. You my dear are a force in life. The way you love your children and how you nurture their minds and heart to grow" (via Daily Mail).

The photo marked the first time that Märtha had shared a photo of her daughters alongside Durek. In a 2017 interview with the Norwegian magazine KK, Märtha opened up about the close relationship she has with her children and how motherhood has changed her. As she said, "I hope that my children feel that I am the secure base – but I also hope that they perceive me as an honest mother, who meets them as they are. When they are a little bit bigger, I hope that the children know that I am always there for them — that they can always come to me to talk or just be together" (via Royal Central).

The shaman asked Princess Märtha Louise's parents for permission to marry

Shaman Durek has been especially open about one aspect of his proposal to Princess Märtha Louise: He wanted to be very traditional. Durek shared that he sought permission from Märtha's parents before he proposed. In an interview with Billed Bladet he explained, "I'm very old-fashioned in the way I do things. Therefore, I sat down with King Harald and Queen Sonja and asked for their daughter's hand in marriage" (via Yahoo). Durek revealed that if her parents had said no, he would not have proposed.

Durek has also commented on the fact that he will be the first Black man to marry into a European royal family. As he told People, while the continent of Africa has a long history of kings and queens, that history hasn't always been seen or supported by people from other parts of the world. As he said, their engagement is a powerful thing. "[It] will set a precedent for my people that we are not to be forgotten, and we deserve to be acknowledged for the greatness of who we are and where we come from," the shaman added.

Princess Märtha Louise and Shaman Durek are both believers in alternative therapy

Princess Märtha and Shaman Durek are both interested in alternative therapy. While it's well known that Durek is a shaman who works with several celebrity clients, including Gwyneth Paltrow, it's less known that Märtha has explored fields similar to that of her fiancé. She earned her degree in physiotherapy in 1997; however, she did not go on to work in the field. In 2000, she earned her certification as a Rosen therapist (per Life in Norway). The Rosen method is focused on bodywork.

In 2007, Märtha launched her own alternative therapy institute called Astarte Education. As reported by Reuters, the royal began the institute after spending her childhood speaking to angels. As she wrote on the institute's site, "It was while I dealt with horses that I first got in touch with angels. I later came to understand the value of this enormous gift and would like to share it with others" (via Reuters).

Princess Märtha and Shaman Durek have been accused of exploiting her royal title

In August 2019, Princess Märtha came under fire for allegedly using her royal title for her own personal gain. The Daily Express was one of the first to share the news, noting that Märtha had agreed to cease using her royal title for any financial gain and that she and her family agreed that she should only use the royal title going forward when she was conducting business on behalf of the family.

The news had an impact on her relationship and professional plans with Shaman Durek. At the time, the pair were on a book tour called The Princess and the Shaman, and Märtha was tasked with changing the name. Märtha addressed the controversy directly on her Instagram account. She shared that she was fully in support of the change and wrote, "I feel this [is] a good solution where there will be a clear difference between my business and my role as a representative of the Royal House and that I have thus created room for greater freedom in my business."

Shaman Durek describes the pair as 'star-crossed lovers'

Shaman Durek and Princess Märtha celebrated the royal's 50th birthday in September 2021. Durek gifted his girlfriend a special ring for the occasion, described by People as made up of a garnet and diamonds. Durek told the outlet that the two had a special relationship: "We're star-crossed lovers across the sea, but our love is defined by friendship and devotion. It is through our friendship that we have built this ability to handle the distance between our hearts."

He went on to add that the ring in question was designed intentionally — the garnet stone was chosen because it represents love and friendship at the same time, whereas the diamonds in the ring represent the stars in the sky and how he has to count days until he and Princess Märtha are together.

As they both explained in an interview with Vanity Fair, the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to spend significant time apart. However, the princess told the outlet that they are far from the only two who were separated by the pandemic. She added, "That's been really tough. But it's like that for many people. There are so many people who are lonely."