Princess Mette-Marit and Prince Haakon greet royals in Norway
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Princess Martha’s engagement to her American fiancé Durek Verrett has sparked a considerable amount of debate in Norway. Earlier this month the Norwegian press reported that several meetings had taken place at the Royal Palace in Oslo where Princess Martha’s title was discussed.
It comes after Mr Verrett has come in for criticism for several controversial health claims which including the advertisement of a medallion which he claimed cured Covid.
Speaking to reporters, Crown Prince Haakon said that he found the topic “difficult” but confirmed that discussions were ongoing.
He said: “This is a topic that I find difficult.
“On the one hand, my sister got engaged, and I got to know Durek Verrett and think it is nice to be with him. I have been with him on many occasions.
“I would like him to feel welcome in our family.
“At the same time, I feel very responsible for the institution.
“We have of course noticed that some of what has been said and done has caused quite a bit of discussion.
“Some of it has also been controversial.
“We have to talk about figuring this out and that is what we are trying to do now that we now have this process where we are trying to find a good way forward.
“At the same time that brings us the feelings and thoughts about the different aspects.
“So this is going to take some more time.
“It is natural that if something happens that people think something about, that it creates debate.
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“I think that is part of the living democracy that Norway is a part of.”
A survey conducted by Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet showed that 53.9 percent of those asked thought that Princess Martha should relinquish her title.
Norwegian TV-channel NRK also recently revealed that the Norwegian epilepsy Association had decided to end its collaboration with Princess Martha.
The Association for Muscular Dystrophy also made the decision to break ties with the Princess with the controversy surrounding Mr Verrett being a key factor.
Following this news King Harald and Queen Sonja commented for the first time on Mr Verrett with King Harald describing a “cultural clash”.
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